tv Documentary RT December 12, 2019 11:30am-12:01pm EST
there's there's what i call the creepy line and the google policy about a lot of these things is to get right up for the creepy line but not cross it google crosses the creepy line every day. not only does google cross the creepy line the location of that line you keep shifting well it's an interesting word creepy right because it's a word that connotes horror he didn't say dangerous he didn't say an ethical there's all sorts of words that could have fit in that slot he said creepy and a creep is someone who creeps around and follows human spies on you for unsavory purposes right that's the definition of a creep you know i don't think the typical ethical person says i'm going to push right up to the line of creepy and stop there you know they say more something like how about we don't get near enough to the creepy line so that we're ever. engaged
even pseudo creepy behavior because creepy is really bad you know it's. a creepy mugger is worse than a mugger the mugger wants your money god only knows what the creepy mugger wants it's more than your money and you give google a lot of information you searching for the most private stuff on google you're searching about you know illnesses and diseases that your family have you're searching about things that might be your wife may or spouse might not want you to know about and you're going to telling google more than you would tell a family member or your spouse or a very close friend and google has so much information about you that it's scary for who were starting 3 very powerful ways in which they're impacting people's opinions. and this phenomenon that we discovered a few years ago seem search engine if you lation a fact is a list of facts list effect is an effect that a list has on some aspects of our cars. you know functioning what's higher in
a list is easier to remember for example seem is an example of a list effect but with a difference because it's the only list effect i'm aware of that is supported by a daily regimen of operant conditioning that tells us that what's at the top of search results is better and truer than what's lower in the west it's gotten to a point that fewer than 5 percent of people quit beyond page one because the stuff it on page one and typically at the top in that sort of above the fold position is the best most of the searches that we conduct are just simple routine searches what is the capital of kansas and on those simple search is over and over again the correct answer arises right at the top so we are learning over and over and over again and then that day when we look something up they were really unsure about like where should i go on vacation which car should i like which candidate should i
vote for and we do our little search and their results and what do we know what's the top is better at the top is true or that is why it's so easy to use search results to shift people's opinions this kind of phenomenon this is really scary compared to something like fake news because it's invisible there's a manipulation occurring they can't see it it's not competitive because well for one thing google for all intents and purposes has no competitors google controls 90 percent of search in most of the world google is only going to show you one list in one order which have a dramatic impact on the decisions people make on people's opinions beliefs and so on. the 2nd thing they do is what you might call the auto fill in if you are searching for a political candidate congressman john smith. you type in congressman john smith
and they will give you several options that will be a prompt as it were as to what you might be looking for if you have 4 positive search suggestions for a candidate well guess what happens seam happens people whose opinions can be shifted shift because people are likely to click on one of those suggestions that's going to bring them search results obviously that favor of that candidate that is going to connect them to web pages that favor that candidate but now we know that if you allow just one negative to appear in that list it wipes out the shift completely because of phenomenon called negativity bias one negative can in some demographic groups drop 10 to 15 times as many clicks as a neutral i mean the same list turns out that google is manipulating your opinions from the very 1st character that you type into the search bar so this is an
incredibly powerful and simple means of manipulation if you are a search engine company and you want to support one candidate or one cause or one product or one company just suppress negatives in your search suggestion all kinds of people over time will shift their opinions in that direction that where you want them to ship but you don't suppress negatives for the other candidate the other cause the other product and then 3rd very often google gives you a box so they will give you search results but they're below the box and up above is a box and the box just gives you the answer. when it comes to local search which it turns out is the most common thing people do in google 40 percent of all searches it's not so clear if i'm doing a search for a pediatrician in scranton pennsylvania what happens is google still bisects the page shows the organic meritocracy based information far down the page and pops its answer barks up at the top. but it's populating the box with its own sort of
restricted set of information that it's kind of drawing from its own kind of proprietary sandbox these are just google's reviews that it's attempted to collect over the years users are habituated to assume the stuff at the top is the best but instead is just what google wants them to see and it looks the same and what happens is google is basically able to put its hand on the scale and create this direct to consumer harm because that mom searching for the pediatrician in scranton is not finding the highest rated pediatrician according to google's own algorithms or she's just getting served the google thing no matter what and that i think is leading to you know terrible outcomes in the offline world so google has at its disposal on the search engine itself at least 3 different ways of impacting your opinion and it is using them we're talking about a single company having the power to shift the opinions of literally billions of
people without anyone having the slightest idea that they're doing so. they ask us about as switching gears and asking about the sort of privacy and information we have a phone you're talking about the i guess technically always on we have google which basically maybe knows what i'm going to ask for before i ask for it finishes my search request it knows everything that's going on in my household and should i be concerned about how much you know about me we've had this question for more than a decade google and our answer is always the same you have control over the information that we have about you you can actually have a deleted you can also search anonymously you will you get to choose not to give us this information but if you give it to us we can do a better job of making better services for you and i think that's the right answer these computer systems naturally collect this data but we also forget it after a while and we've written down why and how.
google wants you very much to have privacy from everyone except that. the 1st thing we all should do is quit using g. mail google stories analyzes all the mails that we write and all the incoming emails that we read the ones coming from other email services google tracks it all they really track the mails that you write they track the drafts of those crazy emails that you decided not to sand. and the information from g.-mail is then put into one's personal profile and becomes another source of information they have for sending people targeted ads tech giants are increasingly under scrutiny from politicians regulators and experts on the left and the right some are concerned about their growing power even calling the monopolies and the tension keeps building yet their wall in contemporary life certainly isn't shrinking we
need to at the news hour have worked in collaborated with facebook google and many other new media businesses journalists who might communicate with regularly about these issues including journalists at time magazine the guardian the hill i could go on and on very using g. mail not only that their companies are using a form of g. mail their emails are running through google servers all of their incoming and outgoing communications are being monitored by google this is happening also major universities if you enter the university of california after a certain date guess what you're using g. mail whether you know it or not and it was found that google was yes in fact scanning student e-mails for non educational purposes and what those not and purposes were we still don't know to this day because google still has not come clean with what they were doing with the information they still haven't. certified
that they have deleted that data the big challenge was when i found out that google was scanning air student e-mails for advertising purposes and other non educational purposes i went to my state lawmakers and i tried to encourage them to introduce legislation that would ban these practices when i went to the state house who was there a lobbying against any stronger privacy protections for our kids it was google and facebook. is you'll media a reflection of reality. in a world transformed. what will make you feel safe.
isolation for community. are you going the right way or are you being led. to. what is true what is faith. in the world corrupted you need to descend. to join us in the depths. or a maybe in the shallows. and then it's only johnson. and i just got out of prison for. 41 give us. 73 and so. i got a rest for tim. to. fill you know. just everything was taken out of. i work in
a bit of let me. ask i wouldn't want. to take i could. not have a thing. to show more than. you love food even on the other. hand you may go to see because no one is to tell. you what they were who is the kook on the spindle it's in the out now as you heard shotgun bush. and then with the foot of. the new of those 2 moons. where much of the snooze through learning one to you from the. so would you hire the tried to use in did. not. want to meet your house on the net well classiness.
you know world of big. lot and it's time to wake up to dig deeper to hit the stories that made stream media refuses to tell more than ever we need to be smart we need to stop slamming the door. and shouting past each other it's time for critical thinking it's time to fight for the middle for the truth the time is now we're watching closely watching the hawks. geysers by the national survival. when customers go by your. well reducing our. best undercutting oh what's good for market is not good for the global economy. well i guess it makes sense that so many parts of our
life would be influenced by google but guess what the federal government runs on google so if you're counting on the federal government to regulate google realize that the federal government is using google docs they're using google tools in some cases there are even linked to g. mail so google has fused itself with our federal government in so many ways the government's motivation for using it is well google's already done it and they they have this thing that works it seems to be working pretty well for consumers to the idea behind it was one very well let's put some government agencies on google. you know will use google cloud for something they lack the cognitive lags pretty soon have the necessary security. and then it becomes a big embarrassment afterwards of trying to keep it on the media because people would rightfully point out there is a huge security risk some members of congress are calling for an investigation of google for secretly tracking. phone users all over the internet even users who
thought they had blocked that kind of surveillance were you see this pattern emerging over and over again so look at google street view google agreeing to pay 7000000 dollars to settle what 38 states are street new cars collection of data from unsecured by 5 networks vehicles equipped with antennas and open source software and gathered network identification information as well as data frames and polo data being transmitted over unsecured wireless networks as the cars were driving by it's a great tool for say tourists or transplants but privacy advocate kevin bankston says google is being too invasive there are a lot of people on the web who or i think. by this they find it kind of uncomfortable and so absent the fact that they got caught and they were fined and they tried to cover up some of the things that they were doing and the media got wind of it nothing would have happened to them the new google how many has
a massive problem isn't even out yet it was released to reporters last week to test it out one journalist discovered his device recorded everything and uploaded it more and more people are beginning to use the smart devices in their homes there's 2 things to it that i think people need to be aware of the fact is that it's always on and always listening so it's collecting an enormous amount of data on their users the other thing is the fact that it is only giving you want to answer back to all. the rows. all the summary the websites of the national geographic. shows the entire run stories was about. i think it's something it's we should be aware of what's happening with the bias being introduced because more and more people are starting to use these units and certainly children are using it and kids don't have the ability to discern that it's a biased result according to a new report by the electronic frontier foundation school. collecting and storing
kids' names birth dates browsing histories location data and much more without proper privacy protections they wanted to schools and they offered their google apps for education for free to schools but they weren't telling anyone was there actually collecting information on our kids secretly and they're using this for profiling purposes we just don't know how that information is going to utilize the against and they can be utilized against them when they apply to college to be utilized against them when they go in for a job it could be utilized against them for insurance it could be utilized against them whenever you want to buy something online and they're taking that information and they're weaponize ing it against their own kids and guess what happened nothing absolutely nothing happened when when the f.t.c. heard about it when the partner education heard about it they took no action. so google grew out of the ph d. program at stanford right they have this affinity for academics they view themselves as academic a little bit nature their campus looks like a college campus so google provides
a ton of funding for academic institutions individual academics all around the world so we found something like $300.00 papers that were funded by google in some way that's a part of google's policy positions they like to say hey we have the country's foremost academic experts behind us and what they're not telling it the public is the fact that they're actually funding these so-called independent experts these so-called independent academics where shows have time for congress about whether or not google is a monopoly she was relying on academic study to bolster his point they didn't disclose at the paper with actually funded by google. are you concerned that your company has been exerting enormous power. kirby in ways that hurt many small businesses and local extremely good and well meaning small businesses and down the rankings but we are in the rankings business and so for every loser there's a winner and so forth i am satisfied that. majority of small businesses are extremely
well served served. and as i said earlier it's funny but i do believe that if anything our system moves into the small business of the larger businesses because it gives them a hearing in a rule they would not otherwise have is the nature of the way the algorithms work. google has a blacklist and the biggest blacklist they have is called their quarantine list. now i'm guessing very few people have ever heard of this list and yet i'm telling you it not only as a tool of censorship it is by far the biggest and most dangerous list that google maintains for the purpose of controlling information the quarantine last is a list of websites that google doesn't want you to visit are there a 1000 items on this list there are millions of websites on this list will has the power to block access to websites and there are no relevant regulations there's no
oversight there's no advisory group there's nothing or no one even realizes that google is doing that there was a curriculum they were who will shut down the entire internet for 40 minutes this is reported by the guardian google did not deny it they shut down half of the internet in japan and again they acknowledged it we are talking about a company with so much power who gave google the power to shut down the internet where did that come from. the adoption rate of smartphones is so profound that that is the information tool and so how people get their information what they believe what they don't use i think the project for the next. i think we are increasingly moving to an era where people are saying we need to take better care of our digital environments and we need to take better care of our do. general selves and what that means is being
aware of what we are putting into our computers but more importantly when our computers in our devices are putting into us we are sharing information with them increasingly sensitive information the amount of data that they had on us 15 years ago is relatively small now is amazingly complex and they never forget any other. posters or to brag i remember well your 1st visit to capitol hill back in 2000 and . you spoke to the senate republican source which i chair you said back then that facebook would always prefer. is that still your objective. senator yes there will always be a version of facebook that is free it is our mission to try to help connect everyone around the world into bring the world closer together in order to do that we believe that we need to offer a service that everyone can afford and we're committed to doing that how do you sustain a business model and what use are your service. center we run out it's. the
end of the day there is no free lunch especially when it comes to social media and the internet the entire in common is literally based off of surveillance and that's something that we really need think long and hard is that a sustainable business model to protect our privacy and protect our families and protect our kids moving forward what we need to think about is how can we continue with a light touch deregulated approach but one where people have the information they need to know what's being done and whether they consent to it or not and so that's why i think we need to have a really big focus on transparency on privacy on a level playing field across the board so that people understand what's happening and they can make decisions in a way that they're not able to very clearly right now. it isn't obvious that regulators are fast enough to keep up with the tech world they're going to be 5 years behind the game. that's like
a 100 years that's like wrestling with victorian england to know it seems to me that it would be better in many ways if there were multiple competing search engines and if there were multiple facebook's because at least then we'd have a diversity of ethical conundrums instead of this totalitarian conundrum that we have right now my concern at this point is that i don't think a lot of people and government really fully understand the extent of the problem i don't think they really understand what they're up against i mean these are massive massive technological changes and they're all happening in parallel we have no idea what the consequences of that are going to be so my concern fundamentally is that these machines will reflect us ethically and that should be frightening because i wouldn't say that our ethical house is particularly in order so they're going to magnify what we are. that's making the presumption that the thing that we're building will be a good thing and i don't think that it will be
a good thing because it will reflect us if they have this kind of power then democracy is an illusion the free and fair election doesn't exist there have to be in place numerous safeguards to make sure not only that they don't exercise these powers but that they can't exercise these powers the internet blocks to all of us it does not belong to google or facebook i mean we have empirical evidence that google is participating in self-serving bios in a way that directly harms consumers as a society as a democracy any time you have concentration at the levels they are in the information sector it should be concerning because they really are now more powerful than governments they are form of regulator but they are private regulator with no democratic accountability i can't believe in a system in which the power is separate from the people we're talking about in a some pretty arrogant people in my path. and who think of themselves as gods of
sort and who really want to have a complete hold over humanity and these are basically big mind control machines and mind control machines they're really good at controlling minds it's going to be harder and harder to fight them if we don't do so i would say you know as soon as possible though the more rope we give them the sooner we are all hanged. i don't believe our species counts are vive unless we fix this we cannot have a society in which if 2 people wish to communicate the only way that can happen is if it's financed by a 3rd person who wishes to manipulate. the traditional notion of totalitarianism was resting on the premise or the idea that a government would try to achieve total control over your life and they would do it by using the might and muscle of government to do so under compulsion all today we
essentially have a totalitarian force in the world and that is these large tech companies but guess what they didn't use stormtroopers they didn't use the gulag they didn't use the arrest of political prisoners to accomplish it we all opted in to do it ourselves we volunteered for this arrangement and we live in a world today where these tech giants held a level of control and an ability to manipulate us that stalin mao hitler and mussolini could only have dreamed of the power and we're essentially trusting these large tech companies to make the right and good decision for us i for 1 am not prepared to cede that level of power to these individuals. in the meantime is the company's fault. dually church council good
is not doing it according to what i think is the right thing that i have to stand up and say it's not good enough and if i as a humanitarian feel that the next to me is not for the respected and treated in a dignified way then i have to also stand up in this regard so yes we have to do it despite that it is maybe a very long term fight and we are not necessarily winning it all.
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