Google the world's largest search engine has gotten into the news business. Deciding which reporting agencies are newsworthy, and which agencies are promoting what they deem as false information.
Through our programs, products and partnerships, Google is one of the world’s largest financial supporters of journalism. Over the past 20 years, we’ve collaborated closely with news partners and provided billions of dollars to support the creation of quality journalism. We launched the Google News Initiative to scale our work with journalists, publishers, and industry leaders to help build a resilient future for news around the globe. Because a more informed world has always been core to Google’s mission.
It would appear that Google has a valid interest in promoting what news agencies can show on its own search. With this kind of power coupled with intent, one could see how easy it is to control what you see when you search. Is it Google search, or is it Google say?
If you watch, read or engage with any mass media information system, you will notice a common theme amongst agencies. Vaccines are safe and effective at combating Covid-19 and its multiple variants. Despite the growing need for boosters, and vaccinated individuals catching Covid, the narrative has not changed. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube as well as other social media entities have declared in one unanimous voice that opposing opinions to the treatment of the virus are disinformation and the consequences of that opposition will be treated with censorship.
If anyone is wondering why the media is so intent on pursuing this common theme, they need look no further than an organization called "Trusted News Initiative." Introduced initially by the BBC the idea was to promote only sources of information that the TNI found to be credible.
While the current narrative circulating in the world today surrounds Covid and the efficacy of vaccines, TNI has inserted its influence in other areas. As Variety reported
In the month leading to polling day, TNI partners will alert each other to disinformation that poses an immediate threat to life or to the integrity of the election so that content can be reviewed promptly by platforms, while publishers ensure they don’t unwittingly republish dangerous falsehoods. The alerts will also flag content that undermines trust in TNI partners by identifying imposter or manipulated content that purport to come from trusted news brands. To achieve this, TNI will deploy verification technology, called Project Origin, led by a coalition of the BBC, CBC/Radio-Canada, Microsoft and The New York Times, wherein a digital watermark is attached to media originating from authentic content creators, and can provide an automated signal warning of manipulated or fake media.
Their influence no doubt lead to the censoring of information crucial to voters regarding the President's son with respect to a laptop that was discovered to have information that would have swayed many voters. The information discovered on the laptop was censored on all social media platforms and those that read it were told the information discovered was "Russian disinformation."
Even with the best intentions, this practice of Google being in the business of journalism is setting a dangerous precedence. When popular opinion, dictates that 2+2 = 4 or even the earth is flat, at what point should a search engine be dictating what people read. Information should be free-flowing. The only information that should possibly have some censorship attached is that which will cause imminent danger. Such as direct threats to cause bodily harm. It is up to the reader to "caveat lector."