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June 21, 2022

Again! Democrat Senators Pressured Google to Censor Search Results for Pregnancy Crisis Centers, to Steer Searchers Towards Abortion Clinics

Using monopoly power to impose a would-be monopoly political position.

Democrats ask Google to "limit the appearance" of anti-abortion clinic results. It would be good if people searching Google for information on abortion were presented with the most relevant and scientifically rigorous information, just as it would be good if Google results didn't tell someone with a leg cramp that he might be dying of some rare disease. But for this to happen, tech company employees would have to be both perfect arbiters of the truth and also able to personally vet heaps and heaps of websites. Since that is impossible, we settle for a system where Google serves up an array of web links and lets individuals take from this content what they will.

This upsets some politicians, who think Google should be serving up only government-approved information. In the latest iteration of this phenomenon, 21 senators have sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai complaining that people who search for information about abortions may be led to websites for crisis pregnancy centers.

...


If Google decided to ban crisis pregnancy center advertisements, that would be one thing. I don't think that would be a good idea, since I think we benefit when tech companies trying to remain relatively apolitical. But as a private company, Google is perfectly free to make that choice.

But whichever choice it makes, it should make it free of political pressure.

In their letter to Google, the senators--including Dianne Feinstein (D--Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I--Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D--Mass.), and Amy Klobuchar (D--Minn.)--give the impression that all crisis pregnancy centers falsely represent themselves as abortion clinics. "We write today regarding disturbing new reports that Google has been directing users who search for abortion services towards anti-abortion 'fake clinics,' also known as 'crisis pregnancy centers' or 'pregnancy resource centers,'" they state.

They call on Google to "limit the appearance of anti-abortion fake clinics or so-called 'crisis pregnancy centers' in Google search results, Google Ads, and on Google maps when users search for 'abortion clinic,' 'abortion pill,' or similar terms." They ask that Google attach disclaimers to crisis pregnancy center websites that appear in search results.

But it's inaccurate to suggest all crisis pregnancy centers are masquerading as abortion clinics. And those that are doing this in a way that runs afoul of the law should be dealt with by the legal system, not by federal lawmakers exerting censorial pressure on a private company.


I just searched National Review for "google feinstein."

No returns.

National Review screams every time Josh Hawley, a Republican, says he wants to modify s.230 to condition immunity on good faith, nonpartisan decisions in moderation and search ranking, but National Review is absolutely silent when Democrats are proven again and again to be using government to use Google as an illegal cut-out for government censorship. The government may not enlist a "private third party" to do acts that it itself is forbidden by the Constitution from committing, but that is what Biden and the Democrat Senators and Congressmen do all day long, and National Review never says anything about it.

But if Cruz or Hawley talk about s.230 reform, or if Governor DeSantis cancels Disney's special tax arrangement based on Disney's announced intention to bring its corporate power to undo the will of the people, National Review screams that Republicans must never, ever use government power to influence the political speech or politically-charged decisionmaking of third party corporations, aka Muh Corporations.

Why?

Well, they absolutely refuse to address this glaring contradiction, no matter how many times they are attacked for it, so it is left for us to speculate, and I speculate as follows: Because Google knows that it has been pressured by Democrats, and has acceded to that pressure for years, and so does not want this topic to be discussed at all.

And because Google is paying off National Review, so National Review obeys Google's orders. Republican pressure on Google to merely remain politically neutral shall be protested as an unconstitutional and actually fascist intrusion of government into the affairs of a "private" corporation, but Democrat pressure on Google will be accepted, ignored, and justified.

If National Review wants to dispel such speculations, they can finally address this long-festering contradiction and its attendant stink of corruption. They can finally explain why it is, somehow, that constant political pressure by Democrat office-holders, who are simultaneously threatening to revoke Google's status as a tolerated (yet illegal) monopoly, to execute the censorship preferences of the Democrat Party are acceptable, but Josh Hawley's and Ted Cruz's (and others') attempts to stop the use of monopoly platforms for propaganda purposes is fascist and unconstitutional.

They could finally explain themselves.

But they won't.

They've had the opportunity to explain this filthy hypocrisy for years and years and haven't done so.

Because they can't.

Because all your suspicions are true, and there's no clean end to this turd.

(Thanks to DaveA. for that end line.)


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posted by Ace at 04:24 PM

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