Google is Teaming up With Chinese Authorities

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A smart phone with the Google search bar, and a Chinese flag in the background. (Photo: Marcio Rodrigo Machado /S3 Studio /Getty Images)
A smart phone with the Google search bar, and a Chinese flag in the background. (Photo: Marcio Rodrigo Machado /S3 Studio /Getty Images)

Google is teaming up with Chinese authorities to help persecute China’s Muslims — it’s historically harmless Uighur population — whom China is treating like mentally-ill terrorists. Over two million Chinese Muslims are currently in secret camps forced to undergo barbaric and inhumane “re-education” that goes against the foundations of their faith and human dignity.

New laws passed by regional authorities in China detail the censorship of China’s Muslims that Google will have to agree to in order to launch new products in China. The laws include suppression of speech, heaving surveillance and policing. We now have the situation where this psychologically violent attack on China’s Muslim population will in effect be facilitated by the most powerful information engine in human history.

It is a move opposed by human rights activists as well as officials inside the Trump administration.

Yet, this is not the first time Google has gone from being an information wonder to an information manipulator.

Earlier this month a leaked Google memo showed Google is also willing to engage in censorship in the United States, ditching freedom of speech for what it believes to be “safety and civility.” The leaked memo, titled “The Good Censor,” was in part informed by ideologue George Soros, who positions himself as challenging what he perceives as rising American fascism. 

In 2017, Europe fined Google $2.7 billion for manipulating search results that favored Google’s services while disadvantaging rivals.

In 2018, Freedom Watch filed a class-action lawsuit against Google and other Silicon Valley giants, including Facebook, Twitter and Apple, over censorship of conservatives. Freedom Watch founder Larry Klayman believes the tech companies collaborate to restrain trade. Klayman is an antitrust lawyer who, at one time, helped crack telecom giant AT&T’s monopoly.

A Media Research Center report also found that Silicon Valley as well has willfully stifled conservative speech. A March 2018 in-depth coverage in Newsweek detailed the “chilling effect” of Silicon Valley’s rampant censorship of conservative voices, deliberately pushing one ideology above another while calling themselves neutral service providers.

In the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, Facebook was questioned for its collaboration with disgraced consulting firm Cambridge Analytica for exposing the data of up to 87 million Facebook users.

With American midterm elections fast approaching, questions have been raised about Google’s search engine manipulation in yielding higher ranking results for one candidate over another. 

Google handles over 60% of internet research in the United States, and over 90% of queries worldwide. That comes to about two trillion searches per year worldwide through a platform where the integrity and authority of the results are trusted. As Google teams up with China to crush nonconformists, it raises the unsettling questions many of us have had about the information gatekeeper.

Author George Gilder describes Google’s behavior as an attack on knowledge. In his latest book Life after Google, Gilder identifies growth of knowledge as learning, which in turn leads to creativity ultimately resulting in technological and economic inventions. Google’s ability to be an objective information curator crucial to this creativity. It is significantly downgraded when political doctrine determines search engine results.

The truth is that we are now facing a reality-altering digital consciousness in which Google decides which information to bring to surface and which to bury. With this comes Google’s ability to shape public opinion, influence election outcomes and serve as a devastating extension of authoritarian states.



Who Has the Widest Censorship Reach in Human History?

The Curse of Silicon Valley’s Community Standards

Two-Million Chinese Muslims Incarcerated in Secret Camps

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Shireen Qudosi

Shireen Qudosi is Clarion Project's National Correspondent.

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