News of a leaked internal Google report indicating tech companies intend to censor web content as editors and publishers in response to a political resurgence from the right “confirms our worst fear,” said Media Research Center President Brent Bozell.
“Contrary to Google’s public statements and what they have said to us in private discussions, Google is in the censorship business and apparently the lying business as well,” he said.
Bozell is a leader of a coalition of conservative news organizations they say Google, Facebook, Twitter and others have engaged in censorship of conservative speech that has drastically reduced their traffic on social media.
“We’re going to be meeting with our coalition partners immediately and we will announce next moves very soon,” he said.
Breitbart News obtained a copy of the internal Google briefing, which argues that because of factors such as the election of President Trump, the “American tradition” of free speech on the internet is no longer viable.
Titled “The Good Censor,” the 85-page document acknowledges that Google and other tech platforms now “control the majority of online conversations” and have undertaken a “shift towards censorship” in response to unwelcome political events around the world.
Last month, Breitbart published leaked video footage that showed top executives vowing to ensure the rise of Trump and the populist movement is just a “blip” in history.
An official Google source told Breitbart the document is internal research and should not be regarded as an official company position.
The newly leaked internal document describes unfettered free speech on the internet a “utopian narrative” that has been “undermined” by recent political events and “bad behavior” by users.
The briefing contends the tech giants have been forced to mitigate the competing values of “unmediated marketplace of ideas” vs. “well-ordered spaces for safety and civility.”
It distinguishes between the “American tradition,” which
“prioritizes free speech” over “civility” and the “European tradition” favoring “dignity over liberty and civility over freedom.”
The tech platforms, the briefing says, are now moving toward the European tradition, with Google assuming a new role as the guarantor of “civility” as an “editor” and “publisher.”
In testimony before Congress, however, Google, Facebook and Twitter have insisted that are neutral platforms, which make them immune from Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Breitbart noted that while the “Good Censor” memo’s intended audience is unclear, it obviously spent significant time and effort to produce it.
And many of the briefing’s recommendations are now reflected in Google policy of Google, such as the argument that tech companies will have to censor their platforms if they want to “expand globally.”
Google is constructing a censored search engine to gain access to the Chinese market.