Back in November, The New York Times reported that in a memo to his staff, Google CEO Sundar Pichai criticized a Black Friday 2018 YouTube campaign, which was published in response to Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data scandal, that directed voters to the wrong Facebook page in order to “get them to participate” in the campaign. The pamphlet also incited “agony” in White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who tweeted at the time that the users of Google search were “willing to do or say anything so long as the end result is clickbait and attention.”
Twenty-four hours after that was reported, on Nov. 29, Google finally acted to right its faux pas: its press release held a “viewer advisory” that seemed to make light of the entire thing. “Access to services, answers to questions and information from your favorite YouTube personalities may be more limited today as YouTube has taken steps to protect our users. This includes closely monitoring webpages to help us detect and remove any Web sites that may be attempting to take advantage of the traffic through automation techniques or by posting fake information.”
But soon, the official line changed. Google reportedly changed its mind about getting more involved and implemented a blocking mechanism that took the maneuver off of YouTube altogether — but only when the company realized that it “could harm this democratic debate,” according to the Times.
From then on, it’s been like deja vu for conservative viewers of Google search. Especially since we’re writing this at 12:05 a.m. ET Thursday, they seem pretty inclined to support these falsities. Search engine is wrong about ad blockers and boosting Trump. via — Chris Powell () March 21, 2018
No longer commenting on the seriousness of concerns about the digital advertising market. via — Joanna Borek () March 21, 2018
And since you can’t get a good product review in Google News if you need to understand the meaning of the company’s own word rules, we suggest you take a look at what the CEO wrote back in October — on the same day they decided to stop playing along. “We want our products to perform really well for everyone — the media, the users, the advertisers, the publishers, the publishers’ audiences, and our own employees,” Pichai said at the time. “Sometimes we make mistakes, but we’re always striving to do better.”
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