Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of Google’s parent company
Alphabet, says the company will “engineer” specific algorithms
for RT and Sputnik to make their articles less prominent on the
search engine’s news delivery services.
are working on detecting and de-ranking those kinds of sites – it’s
basically RT and Sputnik,” Schmidt said during a Q & A session
at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada on Saturday,
when asked about whether Google facilitates “Russian propaganda.”
appearance begins at 1:07:00 mark, relevant question at 1:33:00
are well of aware of it, and we are trying to engineer the systems to
prevent that [the content being delivered to wide audiences]. But we
don’t want to ban the sites – that’s not how we operate.”
discussion focused on the company’s popular Google News service,
which clusters the news by stories, then ranks the various media
outlets depending on their reach, article length and veracity, and
Google Alerts, which proactively informs subscribers of new
has criticized the proposed move – whose timescale has not been
publicized – as arbitrary and a form of censorship.
to have Google on record as defying all logic and reason: facts
aren’t allowed if they come from RT, ‘because Russia’ – even
if we have Google on Congressional record saying they've found no
manipulation of their platform or policy violations by RT,” Sputnik
and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said in a statement.
the discussion, Schmidt claimed that he was “very strongly not in
favor of censorship,” but said that he has faith in “ranking”
without acknowledging if the system might serve the same function.
Schmidt, who joined Google in 2001, said that the company’s
algorithm was capable of detecting “repetitive, exploitative,
false, and weaponized” info, but did not elaborate on how these
qualities were determined.
Alphabet chief, who has been referred to by Hillary Clinton as a
“longtime friend,” added that the experience of “the last year”
showed that audiences could not be trusted to distinguish fake and
real news for themselves.
started with the default American view that ‘bad’ speech would be
replaced with ‘good’ speech, but the problem found in the last
year is that this may not be true in certain situations, especially
when you have a well-funded opponent who is trying to actively spread
this information,” he told the audience.
advised Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign on digital operations, and
offered the same services to Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2015,
according to several emails from campaign chairman John Podesta’s
private account, published by WikiLeaks last October.
election night 2016, Schmidt was spotted at the Clinton campaign
headquarters with a “staff” badge, according to a photo submitted
America registered under FARA earlier this month, after being
threatened by the US Department of Justice with arrests and
confiscations of property if it failed to comply. The broadcaster is
fighting the order in court.
initiative will have a direct impact on “freedom of speech and
thought” in the US, believes Prof. Dan Kovalik, from the University
of Pittsburgh School of Law.
is a form of censorship, and the idea is to lead readers away from RT
content. And it will have an impact on the discourse in this
country,” Kovalik told RT. “When [you start] censoring anyone,
they are going to censor everyone, and I think everyone in the US
should be appalled by this and very concerned.”
is dancing to the tune of the US government as part of the broader
campaign to demonize Russia, political commentator and TV host Steve
Malzberg told RT.
is all about the fact that Russia is right now the enemy. Russia has
been made the enemy by the left, the Democrats and, by definition,
the media. The media has been nonstop for a year now about ‘evil
Russia.’ Anything associated with the ‘evil Russia’ will incur
the wrath of the government,” Malzberg said. “It is because they
have been called in before Congress and because of this witch hunt
that is going on... They don’t want to risk the wrath of Congress,
and that is the problem.”
America was required to register as a foreign agent. Why have
prominent media outlets and civil liberties groups been largely
silent? Also, making sense of Saudi and Lebanese politics. And that
American footprint in Syria.
with Mark Sleboda, Victor Olevich, and Sameera Khan.