by Pamela Geller, Freedom Outpost:
The Wall Street Journal headline is wrong. “Tech Censorship of White Supremacists Draws Criticism From Within Industry,” My colleagues and I have been targeted. Robert Spencer was suspended last night from Paypal. Neither Robert Spencer nor I are “white supremacists.” It is a foul outrage that this crushing of free speech is being framed in these specious terms.
The idea that Google is partnering with smear merchants is blood chilling. No one is safe.
GOOGLE WORKING WITH LIBERAL GROUPS TO SNUFF OUT CONSERVATIVE WEBSITES
THE MOVES BY TECH COMPANIES LIKE CLOUDFLARE HAVE BEEN CHIDED FOR THREATENING FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION ONLINE
By Yoree Koh, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 19, 2017 8:28 a.m. ET
The debate intensified over whether the growing number of tech companies that blocked white supremacists and a neo-Nazi website on the internet have gone too far, as a prominent privacy group questioned the power a few corporations have to censor.
The Chief Executive of Cloudflare Inc., one of several internet companies this week to cut ties with Daily Stormer, effectively preventing the neo-Nazi website from appearing on the web, admitted he set a troubling precedent.
“As [an] internet user, I think it’s pretty dangerous if my moral, political or economic whims play some role in deciding who can and cannot be online,” Matthew Prince, CEO and co-founder of Cloudflare, said in an interview.
Google revealed in a blog post that it is now using machine learning to document “hate crimes and events” in America. They’ve partnered with liberal groups like ProPublica, BuzzFeed News, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to make information about “hate events” easily accessible to journalists. And now, there are troubling signs that this tool could be used to ferret out writers and websites that run afoul of the progressive orthodoxy.
In the announcement, Simon Rogers, data editor of Google News Labs, wrote:
Now, with ProPublica, we are launching a new machine learning tool to help journalists covering hate news leverage this data in their reporting.
The Documenting Hate News Index — built by the Google News Lab, data visualization studio Pitch Interactive and ProPublica — takes a raw feed of Google News articles from the past six months and uses the Google Cloud Natural Language API to create a visual tool to help reporters find news happening across the country. It’s a constantly-updating snapshot of data from this year, one which is valuable as a starting point to reporting on this area of news.
The Documenting Hate project launched in response to the lack of national data on hate crimes. While the FBI is required by law to collect data about hate crimes, the data is incomplete because local jurisdictions aren’t required to report incidents up to the federal government.
All of which underlines the value of the Documenting Hate Project, which is powered by a number of different news organisations and journalists who collect and verify reports of hate crimes and events. Documenting Hate is informed by both reports from members of the public and raw Google News data of stories from across the nation.
On the surface, this looks rather innocuous. It’s presented by Google as an attempt to create a database of hate crimes — information that should be available with a quick Google search, it should be noted. But a quick glance at the list of partners for this project should raise some red flags:
The ProPublica-led coalition includes The Google News Lab, Univision News, the New York Times, WNYC, BuzzFeed News, First Draft, Meedan, New America Media, The Root, Latino USA, The Advocate, 100 Days in Appalachia and Ushahidi. The coalition is also working with civil-rights groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, and schools such as the University of Miami School of Communications.
ProPublica poses as a middle-of-the-road non-profit journalistic operation, but in reality, it’s funded by a stable of uber-liberal donors, including George Soros’s Open Society Foundations and Herb and Marion Sandler, billionaire former mortgage bankers whose Golden West Financial Corp. allegedly targeted subprime borrowers with “pick-a-pay” mortgages that led to toxic assets that were blamed for the collapse of Wachovia. The Southern Poverty Law Center, of course, is infamous for targeting legitimate conservatives groups, branding them as “hate groups” because they refuse to walk in lockstep with the progressive agenda. And it goes with out saying that The New York Times and BuzzFeed News lean left.
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