Amerika

Aiming The Google Nudge

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Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. Meet the new media; same as the old one. I suggested the probability of social media conglomerates joining the SJW convergence and thereby attempting to steer the direction of Amerikan politics to the favored direction in which Cthulhu insists upon swimming. Some days I hate it when I turn out to be absolutely correct in my negativity.

I first opined the following:

Perhaps the terms Google Nudge, Google Auction or even worse; Google Veto need to be added to the lexicon. This new anti-democratic influence on political decision-making is emerging because of a confluence of technology, ideology and material means to effect said dominance. The technology is the internet search engine, the ideology is Progressive Liberaltarianism* and the material means is the obvious wellspring of vast wealth that has been accumulated in Silicon Valley.

So, no, you are not paranoid if you believe that Facebook is just another boring, predictable font of leftist propaganda. It, like every other so-called news outlet, perceives a mission to push political discourse (even) further towards leftist memes. Former contractors for Facebook describe the exercise below.

Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project. This individual says that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users.

Alrighty then, you Alt-Right-Delete Paranoid. How could the good, shiny-happy people at Facebook possibly empower a Google Nudge as described in your previous histrionic screed? I mean Facebook Pinkie-Swears that this is how it works in Zuckerberg’s Magical Kingdom of Equestria.

How does Facebook determine what topics are trending? Trending shows you topics that have recently become popular on Facebook. The topics you see are based on a number of factors including engagement, timeliness, Pages you’ve liked and your location.

It starts with a certain non-political corporate goal. Mark Zuckerberg wanted to dominate the primary news market via the Facebook platform. Again, in and of itself, this isn’t SJW Entryism. Here’s how the corporation described its aims according to Gizmodo.

An estimated 600 million people see a news story on Facebook every week, and the social network’s founder Mark Zuckerberg has been transparent about his goal to monopolize digital news distribution. “When news is as fast as everything else on Facebook, people will naturally read a lot more news,” he said in a Q&A last year, adding that he wants Facebook Instant Articles to be the “primary news experience people have.” This would be accomplished via the trending news subjects of Facebook.

Facebook, however, did not think highly of journalists and treated them like galley slaves.

According to five former members of Facebook’s trending news team—“news curators” as they’re known internally—Zuckerberg & Co. take a downright dim view of the industry and its talent. In interviews with Gizmodo, these former curators described grueling work conditions, humiliating treatment, and a secretive, imperious culture in which they were treated as disposable outsiders.

And yet these were disposable outsiders with considerable power and a politically overdetermined view of what should constitute “trending news”. Here’s how they were left to their own considerable devices.

The trending news section is run by people in their 20s and early 30s, most of whom graduated from Ivy League and private East Coast schools like Columbia University and NYU. They’ve previously worked at outlets like the New York Daily News, Bloomberg, MSNBC, and the Guardian…According to former team members interviewed by Gizmodo, this small group has the power to choose what stories make it onto the trending bar and, more importantly, what news sites each topic links out to. “We choose what’s trending,” said one. “There was no real standard for measuring what qualified as news and what didn’t. It was up to the news curator to decide.”

But there was one black sheep amongst the Ivy League Lefty herd. Gizmodo describes his effective subversion below.

The former curator was so troubled by the omissions that they kept a running log of them at the time; this individual provided the notes to Gizmodo. Among the deep-sixed or suppressed topics on the list: former IRS official Lois Lerner, who was accused by Republicans of inappropriately scrutinizing conservative groups; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; popular conservative news aggregator the Drudge Report; Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL who was murdered in 2013; and former Fox News contributor Steven Crowder. “I believe it had a chilling effect on conservative news,” the former curator said.

None of this surprises. The media consists of trained Cathedral functionaries who function in accordance with their training. Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook may or may not have selected these people for the purpose they served. It really doesn’t matter. Nor does Facebook matter as a platform. It’s not the platform, it’s the individuals that stand on it.

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