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Obama down, Hillary Clinton out – is Angela Merkel next?

For German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has based her entire policy on loyally following the Obama administration’s policy of confrontation with Russia, the prospects of a Trump administration pursuing rapprochement with Russia creates insuperable problems which could end her career.

Alexander Mercouris

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One European leader more than any other will be concerned by Donald Trump’s victory in the US Presidential election: German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel is by some distance the single most powerful leader in the EU.  Presiding over what is by far the EU’s biggest economy, especially since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis she has been the de facto “Queen of Europe”.

Merkel has achieved this position through a combination of genuine political skill and good luck. 

She was the beneficiary of the tough economic reforms imposed on Germany by her far more talented predecessor, Gerhard Schroder, which significantly strengthened the German economy’s competitiveness at the price of permanently alienating a large part of the German working class from Schroder’s SPD party.  The result is that Merkel inherited a strong economy from Schroder, whilst in the SPD she has faced with a seriously weakened rival.

Merkel has however also shown herself a skilled wire-puller and fixer in Germany’s complex domestic politics.  She was once described to me as “power hungry and treacherous”, and in fact German politics is littered with the corpses of political figures who either were or who might have become her rivals – the most prominent amongst them being her former patron, former CDU Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Much of Merkel’s success has been based on very skilled public relations, with Merkel successfully projecting an image of herself as the sensible, thrifty, practical, no-nonsense, but always highly moral German hausfrau – a persona in reality almost totally at variance with the person she actually is, but one which plays well with the more conservative section of German society, which traditionally votes for the CDU.

The ultimate secret of Merkel’s success has however been her practice of always taking the line of least resistance.  She always tries to avoid picking fights she might lose, but makes up for this by bearing down hard on those who are weaker than herself in order to project an image of decisiveness and strength.

In practice that has meant an unwillingness to contemplate any changes in Germany itself, which might upset people in Germany, together with a rejection of any proposals during the euro crisis that might be controversial in Germany, such as for example the introduction of pan-European bonds

This approach has also involved following an exceptionally close alignment with the US.  The latter is important to Merkel since it guarantees for Merkel the support of Germany’s overwhelmingly Atlanticist news media, whose hostility to her predecessor Gerhard Schroder played a by no means insignificant part in his eventual downfall.

In my opinion the consequences of Merkel’s approach to politics is that the benefits of Schroder’s reforms have been slowly frittered away as Germany gradually lapses into stagnation, whilst the euro crisis has been deepened and extended beyond all reason as all possible solutions that might make the eurozone work are ruled out.  This will have bad long term consequences for Germany, where problems are gradually accumulating without being addressed, and has had terrible consequences for southern Europe, especially for countries like Greece, Cyprus, Ireland and Portugal, and undermining support for the EU project as a whole.

However in narrow political terms there is no doubt that Merkel’s approach to politics has been extremely effective, with Merkel’s refusal to challenge strongly held opinions leaving her for long politically unchallenged in Germany and often enjoying approval ratings at stratospheric levels.  The result is that she is now the longest serving democratically elected Chancellor in German history.  Even now, when criticism of her has become more widespread in Germany, the accumulated goodwill she has built up over the course of her long career together with her success in eliminating rivals means that there is no obvious challenger to her.

It is nonetheless the case that over the last two years Merkel’s position has weakened significantly as the problems with her approach to policy have become more apparent.

Her biggest single mistake was her decision in July 2014 to support US demands that the EU impose sectoral sanctions on Russia because of the Ukrainian crisis. 

Merkel’s predecessors – Willi Brandt, Helmut Schmidt, Helmut Kohl and Gerhard Schroder – had pursued a highly successful policy of Ostpolitik, which had involved a close rapprochement with Russia. In the same situation they would have worked hard to contain the Ukrainian crisis by building diplomatic bridges to Russia, by positioning Germany as an honest broker between the US and Russia, and by genuinely seeking a diplomatic settlement to the crisis, which would of necessity have involved formal guarantees of Ukraine’s future neutrality.

Merkel instead committed herself and Germany to backing wholeheartedly a fragile and extremist regime in Kiev, which she is unable to control, placing herself and Germany in unequivocal opposition to a Russia, which she has alienated.

In some respects Merkel’s decision to take this step was unsurprising.  She was under intense pressure from the US and from the Atlanticist lobby in Germany – which includes the German media – to take it.  It is always her practice to take the line of least resistance by do nothing which might be controversial with the strongest body of opinion in Germany.  In the summer of 2014 the strongest body of opinion in Germany appeared to be that of the Atlanticists.

Merkel also almost certainly made her decision on the basis of mistaken assumptions of Russian weakness. 

It seems Merkel was under the misapprehension – apparently fostered by a profoundly mistaken report from the German intelligence agency the BND – that the oligarchs are far more powerful in Russia than they actually are, and that they can either bend Putin to their will or can remove him from power if he doesn’t do what they want.  Like most Western politicians Merkel takes the cynicism and corruption of the Russian businessmen the West calls oligarchs for granted, and treats it as axiomatic that they will always act in their own narrow selfish financial interests rather than from patriotic motives.

Accordingly Merkel seems to have assumed that not only would the Russian economy spiral into crisis if sectoral sanctions were imposed on it, but that the oligarchs would either force Putin to back down and retreat from Ukraine and Crimea, or would remove him from power in order to get the sanctions lifted.

Merkel was not the only person in 2014 to believe these things.  On the contrary they were the common belief of many Western political leaders and officials.  As an extraordinary recent opinion piece in the Financial Times urging the oligarchs to overthrow Putin shows, they remain the belief of some people in the West still.

Needless to say Merkel’s expectations of a coup in Moscow were not fulfilled, and already by the autumn of 2014 – as became all too clear following her meetings with Putin in Milan and Brisbane – she had become aware of her mistake, as she found herself for the first time in her career pitted against an adversary she could neither bully nor intimidate. 

Ever since then Merkel has been locked in a rearguard action, trying to preserve the sanctions – which have become the symbol of her authority across Europe – without having any clear idea of the way forward, in the face of mounting criticism from the business community in Germany, and growing skepticism and hostility in much of the rest of Europe.

There is often a tipping point in a political career after which everything seems to go wrong, and Merkel’s misjudgement over the sanctions looks like being hers. 

The sanctions debacle led directly to her mismanagement of the Greek crisis and the refugee crisis, her mishandling of both crises being attempts by her to restore her reputation and reassert her authority in Europe and Germany as her judgement over the sanctions issue was increasingly been questioned.

In the event her mishandling of both crises – in which she followed her usual line of taking the line of least resistance and bullying the weaker party – has instead caused her judgement to be questioned even more, with widespread anger across southern Europe at the impossibly harsh terms imposed on Greece, and still great anger in eastern Europe and in Germany itself at the way she imposed a refugee policy no-one wanted.

However if Merkel’s problems were already becoming serious before Trump’s election, then the prospect of a Trump Presidency has hugely compounded them.

The key reason Merkel took the approach she did during the Ukrainian crisis, the Greek crisis, and the refugee crisis, is because in each case she deferred to the wishes of the Obama administration, to which in order to safeguard her position in Germany she has cultivated close ties. 

Her reward has been to make her the one European leader known to have Obama’s trust. 

Merkel is also known to have developed close personal relations with Hillary Clinton.  Indeed there are rumours she and Hillary Clinton are personal friends. Hillary Clinton has even praised her as her favourite world leader.

Merkel must now face the nightmare that instead of the Hillary Clinton administration she undoubtedly wanted and expected she now has to deal with President Trump instead. 

If Trump sees through his policy of working towards a rapprochement with Russia then Merkel, who has staked so much of her authority by pursuing a policy of confrontation with Russia, is going to have the rug pulled from under her feet. 

The Russians are already talking about the lifting of the sanctions being a condition for a genuine improvement in relations with a Trump led US.   As if to emphasise the point Russian Economics Minister Alexey Ulyukaev is now saying as much in an interview he has just given to the German newspaper Die Welt.

For Merkel that would be the biggest disaster of all: being forced to lift the sanctions – which she imposed on the EU at the behest of the US and to which her authority is tied – because the US has reversed its policy, is implicitly admitting its previous policy which she supported was wrong, and is insisting that the sanctions be lifted .

Needless to say if Trump goes further still and – as he hinted in the election campaign – recognises Crimea as part of Russia, then Merkel’s entire policy towards Russia over the last two years will be completely discredited and will have publicly failed, making her position both in Germany and Europe completely untenable.

In some ways Merkel’s plight in the aftermath of Trump’s victory reminds me of that of the East German leader Eric Honecker following Gorbachev’s emergence in the 1980s as Soviet President. 

Like Honecker Merkel now finds the unqualified support of her superpower patron upon which she has built her entire career suddenly and unexpectedly in doubt.  Just like Honecker she doesn’t seem to know what to do, and just like Honecker her ritual words of support for the new leader of the patron superpower contain thinly veiled criticisms and lack conviction.

As a highly historically minded former East German citizen who witnessed Honecker’s fall and the fall of the Wall, it is not inconceivable that Merkel is herself conscious of the parallel.

Whether she is or not, for Merkel the stakes now could not be higher.  As she confronts the prospect of a Trump Presidency her future hangs by a thread.

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Final Steps in Syria’s Successful Struggle for Peace and Sovereignty

The war of aggression against Syria is winding up, and this can be observed by the opening of a series of new embassies in Damascus.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The situation in Syria evolves daily and sees two situations very closely linked to each other, with the US withdrawal from Syria and the consequent expansionist ambitions of Erdogan in Syria and the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) takeover in Idlib that frees the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Russian aviation to liberate the de-escalation zone.

Trump has promised to destroy Turkey economically if he attacks the Kurds, reinforcing his claim that Erdogan will not target the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) once the US withdraws from the area. One of the strongest accusations made against Trump’s withdrawal by his opponents is that no Middle Eastern force will ever trust the US again if they abandon the SDF to its fate, that is, to its annihilation at the hands of the Turkish army and its FSA proxies. This, however, is not possible; not so much because of Trump’s economic threats, but because of Damascus and Moscow being strongly opposed to any Turkish military action in the northeast of Syria.

This is a red line drawn by Putin and Assad, and the Turkish president likely understands the consequences of any wrong moves. It is no coincidence that he stated several times that he had no problems with the “Syrians or Syrian-Kurdish brothers”, and repeated that if the area under the SDF were to come under the control of Damascus, Turkey would have no need to intervene in Syria. Trump’s request that Ankara have a buffer zone of 20 kilometers separating the Kurdish and Turkish forces seems to complement the desire of Damascus and Moscow to avoid a clash between the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the SDF.

The only party that seems to be secretly encouraging a clash between the SDF and Turkish forces is Israel, criticizing Ankara and singing the praises of the SDF, in order to try and accentuate the tensions between the two sides, though naturally without success. Israel’s continued raids in Syria, though almost constantly failing due to Syrian air defense, and the divide-and-rule policy used against Turkey and the SDF, show that Tel Aviv is now weakened and mostly irrelevant in the Syrian conflict.

In Idlib, the situation seems to be becoming less complicated and difficult to decipher. Russia, Iran and Syria had asked Erdogan to take control of the province through its “moderate jihadists”, sit down at the negotiating table, and resolve the matter through a diplomatic solution. Exactly the opposite happened. The HTS (formerly al-Nusra/al-Qaeda in Syria) has in recent weeks conquered practically the whole province of Idlib, with numerous forces linked to Turkey (Ahrar al-Sham and Nour al-Din al-Zenki) dissolving and merging into HTS. This development puts even more pressure on Erdogan, who is likely to see his influence in Idlib fade away permanently. Moreover, this evolution represents a unique opportunity for Damascus and Moscow to start operations in Idlib with the genuine justification of combating terrorism. It is a repeat of what happened in other de-escalation areas. Moscow and Damascus have repeatedly requested the moderates be separated from the terrorists, so as to approach the situation with a diplomatic negotiation.

In the absence of an effective division of combatants, all are considered terrorists, with the military option replacing the diplomatic. This remains the only feasible option to free the area from terrorists who are not willing to give back territory to the legitimate government in Damascus and are keeping civilians hostages. The Idlib province seems to have experienced the same playbook applied in other de-escalation zones, this time with a clear contrast between Turkey and Saudi Arabia that shows how the struggle between the two countries is much deeper than it appears. The reasons behind the Khashoggi case and the diplomatic confrontation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia were laid bare in the actions of the HTS in Idlib, which has taken control of all the areas previously held by Ankara’s proxies.

It remains to be seen whether Moscow and Damascus would like to encourage Erdogan to recover Idlib through its proxies, trying to encourage jihadists to fight each other as much as possible in order to lighten the task of the SAA, or whether they would prefer to press the advantage themselves and attack while the terrorist front is experiencing internal confusion.

In terms of occupied territory and accounts to be settled, two areas of great importance for the future of Syria remain unresolved, namely al-Tanf, occupied by US forces on the Syrian-Jordanian border, and the area in the north of Syria occupied by Turkish forces and their FSA proxies. It is too early to approach a solution militarily, it being easier for Damascus and Moscow to complete the work to free Syria from the remaining terrorists. Once this has been done, the presence of US or Turkish forces in Syria, whether directly or indirectly, would become all the more difficult to justify. Driving away the US and, above all, Turkey from Syrian territory will be the natural next step in the Syrian conflict.

This is an unequivocal sign that the war of aggression against Syria is winding up, and this can be observed by the opening of a series of new embassies in Damascus. Several countries — including Italy in the near future — will reopen their embassies in Syria to demonstrate that the war, even if not completely over, is effectively won by Damascus and her allies.

For this reason, several countries that were previously opposed to Damascus, like the United Arab Emirates, are understood to have some kind of contact with the government of Damascus. If they intend to become involved in the reconstruction process and any future investment, they will quite naturally need to re-establish diplomatic relations with Damascus. The Arab League is also looking to welcome Syria back into the fold.

Such are signs that Syria is returning to normality, without forgetting which and how many countries have conspired and acted directly against the Syrians for over seven years. An invitation to the Arab League or some embassy being reopened will not be enough to compensate for the damage done over years, but Assad does not preclude any option, and is in the meantime demonstrating to the Israelis, Saudis and the US Deep State that their war has failed and that even their most loyal allies are resuming diplomatic relations with Damascus, a double whammy against the neocons, Wahhabis and Zionists.

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Google Manipulated YouTube Search Results for Abortion, Maxine Waters, David Hogg

The existence of the blacklist was revealed in an internal Google discussion thread leaked to Breitbart News.

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Via Breitbart


In sworn testimony, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told Congress last month that his company does not “manually intervene” on any particular search result. Yet an internal discussion thread leaked to Breitbart News reveals Google regularly intervenes in search results on its YouTube video platform – including a recent intervention that pushed pro-life videos out of the top ten search results for “abortion.”

The term “abortion” was added to a “blacklist” file for “controversial YouTube queries,” which contains a list of search terms that the company considers sensitive. According to the leak, these include some of these search terms related to: abortion, abortions, the Irish abortion referendum, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and anti-gun activist David Hogg.

The existence of the blacklist was revealed in an internal Google discussion thread leaked to Breitbart News by a source inside the company who wishes to remain anonymous. A partial list of blacklisted terms was also leaked to Breitbart by another Google source.

In the leaked discussion thread, a Google site reliability engineer hinted at the existence of more search blacklists, according to the source.

“We have tons of white- and blacklists that humans manually curate,” said the employee. “Hopefully this isn’t surprising or particularly controversial.”

Others were more concerned about the presence of the blacklist. According to the source, the software engineer who started the discussion called the manipulation of search results related to abortion a “smoking gun.”

The software engineer noted that the change had occurred following an inquiry from a left-wing Slate journalist about the prominence of pro-life videos on YouTube, and that pro-life videos were replaced with pro-abortion videos in the top ten results for the search terms following Google’s manual intervention.

“The Slate writer said she had complained last Friday and then saw different search results before YouTube responded to her on Monday,” wrote the employee. “And lo and behold, the [changelog] was submitted on Friday, December 14 at 3:17 PM.”

The manually downranked items included several videos from Dr. Antony Levatino, a former abortion doctor who is now a pro-life activist. Another video in the top ten featured a woman’s personal story of being pressured to have an abortion, while another featured pro-life conservative Ben Shapiro. The Slate journalist who complained to Google reported that these videos previously featured in the top ten, describing them in her story as “dangerous misinformation.”

Since the Slate journalist’s inquiry and Google’s subsequent intervention, the top search results now feature pro-abortion content from left-wing sources like BuzzFeed, Vice, CNN, and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. In her report, the Slate journalist acknowledged that the search results changed shortly after she contacted Google.

The manual adjustment of search results by a Google-owned platform contradicts a key claim made under oath by Google CEO Sundar Pichai in his congressional testimony earlier this month: that his company does not “manually intervene on any search result.”

A Google employee in the discussion thread drew attention to Pichai’s claim, noting that it “seems like we are pretty eager to cater our search results to the social and political agenda of left-wing journalists.”

One of the posts in the discussion also noted that the blacklist had previously been edited to include the search term “Maxine Waters” after a single Google employee complained the top YouTube search result for Maxine Waters was “very low quality.”

Google’s alleged intervention on behalf of a Democratic congresswoman would be further evidence of the tech giant using its resources to prop up the left. Breitbart News previously reported on leaked emails revealing the company targeted pro-Democrat demographics in its get-out-the-vote efforts in 2016.

According to the source, a software engineer in the thread also noted that “a bunch of terms related to the abortion referendum in Ireland” had been added to the blacklist – another change with potentially dramatic consequences on the national policies of a western democracy.

youtube_controversial_query_blacklist

At least one post in the discussion thread revealed the existence of a file called “youtube_controversial_query_blacklist,” which contains a list of YouTube search terms that Google manually curates. In addition to the terms “abortion,” “abortions,” “Maxine Waters,” and search terms related to the Irish abortion referendum, a Google software engineer noted that the blacklist includes search terms related to terrorist attacks. (the posts specifically mentions that the “Strasbourg terrorist attack” as being on the list).

“If you look at the other entries recently added to the youtube_controversial_query_blacklist(e.g., entries related to the Strasbourg terrorist attack), the addition of abortion seems…out-of-place,” wrote the software engineer, according to the source.

After learning of the existence of the blacklist, Breitbart News obtained a partial screenshot of the full blacklist file from a source within Google. It reveals that the blacklist includes search terms related to both mass shootings and the progressive anti-second amendment activist David Hogg.

This suggests Google has followed the lead of Democrat politicians, who have repeatedly pushed tech companies to censor content related to the Parkland school shooting and the Parkland anti-gun activists. It’s part of a popular new line of thought in the political-media establishment, which views the public as too stupid to question conspiracy theories for themselves.

Here is the partial blacklist leaked to Breitbart:

2117 plane crash Russian

2118 plane crash

2119 an-148

2120 florida shooting conspiracy

2121 florida shooting crisis actors

2122 florida conspiracy

2123 florida false flag shooting

2124 florida false flag

2125 fake florida school shooting

2126 david hogg hoax

2127 david hogg fake

2128 david hogg crisis actor

2129 david hogg forgets lines

2130 david hogg forgets his lines

2131 david hogg cant remember his lines

2132 david hogg actor

2133 david hogg cant remember

2134 david hogg conspiracy

2135 david hogg exposed

2136 david hogg lines

2137 david hogg rehearsing

2120 florida shooting conspiracy

The full internal filepath of the blacklist, according to another source, is:

//depot/google3/googledata/superroot/youtube/youtube_controversial_query_blacklist

Contradictions

Responding to a request for comment, a YouTube spokeswoman said the company wants to promote “authoritative” sources in its search results, but maintained that YouTube is a “platform for free speech” that “allow[s]” both pro-life and pro-abortion content.

YouTube’s full comment:

YouTube is a platform for free speech where anyone can choose to post videos, as long as they follow our Community Guidelines, which prohibit things like inciting violence and pornography. We apply these policies impartially and we allow both pro-life and pro-choice opinions. Over the last year we’ve described how we are working to better surface news sources across our site for news-related searches and topical information. We’ve improved our search and discovery algorithms, built new features that clearly label and prominently surface news sources on our homepage and search pages, and introduced information panels to help give users more authoritative sources where they can fact check information for themselves.

In the case of the “abortion” search results, YouTube’s intervention to insert “authoritative” content resulted in the downranking of pro-life videos and the elevation of pro-abortion ones.

A Google spokesperson took a tougher line than its YouTube subsidiary, stating that “Google has never manipulated or modified the search results or content in any of its products to promote a particular political ideology.”

However, in the leaked discussion thread, a member of Google’s “trust & safety” team, Daniel Aaronson, admitted that the company maintains “huge teams” that work to adjust search results for subjects that are “prone to hyperbolic content, misleading information, and offensive content” – all subjective terms that are frequently used to suppress right-leaning sources.

He also admitted that the interventions weren’t confined to YouTube – they included search results delivered via Google Assistant, Google Home, and in rare cases Google ’s organic search results.

In the thread, Aaronson attempted to explain how search blacklisting worked. He claimed that highly specific searches would generate non-blacklisted results, even controversial ones. But the inclusion of highly specific terms in the YouTube blacklist, like “David Hogg cant remember his lines” – the name of an actual viral video – seems to contradict this.

Aaronson’s full post is copied below:

I work in Trust and Safety and while I have no particular input as to exactly what’s happening for YT I can try to explain why you’d have this kind of list and why people are finding lists like these on Code Search.

When dealing with abuse/controversial content on various mediums you have several levers to deal with problems. Two prominent levers are “Proactive” and “Reactive”:

  • Proactive: Usually refers to some type of algorithm/scalable solution to a general problem
    • E.g.: We don’t allow straight up porn on YouTube so we create a classifier that detects porn and automatically remove or flag for review the videos the porn classifier is most certain of
  • Reactive: Usually refers to a manual fix to something that has been brought to our attention that our proactive solutions don’t/didn’t work on and something that is clearly in the realm of bad enough to warrant a quick targeted solution (determined by pages and pages of policies worked on over many years and many teams to be fair and cover necessary scope)
    • E,g.: A website that used to be a good blog had it’s domain expire and was purchased/repurposed to spam Search results with autogenerated pages full of gibberish text, scraped images, and links to boost traffic to other spammy sites. It is manually actioned for violating policy

These Organic Search policies and the consequences to violating them are public

Manually reacting to things is not very scalable, and is not an ideal solution to most problems, so the proactive lever is really the one we all like to lean on. Ideally, our classifiers/algorithm are good at providing useful and rich results to our users while ignoring things at are not useful or not relevant. But we all know, this isn’t exactly the case all the time (especially on YouTube).

From a user perspective, there are subjects that are prone to hyperbolic content, misleading information, and offensive content. Now, these words are highly subjective and no one denies that. But we can all agree generally, lines exist in many cultures about what is clearly okay vs. what is not okay. E.g. a video of a puppy playing with a toy is probably okay in almost every culture or context, even if it’s not relevant to the query. But a video of someone committing suicide and begging others to follow in his/her footsteps is probably on the other side of the line for many folks.

While my second example is technically relevant to the generic query of “suicide”, that doesn’t mean that this is a very useful or good video to promote on the top of results for that query. So imagine a classifier that says, for any queries on a particular text file, let’s pull videos using signals that we historically understand to be strong indicators of quality (I won’t go into specifics here, but those signals do exist). We’re not manually curating these results, we’re just saying “hey, be extra careful with results for this query because many times really bad stuff can appear and lead to a bad experience for most users”. Ideally the proactive lever did this for us, but in extreme cases where we need to act quickly on something that is so obviously not okay, the reactive/manual approach is sometimes necessary. And also keep in mind, that this is different for every product. The bar for changing classifiers or manual actions on span in organic search is extremely high. However, the bar for things we let our Google Assistant say out loud might be a lot lower. If I search for “Jews run the banks” – I’ll likely find anti-semitic stuff in organic search. As a Jew, I might find some of these results offensive, but they are there for people to research and view, and I understand that this is not a reflection of Google feels about this issue. But if I ask Google assistant “Why do Jews run the banks” we wouldn’t be similarly accepting if it repeated and promoted conspiracy theories that likely pop up in organic search in her smoothing voice.

Whether we agree or not, user perception of our responses, results, and answers of different products and mediums can change. And I think many people are used to the fact that organic search is a place where content should be accessible no matter how offensive it might be, however, the expectation is very different on a Google Home, a Knowledge Panel, or even YouTube.

These lines are very difficult and can be very blurry, we are all well aware of this. So we’ve got huge teams that stay cognizant of these facts when we’re crafting policies considering classifier changes, or reacting with manual actions – these decisions are not made in a vacuum, but admittedly are also not made in a highly public forum like TGIF or IndustryInfo (as you can imagine, decisions/agreement would be hard to get in such a wide list – image if all your CL’s were reviewed by every engineer across Google all the time). I hope that answers some questions and gives a better layer of transparency without going into details about our “Pepsi formula”.

Best,

Daniel

The fact that Google manually curates politically contentious search results fits in with a wider pattern of political activity on the part of the tech giant.

In 2018, Breitbart News exclusively published a leaked video from the company that showed senior management in dismay at Trump’s election victory, and pledging to use the company’s power to make his populist movement a “hiccup” in history.

Breitbart also leaked “The Good Censor,” an internal research document from Google that admits the tech giant is engaged in the censorship of its own products, partly in response to political events.

Another leak revealed that employees within the company, including Google’s current director of Trust and Safety, tried to kick Breitbart News off Google’s market-dominating online ad platforms.

Yet another showed Google engaged in targeted turnout operations aimed to boost voter participation in pro-Democrat demographics in “key states” ahead of the 2016 election. The effort was dubbed a “silent donation” by a top Google employee.

Evidence for Google’s partisan activities is now overwhelming. President Trump has previously warned Google, as well as other Silicon Valley giants, not to engage in censorship or partisan activities. Google continues to defy him.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. You can follow him on TwitterGab.ai and add him on Facebook. Email tips and suggestions to [email protected].

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Are You Suffering From Toxic Masculinity? Know The Warning Signs

Are you or a loved one suffering from toxic masculinity? Know the warning signs so you can seek help.

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Via BabylonBee.com:


More than 40% of men today suffer from it—and their loved ones pay the price.

It’s called “toxic masculinity,” and it’s the latest disease to plague the nation. It can affect every aspect of a toxic man’s life. Worst of all, toxic masculinity is contagious, so if you’re infected, you need to know right away so you can avoid spreading it to your friends and family.

Are you or a loved one suffering from toxic masculinity? Know the warning signs so you can seek help:

  • Even the faintest whisper of facial hair – If you have a mustache, schedule a check-up. If you find a goatee on your face, consider going into the emergency room. If you have a full-grown beard, well, it’s probably too late for you.
  • A belief that men and women are at least a little bit different – Should you be infected with the cancerous idea that men and women are even the slightest bit different from one another, you could have toxic masculinity. If you’re a woman who believes this, then you suffer from an even worse disease called internalized misogyny.
  • Throwing a professional wrestler off a steel cage right through the announcer’s table – Men who suddenly look around and find that they’re tossing a professional wrestler off a steel cage to plummet right through the announcer’s table are at high risk of developing toxic masculinity. If a man in your life is suffering from this symptom, encourage him to stop wrestling in the WWE immediately.
  • Eating meat on occasion – A disease like toxic masculinity can quickly change your diet. If you find yourself leaving your vegan avocado quinoa toast smoothies untouched in favor of wolfing down some bacon-wrapped bacon, you might have toxic masculinity.
  • Holding the door open for a woman once in a while – It looks innocent enough: a woman approaches, and you hold the door so she doesn’t have to open it again. Seems like common courtesy, right? WRONG. It’s one of the first warning signs of toxic masculinity, and you need to do better if you’re going to beat this thing. One way to reduce your toxic masculinity is to slam the door right in a woman’s face and scream, “EQUALITY!!!” through the glass when she glares at you.
  • Yelling stuff about freedom and charging into battle wearing blue face paint – If you find yourself charging into battle against the English wearing blue face paint in the 14th century, you might be beyond medical help. Do all of society a favor and get yourself drawn and quartered so no one else catches this contagious illness.
  • Being a man who doesn’t hate himself – This is the most telling sign. If you’re a biological male and you don’t hate yourself, toxic masculinity is already coursing through your veins. If there’s going to be any hope of recovery, you need to begin hating yourself today.

If you or your man are showing one or more of these symptoms, contact your medical professional today. Get help, before it’s too late.

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