Google Launches New Censorship Effort to Crack Down on ‘Toxicity’

Big Tech giant Google is expanding its online censorship as the critical 2024 elections draw near.

The new crackdown is being led by Google’s Jigsaw censorship division.

Jigsaw, originally called Google Ideas, was launched under former CEO Eric Schmidt in 2010.

Schmidt’s idea sought to tackle “issues at the intersection of technology and geopolitics.”

However, the program was later deemed too “open and honest” and was reworked into Jigsaw by Google’s parent company Alphabet.

Google now describes Jigsaw as being a tool for tackling intentionally vague, made-up ideas such as “misinformation,” “hate speech,” and “toxicity.”

The corporation insists that it only weaponizes the information flow to create “a safer internet.”

Jigsaw’s latest weapon in the war on free speech is a new initiative to “identify and mitigate toxicity that frequently reduces participation in online debates.”

The company says it is launching this effort to “protect online spaces from hate and toxicity.”

To meet new censorship standards, Google promises more investment in “moderation” tools.

In a post on Medium, those behind Jigsaw try to suggest their censorship efforts will advance free speech.

They claim that censoring free speech, by excluding those branded as propagators of “toxicity” and “hate,” won’t reduce participation in online “conversation”

Instead, they insist shutting down wrongthink will “enable more voices to participate.”

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Back to the vague terms, however, Google doesn’t elaborate on who or what it means by “more voices.”

Presumably, those “voices” are the ones that make approved statements while those expressing wrongthink will be silenced.

Either way, the post says this is what Jigsaw (via its Perspective API, powered by machine learning) has been doing since 2017.

It’s been adopted by as many as 10,000 entities, publishers, and social platforms and is available in 18 languages.

While explaining the features of its censorship software., Jigsaw boasts:

“Moderators can use Perspective to quickly prioritize and review comments that have been reported and give feedback to commenters who post toxic comments.”

The post continues by revealing that Perspective has expanded in scope “to add bridging attributes, a new suite of tools to recognize qualities like reasoning, curiosity, and personal stories that correlate with more constructive contributions and help keep conversations going among disparate groups.”

And it’s only a first step in what Jigsaw calls a shift that will use “deliberative technology” as a foundation to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI).

The end goal is to provide a kind of “puppeteer input” and subsequent influence.

The post explains:

“Jigsaw will explore how the latest AI technology might enhance and scale these technologies, supporting both conversation participants and community leaders to make sense of and act on the opinions shared.”

The plan is to develop the initiative using three paths.

Google will launch a research agenda aimed at developing the tech in question.

Jigsaw will also team up with Google DeepMind on large-scale conversations by exploring “how sense can be made” of them, according to the post.

Additionally, as far as Google is concerned, democracy in Europe needs to find some “resilience.”

To achieve it, Jigsaw will support “an open call for proposals with Google.org to help scale social impact initiatives promoting democratic resilience in Europe.”

As we’ve seen repeatedly in the past, these vague terms will undoubtedly used to target unwelcome conservative voices by branding them as “toxic.”

Those “toxic” opinions will almost certainly be scrubbed from Google’s search results in the run-up to the November elections.

And if they keep President Joe Biden in the race, the Democrats will need all the help they can get.

READ MORE – Biden Campaign Sends Instructions to Supporters on How to Defend Debate Performance

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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