Google is spying

I stumbled upon this a few minutes ago. I know nothing about the site. And, I am sure some will will question motives, politics, etc. But, I found the article interesting…

It is supposedly an intro to the subject, so I assume more facts are coming in future stories…

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Dr. Epstien has a grudge against Google because they detected his web site was infected with malware and they warned users about the malware 8 years ago. He claimed it wasn’t infected and Google harmed his reputation by falsely flagging his site as dangerous (he did finally admit it was infected after a few weeks).

For more details of the incident see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Epstein#Criticism_of_Google

ETA: Looked into the most recent stuff from Epstein, all reliable sources appear to agree that his claim that Google manipulated the 2016 election is pseudoscience. If he disclosed his methods fully and had his paper peer-reviewed, experts would likely have been able to show conclusively where he went wrong.

This quote sums up the situation with his white paper:

Panagiotis Metaxas, a Wellesley College computer science professor, said the paper demonstrated a possibility of “what such an influence could have been if Google was manipulating its electoral search results”, adding "I and other researchers who have been auditing search results for years know that this did not happen.

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In other news, bears are Catholic and the Pope s***s in the woods… Although I might have that mixed up.

There is a lot of scaremongering in the text, but the essence is correct. They are spying and manipulating and most people don’t, can’t or don’t want to understand that. But this has been going on for decades, just look at the US press and the gutter rags in other countries. Advertising? It is all manipulation and, yes, Big Tech has more tools and is in a position to impose more leverage than any sector previously in our history.

One of the bigger problems we have today is the team-Big Tech thinking. People don’t look at these companies as companies, they are brands to be associated with. If someone is a Google or Apple user and somebody else bad-mouths them, they feel personally affronted. They have been personally insulted. They are team Apple/Google/Facebook and they can do no wrong, how dare somebody suggest such a thing.

It is crazy, but people are identifying personally with these brands, and not just Big Tech, you see it everywhere. Look at the rivalry between GM and Ford, or Red Sox and Yankees fans.

On the other hand, people with a grudge, like Mr. Epstein muddy the waters even more. Shoshana Zubhof’s Surveillance Capitalism is interesting, but I found Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction much more elegantly put and from somebody who understands the industry, who worked in the industry.

These companies do need to be desperately investigated and their wings clipped, but all the time you get idiots mouthing off about them being censored, without any real evidence, it isn’t going to help get a clear picture and it will allow the companies to make it look like the are being picked upon.

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I was not aware of that. I have never heard of the guy before.

Media Bias/Fact Check tells me what I need to know. I didn’t click to read the story.

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I don’t want to get WAY off topic, because this website is hostile to anyone with a conservative viewpoint. I’m not going to nutshell past threads and what has happened in the past year here (in case you missed it, I’m sorry). I’ve discussed it several times before, and it will just get this thread deleted.

Left wing members here have made it clear we must shut up or our posts get removed… And, this is now getting off the original topic… I didn’t start this thread to go down that road… But, since you brought it up…

According to THIS site, that site IS biased (#2 at the link below)… It is amazing to see “fact checkers” pointing out bias when most of them are biased…

Amazing that ANY conservative view is “biased” by so many supposed “fact checkers.”

Anyway - as for the original story - I have stated I know nothing of that guy’s history. But, I wouldn’t bank on “Media Bias/Fact Check” being what it proclaims to be…

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This Is more of a general Google privacy comment. I used to have more concern about the privacy issues associated with Google. But when I started listening to TWIT and a myriad of other podcasts, I found a great majority of tech savvy people were extensively using Google services & hardware. I remember when this forum began asking everyone what photo app they used, & the overwhelming answer is google photos.

I use Apple hardware, generally rely on iCloud, use Duck Duck Go as much as possible. I am not on Facebook currently. Yet I find Google Photos more useful than Apple photos. I use Amazon. So my info is out there despite my efforts to be careful.

I’m depriving myself of keeping in touch with all my family & friends on Facebook (most of whom who could not give a lick about all this) & and I wonder why I am fighting this seemingly futile battle.

I’m 61 & worry about all this. Yet my kids who grew up with the Internet & are in their mid 30’s, along with all their friends post nearly everything online, use Google, Amazon, Instagram extensively. These are smart kids with Masters degrees, as are most of their friends.

So I wonder, at my age, why I care so much? Is my concern exaggerated because I listen to all these tech shows? I bring these privacy topics up with my family & friends, and their eyes glaze over.

Most of the world seems to have little interest in the privacy concerns of those who immerse themselves in the tech bubble.

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The problem is, most people just don’t know how all this “stuff” works and they don’t care. They are online and can chat with friends, what more do they need to know?

It is convenient and they just don’t think about how or why it is convenient and provides them with the information they want. “It just works.”

Anybody who actually understands how it works, knows that it doesn’t just work and you are paying a high price for that convenience. The question then becomes, “am I happy to pay that price?”

For me, the answer is a resounding no. Thankfully my wife is naive, when it comes to technology and doesn’t trust anything “on the Internet”, so her Samsung phone is “de-Googled” (by me) and she won’t use any Google, Facebook etc. services and when she is out and about and people take photos of her, she explicitly states that they are not allowed to upload them onto the Internet - that is something that is binding under German law, unless you happen to be in the background of a photo - E.g. street scene and photographing a friend and she happens to wander across the shot in the background.

At home, I have Pihole, which block over 2.5 million tracking and malware domains (including over 2,500 Facebook domains).

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Their new slogan is Do as Much Evil as You Can Get Away With!

@Leo I’d like your thoughts on this thread.

Another post about Google worth watching - this was on tonight…

Now, I know that this will upset so many here because it is on Fox News, and because of that, this post will probably be flagged by some members here… But, it’s worth watching, IMHO…

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Well, I think you hit this nail right on the head

I’m sorry to hear you say this because it means you don’t feel free to politely state your opinions on TWiT community, and it was my understanding that that is what Leo and team started it for!

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No different to Facebook and Oracle openly supporting Trump…

Until we can get rid of open corruption in politics, this situation isn’t going to change.

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Wow. Zero hedge? Really? Do you also believe covid19 is a hoax like they do?

No, I do not. But all these “fact checkers” are subjective on their facts. Even the new Twiter fact checkers are not right on their first fact check on Trump, but they never “correct” themselves after they make a mistake, even if wrong…

That is what I want to illustrate.

That site gives an inside view on these “fact checkers” that I found interesting. That’s why I posted it… Only reason…

I will say your comment got me curious, and I did a little looking at them. It is interesting that all of the sites mentioned by them (Zero Hedge) as being biased have negative reviews of Zero Hedge.

Honestly, I know nothing of zero hedge, I just found their view on these fact checkers interesting. Why? Because, I myself have seen the bias on these supposed “fact checkers” over the years - with my own eyes.

Their opinion is very BIASED many times. Is Zero Hedge biased? I don’t know. Maybe I will look at the rest of their site sometimes, and check out more of it and make up my own mind. But, I sure am NOT going to take the point of view of these media biased fact checking sites that are plainly biased to my own eyes (before I even found that Zero Hedge website page).

You cannot believe anything you read anymore - too many “anonymous sources” that don’t exist. They have been made up 100%. This entire fake Russian collusion thing has proven that. Then the media clap themselves on the back and give themselves Pulitzer Prize awards over it. And, when proven that it was all a lie, it is conveniently ignored. No corrections… No hiding the bias… Just move on and keep doing it…

One day Donald Trump will not be in office, but this “machine” that’s been created to get rid of him will come back to haunt everyone… Everyone who hated Trump so much that they would do anything to get rid of him.

Now, it is almost a joke of mine… But, let’s see if this post remains up or gets flagged by unknown members who won’t debate ideas and just decide to flag posts to get them removed anonymously…

Yes. Past experiences here have proven that several times. Just having a different view gets your posts flagged and deleted.

On a side note - I so wanted to post a thread about Youtube and Big Tech’s removal of that video by the doctors - the video that was mentioned in that Fox News clip I posted above… At the time, I started to post a thread on that topic so many times… I wanted to get opinions here - and many of you probably did not even know anything about it.

What stopped me was past experiences at this site - how it’s NOT very welcome for all views. I learned that the hard way more than once… I almost quit the forum over the unfairness…

And, I’m sorry to keep harping on it on several of my posts. But, things like that Fox story and the removal of that medical video by Big Tech DO deal with the subject of tech, as is proven by all the political talk on the various podcasts Leo does… What is telling was Leo’s past comment (on this forum) on a past thread that essentially was his view - that ANYONE who had a favorable view of Trump was essentially a kook that he would never have on any of his podcasts as a legitimate, normal “guest.”

That is why I like The Tech Guy the most… No real politics being discussed. And, it was a bit disappointing to learn his views once I joined this forum.

In the past - people could just have different views. That’s how it was when I grew up… I actually was a Democrat in my late teens and 20s… Then I started to actually listen to what was going on… You no longer can have a different view in 2020… Not anymore. The left wants to destroy and shut you up, using violence in many cases.

Sad… I get shut up here many times too, just for pointing out my view (and NONE of it has been mean, hateful or belligerent - but that does not matter).

But, I never even wanted to take this thread in this direction… Until that “Media Bias” page came up… How did we even get here…

Google and other big tech companies are “spying” on all of us in that our personal data is the currency they use to provide services, usually free but also sometimes without consent.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the article which provides no real information about its claims so let’s go to the source, Dr. Robert Epstein’s study which has yet to be peer-reviewed.

We have found that between May and November 2016, search results displayed in response to a wide range of election-related search terms were, on average, biased in Mrs. Clinton’s favor in all 10 search-result positions.

This conclusion was reached after doing a study of 95 people (21 undecided), with data from a 25 day period before the election instead of the 7 months of gathered data. You can decide whether that’s an adequate sample size or proper methodology to reach the stated conclusion.

The study also ignored all gmail data because it didn’t correspond to the desired conclusion. Does that sound scientific to you?

And now for some background on Dr. Epstein:

In 2012, Epstein publicly disputed with Google Search over a security warning placed on links to his website. His website, which features mental health screening tests, was blocked for serving malware that could infect visitors to the site. Epstein emailed "Larry Page, Google's chief executive; David Drummond, Google's legal counsel; Epstein's congressman; and journalists from The New York Times , The Washington Post , Wired, and Newsweek . In it, Epstein threatened legal action if the warning concerning his website was not removed, and denied that any problems with his website existed. Several weeks later, Epstein admitted his website had been hacked, but criticized Google for tarnishing his name and not helping him find the infection.

All this to say, whether or not you believe the premise, do your own research please.

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Let’s not confuse “bias” with “truth”.

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