Ex Google insider confirms YouTube skews search results in response to left-wing pressure
August 1, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A former Google employee who shed light on multiple aspects of the internet giant’s liberal leanings is speaking out again, this time confirming a recent report about manually suppressing search topics at the apparent behest of left-wing media personalities.
This week, Breitbart reported that an anonymous whistleblower within Google alleged that the company added “Federal Reserve” to its YouTube blacklist file, ensuring that searches for the topic return videos from mainstream media sources rather than videos with a more critical perspective. The alleged addition apparently came soon after MSNBC host Chris Hayes complained that he found YouTube searches on the topic to be “informationally toxic.”
Originally leaked in January, the blacklist file also included the term “abortion,” apparently in response to complaints by another left-wing media figure, Slate’s April Glaser, complaining that YouTube searches on the procedure returned commentary from conservative pundit Ben Shapiro and informational videos by former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino.
On Wednesday, former Google software engineer Mike Wacker tweeted that “Federal Reserve” had indeed been added to the blacklist file, one day after Hayes’ complaint:
Also, since I didn't cover it in the Medium post, the blacklist entries related to the Federal Reserve were added on Sep 7, 2018, a day after @chrislhayes sent his tweets complaining about YouTube search results for that topic:https://t.co/9qsBFLJVuc— Mike Wacker (@m_wacker) July 31, 2019
LifeSiteNews has previously covered Wacker for sharing various alarming details about Google’s internal biases, such as communications in which a manager is quoted as justifying Google’s crackdown on so-called “hate” specifically “because that’s how Trump won the election,” the company’s labeling of YouTube videos espousing a Christian view of sin and homosexuality as “homophobic,” and “diversity training” materials that declare gender a social construct. Google eventually fired him for speaking out.
Google responded to Breitbart by acknowledging that its algorithms are “designed to surface authoritative content,” but claiming that this content covers “all political viewpoints” and that it seeks only to weed out “spam and conspiracy theories” from top results. But the statement did not address the apparent timing of changes to satisfy complaints by liberal media figures.
Further, the revelations further contradict Google vice president for government affairs and public policy Karan Bhatia’s insistence before Congress last month that “we don’t use blacklists, whitelists to influence our search results.”
The YouTube blacklist file is just one aspect of the ongoing controversy over political bias and censorship across the internet giant’s platforms and services.
Conservative pundit Dennis Prager recently testified before Congress about Google placing dozens of his PragerU educational videos on YouTube under age restrictions meant to filter out violence and porn. The veterans charity Mighty Oaks Foundation recently saw YouTube reject one of their ads on the grounds that “Christian” was an “unacceptable” keyword.