Thursday, October 11, 2018

Google's analysis of the dilemma of free speech vs hate speech

Breitbart just acquired a leaked copy of an internal google doc taking a cold hard look at the problems of free speech, fake news and censorship in the current era. I wrote a tweet storm about it, but also wanted to preserve it here because tweets, once off the TL, cease to exist.

Breitbart acquired an internal google doc discussing the misinformation landscape that the world finds itself in now: … 
I almost wish that Google had put out this document to read in public. It's a well thought out exploration of the challenges faced by all of us in dealing with information dissemination, fake news, censorship and the like. And to my surprise, it (mostly) is willing to point figures backwards at Google and other tech companies for their role in it. (although there are some glaring omissions like the building of the new censored search tool in China). It's not surprising that people inside Google are thinking carefully about these issues, even as they flail around in public. And the analysis is comprehensive without attempting to provide glib solutions

Obviously, since this is a doc generated within Google, the space of solutions is circumscribed to those that have tech as a major player. For e.g the idea of publicly run social media isn't really on the table, or even better ways to decentralize value assignment for news, or alternate models for search that don't require a business model. But with those caveats in mind, the analysis of the problems is reasonable.

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