I kind of can’t believe Facebook has thusfar taken the brunt of the blowback for the internet making everyone suck, when it’s like: isn’t Google worse? Isn’t Facebook just sort of taking dirty money and looking the other way while Google’s flat out being all: we’ll straight up pay you to make people dumber? Whatever drives up ad revenue is A-OK with us, here’s a check.
Technology like YouTube and social media needed to be heavily regulated, but unfortunately for everyone they just so happened to hit at a time when we had a government incapable of regulating anything. God only knows how all this shit’s going to play out, but if it means watching people cry censorship because a ginormous corporation starts making convenient PR decisions, that’ll at least be hilarious when a certain subset of the population bitches about it. Your libertarian ass wanted unchecked corporate power, this is what it looks like. They can now do whatever the fuck they want. It’s almost like we need someone to do something about it, but who? Taxation is theft and all.
Anywho, Google certainly sucks, but have they been flat out intentionally spreading the crazy? Answer: probably. (from the Fake News Times):
“At one point during the 2016 presidential election campaign, I watched a bunch of videos of Donald Trump rallies on YouTube. I was writing an article about his appeal to his voter base and wanted to confirm a few quotations.
Soon I noticed something peculiar. YouTube started to recommend and “autoplay” videos for me that featured white supremacist rants, Holocaust denials and other disturbing content.
Since I was not in the habit of watching extreme right-wing fare on YouTube, I was curious whether this was an exclusively right-wing phenomenon. So I created another YouTube account and started watching videos of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, letting YouTube’s recommender algorithm take me wherever it would.
Before long, I was being directed to videos of a leftish conspiratorial cast, including arguments about the existence of secret government agencies and allegations that the United States government was behind the attacks of Sept. 11. As with the Trump videos, YouTube was recommending content that was more and more extreme than the mainstream political fare I had started with.
Intrigued, I experimented with nonpolitical topics. The same basic pattern emerged. Videos about vegetarianism led to videos about veganism. Videos about jogging led to videos about running ultramarathons.”