Tag Archives: political ideology

Blockbuster WSJ Investigation: How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results

Naked Capitalism
by Jerri-Lynn Scofield

Jerri-Lynn Scofield has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.

The WSJ published a comprehensive investigation Friday, How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results, that provides fodder for ongoing or new antitrust investigations of the company,  both in the US, and worldwide:

THE JOURNAL’S FINDINGS undercut one of Google’s core defenses against global regulators worried about how it wields its immense power—that the company doesn’t exert editorial control over what it shows users. Regulators’ areas of concern include anticompetitive practices, political bias and online misinformation.

Permit to me quote from the WSJ’s takedown at length – although I encourage readers, if possible, to read the entire (paywalled)  version, for it contains a wealth of information, as well as lots of cool graphics:

Google’s evolving approach marks a shift from its founding philosophy of “organizing the world’s information,” to one that is far more active in deciding how that information should appear.

More than 100 interviews and the Journal’s own testing of Google’s search results reveal:

• Google made algorithmic changes to its search results that favor big businesses over smaller ones, and in at least one case made changes on behalf of a major advertiser, eBayInc., contrary to its public position that it never takes that type of action. The company also boosts some major websites, such as Amazon.com Inc.and Facebook Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

• Google engineers regularly make behind-the-scenes adjustments to other information the company is increasingly layering on top of its basic search results. These features include auto-complete suggestions, boxes called “knowledge panels” and “featured snippets,” and news results, which aren’t subject to the same company policies limiting what engineers can remove or change.

• Despite publicly denying doing so, Google keeps blacklists to remove certain sites or prevent others from surfacing in certain types of results. These moves are separate from those that block sites as required by U.S. or foreign law, such as those featuring child abuse or with copyright infringement, and from changes designed to demote spam sites, which attempt to game the system to appear higher in results.

More…

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Tony Hendra: Key Observations of a Veteran Satirist (Video)

By James F. Tracy

In this edited video legendary humorist and author Tony Hendra discusses his role in the history of postwar comedy. Hendra is best-known for playing Ian Faith, manager of the mock heavy metal band Spinal Tap. He was also a pioneer in early British political satire, working with Monty Python founding members Graham Chapman and John Cleese, and was the first managing editor of the National Lampoon, America’s pioneer multimedia comedy powerhouse, where he worked alongside Lampoon founders Doug Kenney, Henry Beard and Rob Hoffman. While at Lampoon Hendra produced the Woodstock mockery Lemmings, discovering comedy giants John Belushi, Chevy Chase, and Christopher Guest.

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Israeli-Canadian Thought Police Take Aim…. At Me

Vicious Campaign Targets Tenured Prof. Anthony Hall

Frame Job Uses Anonymous Social Media Post

By Prof. Tony Hall
Editor-In-Chief, American Herald Tribune

(September 22, 2016)

In recent days I discovered that the Canadian branch of the Israeli-US-based Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith is reporting that I am “well known for using academic credentials to deny the Holocaust.” On August 29, Daniel Leons-Marder mirrored the Canadian B’nai Brith report under the title, “Facebook Allows ‘Kill All Jews’ Post on Wall of Canadian Professor.” In an item Leons-Marder claims has been shared 11,000 times, he asserted “B’nai Brith Canada reported the image, which was ruled acceptable [by Facebook] within two hours, when it was alerted to it having been posted on the Facebook page of Canadian Academic Professor Anthony Hall, who is a holocaust denier.”

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Key Observations of a Veteran Satirist

Legendary iconoclast Tony Hendra joins Real Politik to discuss the history of postwar comedy and his role therein. Hendra is best-hendra-photo5known for playing Ian Faith, manager of the mock heavy metal band Spinal Tap. He was also a pioneer in early British political satire, working with Monty Python founding members Graham Chapman and John Cleese, and was the first managing editor of the National Lampoon, America’s pioneer multimedia comedy powerhouse, where he worked alongside Lampoon founders Doug Kenney, Henry Beard and Rob Hoffman. While at Lampoon Hendra produced the Woodstock mockery Lemmings, discovering such figures as John Belushi, Chevy Chase, and Christopher Guest.

Continue reading Key Observations of a Veteran Satirist

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ACADEMIC FREEDOM CONFERENCE II Video Proceedings

Are there Limits to Inquiry?

jamesfetzer.blogspot.com

Should faculty be restrained from or even punished for investigating complex and controversial events of enormous political significance?

Jim Fetzer and Stephen Francis are very pleased to present:

Academic Freedom Conference (Taped Saturday, 27-28 August 2016)

 

 


AFC II: Introduction: James H. Fetzer

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyyz24qJ_Qk]


WHY DOES IT MATTER?

AFC II: Session 1: Francis A. Boyle, Ph.D.,

noted Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois College

of Law, earned his  A.B. in Political Science from Chicago, J.D. from

Harvard Law School and his A.M. and Ph.D. in Political Science

also from Harvard University.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSdbwBStnZM]

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‘Let’s Fight Conspiracy Theories Effectively’

European academics call for statist social-psychological approach to silence public inquiry and dissent

Le Monde, 6 June 2016, p. 29
English translation

The Ministry of Education must test its pedagogical tools against conspiracy culture. The wrong cure might only serve to spread the disease.

conspiracy papers files

Conspiracy theories are on many people’s minds and are the object of all kinds of initiatives, sometimes local, sometimes more ambitious. The French government is among them, evidenced by the collaboration between the Ministry of Education and France Télévisions to produce and diffuse a ‘video-kit’, available to all in the teaching profession (https ://vimeo.com/151519913). They also explore suitable responses to the worrying spread of these ‘theories’ by proposing, here and there, an intellectual defence or critical response. Ultimately, these associations come together to fight against this particular form of contemporary misinformation known as ‘conspiracism’.

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In Defense of Unconventional Thoughts: The Case of Joy Karega

Jim Fetzer
jamesfetzer.blogspot.com


karegaAn article, “Changing Course on Anti-Semitic Remarks”, Inside Higher Education (7 March 2016), reports that Oberlin has altered its stance regarding comments made by Assistant Professor, Joy Karega, on her Facebook page, where she wrote that ISIS was the creation of US and Israeli intelligence and that they were behind the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. 


She also expressed her agreement with Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam that Zionists and Israeli Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks.  “In addition to those falsehoods, Karena shared an image of Jacob Rothschild with the caption, “We own your news, the media, your oil and your government”. Here are the most important paragraphs there from:

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