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Delicieuxz

Employee leaks hundreds of Google documents revealing its search-results manipulation and biases

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Posted · Original PosterOP

A Google employee who had conscientious objections to how Google manipulates its search-engine results handed a cache of documents to Project Veritas, and Project Veritas has published them. Project Veritas does undercover stings against companies it believes have operational biases, and encourages whistlerblowers to hand them information they'll publish.

 

‘Something dark & nefarious’: Google insider leaks docs revealing search engine ‘blacklist’

 

Project Veritas page: Google “Machine Learning Fairness” Whistleblower Goes Public, says: “burden lifted off of my soul”

 

Quote

“I gave the documents to Project Veritas, I had been collecting the documents for over a year. And the reason why I collected these documents was because I saw something dark and nefarious going on with the company and I realized that there were going to not only tamper with the elections, but use that tampering with the elections to essentially overthrow the United States.”

 

In June of 2019, Project Veritas published internal Google documents revealing “algorithmic unfairness.” Vorhies told Project Veritas these were documents that were widely available to full-time Google employees:

 

“These documents were available to every single employee within the company that was full-time. And so as a fulltime employee at the company, I just searched for some keywords and these documents started to pop up. And so once I started finding one document and started finding keywords for other documents and I would enter that in and continue this cycle until I had a treasure trove and archive of documents that clearly spelled out the system, what they’re attempting to do in very clear language.” 

 

Shortly after the report including the “algorithmic unfairness” documents was published, Vorhies received a letter from Google containing several “demands.” Vorhies told Project Veritas that he complied with Google’s demands, which included a request for any internal Google documents he may have personally retained. Vorhies also said he sent those documents to the Department of Justice Antitrust Division.


After having been identified by an anonymous account (which Vorhies believes belongs to a Google employee,) on social media as a “leaker,” Vorhies was approached by law enforcement at his residence in California. According to Vorhies, San Francisco police received a call from Google which prompted a “wellness check.”

 

Vorhies described the incident to Project Veritas:

 

“they got inside the gate, the police, and they started banging on my door… And so the police decided that they were going to call in additional forces. They called in the FBI, they called in the SWAT team. And they called in a bomb squad.”

 

“[T]his is a large way in which [Google tries to] intimidate their employees that go rogue on the company…”

 

Partial video of the incident was provided to Project Veritas. San Francisco police confirmed to Project Veritas that they did receive a “mental health call,” and responded to Vorhies’ address that day.

 

Among the released information is this list of sites that are blacklisted from appearing as Google Now stories.

 

The articles also show that Google ranks sites to favour which ones to show results from in their search results:

1489881870_Googlebias.jpg.ef5d8518fc03295c59f554cf93e0fa82.jpg

 

 

 

At the bottom of the Project Veritas page, there are a bunch of large links to download different categories of the Google documents:

 

Censorship                         Politics
Fake News                          Hiring Practices
Leadership Training          Machine Learning Fairness
Partisanship                       Psychological Research
Everything.zip                    Misc and Video

 

The downloads are hosted by Signiant and an account is required to download them. I don't feel like making one right now, so I haven't yet checked out any of the documents myself.

 

 

On more and more occasions I'm being astonished at how badly skewed Google's search results have gotten. Sometimes it's just about impossible to find something in Google while trying the same search in DuckDuckGo brings up what was wanted as the very first search result.

 

Here's an example from the first article I linked to:

 

Regardless of whatever is thought of that person or another person or website's content, a specific search for a site, a YouTube page, or anything else specific should bring up the exact result that was searched for. That's the purpose of a search-engine and the goal of searching for something. By manipulating the search results to give what Google wants people to see rather than what they were searching for, Google is being less of a search-engine and more of a propaganda outlet.

 

Long time ago I thought that Google was a great search engine. But it's now so skewed and gives such inaccurate results that I find it to be highly shoddy at best. If DuckDuckGo would simply implement some better search features, such as specific start-date / end-date searches, I would completely dump Google and never look back.

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When you blacklist a ton of news sites to push a bias but people don't care

 


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44 minutes ago, OlympicAssEater said:

I smell a lawsuit on that employee. 

Only if they somehow get their identity. But in most countries news reporters are not obligated(and i think they cannot be forced either but im not sure about this) to disclose such information about their sources...

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Project Veritas and RT, lmao


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5 minutes ago, jagdtigger said:

Only if they somehow get their identity. 

I believe they would be protected under the Whistleblowers Act. If the employee were to be fired, they would be allowed to sue Google. 

 

 


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14 minutes ago, ARikozuM said:

 

I believe they would be protected under the Whistleblowers Act. If the employee were to be fired, they would be allowed to sue Google. 

 

 

Whistlerblower act has failed to protect almost every whistleblower so far. 


ƆԀ S₱▓Ɇ▓cs: i7 6ʇɥפᴉƎ00K (4.4ghz), Asus DeLuxe X99A II, GT҉X҉1҉0҉8҉0 Zotac Amp ExTrꍟꎭe),Si6F4Gb D🅾🅼🅸🅽🅰🆃🅾r PlatinUm, EVGA G2 Sǝʌǝᘉ5ᙣᙍᖇᓎᙎᗅᖶt, Phanteks Enthoo Primo, 3TB WD Black, 500gb 850 Evo, H100iGeeTeeX, Windows 10, K70 R̸̢̡̭͍͕̱̭̟̩̀̀̃́̃͒̈́̈́͑̑́̆͘͜ͅG̶̦̬͊́B̸͈̝̖͗̈́, G502, HyperX Cloud 2s, Asus MX34. פN∩SW∀S 960 EVO

Just keeping this here as a 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Just stop using stupid Google. There are bunch of better search engines around. DuckDuckGo, Startpage, Qwant, Lilo, Ecosia. They are more or less a derivative of some other search engine or use those as supplementary resource so you end up finding same shit on them even when people endlessly whine they can't find shit which is a complete and utter lie. Only difference is they make revenue in other ways than selling ppl's data and are not there to push agenda. Like Google is.

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If that blacklist is accurate... Then they are totally being biased with the huge # of blocked sites the have "conservative" or "right" in the name and I only saw 1 that had "liberal" or "left". Google, You have some explaining to do...


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Friendly reminder that Project Veritas has been caught lying and distorting claims on multiple occasions (ACORN, the Washington Post and the like) and shouldn't be trusted.

 

Also, keep in mind that Google as a business is geared toward giving its customers useful information.  If you're looking for details on Islam, for example, Watson should be the last person anyone considers; he's a bigot and lies constantly.  While I do think his channel should rank higher if you're looking for it specifically, I'm not going to gripe much about it being downplayed.

 

And keep in mind that the Google Now cards "blacklist" is about ensuring that the brief news snippets that surface in your feed are reasonably accurate and come from trustworthy sources.  I don't know about you, but I don't want propaganda from Daily Caller or racist screeds from Daily Stormer floating alongside my sports scores and weather.

 

What I think Vorhies, Project Veritas and many others don't want to accept is that the truth isn't fair, and that some outlets are far more likely to spin lies than others.  If Google is interested in presenting facts in its knowledge cards, it has to rule out some sites.

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9 minutes ago, EarthWormJM2 said:

If that blacklist is accurate... Then they are totally being biased with the huge # of blocked sites the have "conservative" or "right" in the name and I only saw 1 that had "liberal" or "left". Google, You have some explaining to do...

Did you check the accuracy of those sites?  Google's goal with Now cards is to present reasonably trustworthy info, not to allow spin and lies in the name of fairness.  It's not like sharing cookies, where "one for you, one for me" is the main rule, and if one side disproportionately pushes false information, that should be reflected in the sites Google considers when presenting facts.

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36 minutes ago, Haaselh0ff said:

Is Project Veritas a trust worthy source? A lot of the content I see from them seems sketchy

Not at all.  It's been repeatedly caught spreading false claims.  It's a right-wing propaganda machine.

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This just in: The sun is hot.


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"Project Veritas" and PJW are the last people who should be talking about bias.

47 minutes ago, Haaselh0ff said:

Is Project Veritas a trust worthy source? A lot of the content I see from them seems sketchy

About as trustworthy as Alex Jones.


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Just a list of my personal scores for some products, in no particular order, with brief comments. I just got the idea to do them so they aren't many for now :)

Don't take these as complete reviews or final truths - they are just my personal impressions on products I may or may not have used, summed up in a couple of sentences and a rough score. All scores take into account the unit's price and time of release, heavily so, therefore don't expect absolute performance to be reflected here.

 

-Lenovo Thinkpad X220 - [8/10]

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A durable and reliable machine that is relatively lightweight, has all the hardware it needs to never feel sluggish and has a great IPS matte screen. Downsides are mostly due to its age, most notably the screen resolution of 1366x768 and usb 2.0 ports.

 

-Apple Macbook (2015) - [Garbage -/10]

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From my perspective, this product has no redeeming factors given its price and the competition. It is underpowered, overpriced, impractical due to its single port and is made redundant even by Apple's own iPad pro line.

 

-OnePlus X - [7/10]

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A good phone for the price. It does everything I (and most people) need without being sluggish and has no particularly bad flaws. The lack of recent software updates and relatively barebones feature kit (most notably the lack of 5GHz wifi, biometric sensors and backlight for the capacitive buttons) prevent it from being exceptional.

 

-Microsoft Surface Book 2 - [Garbage - -/10]

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Overpriced and rushed, offers nothing notable compared to the competition, doesn't come with an adequate charger despite the premium price. Worse than the Macbook for not even offering the small plus sides of having macOS. Buy a Razer Blade if you want high performance in a (relatively) light package.

 

-Intel Core i7 2600/k - [9/10]

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Quite possibly Intel's best product launch ever. It had all the bleeding edge features of the time, it came with a very significant performance improvement over its predecessor and it had a soldered heatspreader, allowing for efficient cooling and great overclocking. Even the "locked" version could be overclocked through the multiplier within (quite reasonable) limits.

 

-Apple iPad Pro - [5/10]

Spoiler

A pretty good product, sunk by its price (plus the extra cost of the physical keyboard and the pencil). Buy it if you don't mind the Apple tax and are looking for a very light office machine with an excellent digitizer. Particularly good for rich students. Bad for cheap tinkerers like myself.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Commodus said:

Did you check the accuracy of those sites?  Google's goal with Now cards is to present reasonably trustworthy info, not to allow spin and lies in the name of fairness.  It's not like sharing cookies, where "one for you, one for me" is the main rule, and if one side disproportionately pushes false information, that should be reflected in the sites Google considers when presenting facts.

Hell no, lol. There were literally hundreds on there. I'm sure there is a lot of BS sites on there given some of the weird names of sites. But there were definitely a few I saw that to my knowledge are legit sites that just happen to be conservative or right leaning. And the fact that I only saw ONE left/liberal site blocked. It seems a bit too skewed. I would have expected to see more then only 1 being blocked or at least tabloids on there... but nope. They also block a lot of religious sites on there too. 

 

Personally, unless it is blatant false information, they should show all of the news from both sides and let the public come up with their own opinion on matters. That's how debates are SUPPOSED to work. Not "google THINKS this isn't correct" so they just aren't going to show it at all. And then to have Google tell me what news sources are trustworthy and which ones are not without even presenting the information to me in the first place is wrong. Put a disclaimer on the result or something. If I type in Trump war on video games, I wanna see ALL searches related to it so I can see MULTIPLE sides of a story. That's the whole point of a search engine.

 

Edit** I'm not supporting one side or the other, just going off how I am being presented with this information. If it all turns out to be false, I'll retract my statement.


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Thread lock incoming in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1......

 

Seriously though, this is way to political to survive.


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8 minutes ago, EarthWormJM2 said:

Hell no, lol. There were literally hundreds on there. I'm sure there is a lot of BS sites on there given some of the weird names of sites. But there were definitely a few I saw that to my knowledge are legit sites that just happen to be conservative or right leaning. And the fact that I only saw ONE left/liberal site blocked. It seems a bit too skewed. I would have expected to see more then only 1 being blocked or at least tabloids on there... but nope. They also block a lot of religious sites on there too. 

 

Personally, unless it is blatant false information, they should show all of the news from both sides and let the public come up with their own opinion on matters. That's how debates are SUPPOSED to work. Not "google THINKS this isn't correct" so they just aren't going to show it at all. And then to have Google tell me what news sources are trustworthy and which ones are not without even presenting the information to me in the first place is wrong. Put a disclaimer on the result or something. If I type in Trump war on video games, I wanna see ALL searches related to it so I can see MULTIPLE sides of a story. That's the whole point of a search engine.

 

Edit** I'm not supporting one side or the other, just going off how I am being presented with this information. If it all turns out to be false, I'll retract my statement.

The simple fact is this, all media outlets are biased against something, it goes with the territory. What you're describing is called scientific method and it doesn't exist anywhere where money is exchanged for information and status is valued more than reputation.

 

The left is biased of the right, the right is biased of everything and the centre is biased of everything the others agree with.

 

Who one chooses to believe is based solely on one's own morality.


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16 minutes ago, EarthWormJM2 said:

Hell no, lol. There were literally hundreds on there. I'm sure there is a lot of BS sites on there given some of the weird names of sites. But there were definitely a few I saw that to my knowledge are legit sites that just happen to be conservative or right leaning. And the fact that I only saw ONE left/liberal site blocked. It seems a bit too skewed. I would have expected to see more then only 1 being blocked or at least tabloids on there... but nope. They also block a lot of religious sites on there too. 

 

Personally, unless it is blatant false information, they should show all of the news from both sides and let the public come up with their own opinion on matters. That's how debates are SUPPOSED to work. Not "google THINKS this isn't correct" so they just aren't going to show it at all. And then to have Google tell me what news sources are trustworthy and which ones are not without even presenting the information to me in the first place is wrong. Put a disclaimer on the result or something. If I type in Trump war on video games, I wanna see ALL searches related to it so I can see MULTIPLE sides of a story. That's the whole point of a search engine.

Keep in mind that a hyperpartisan piece isn't really news, either, even if it's not overtly lying.  It may rely heavily on opinion over facts; it may selectively omit 'inconvenient' facts (Fox News does this often); it may creatively reinterpret facts to come to a false conclusion.

 

And like I said earlier, the truth isn't fair.  "Both sides" is valid in political debates, where policy is a matter of opinion.  It's not valid when you're discussing whether or not something actually happened.  A disproportionately large number of conservatives are climate science deniers, for example -- they may be very vocal about it, but that doesn't change that their claims are unsupported by evidence and should be ignored.  Google has a certain responsibility as a business to present true information first and foremost.

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1 minute ago, Master Disaster said:

The simple fact is this, all media outlets are biased against something, it goes with the territory. What you're describing is called scientific method and it doesn't exist anywhere where money is exchanged for information and status is valued more than reputation.

Oh I know. But if people want to talk in facts and how things SHOULD be, then what I described is how they should be for a fair and open media outlet. I know in this world that will never happen because most people are greedy, selfish, and not open to other peoples opinions. Whatever gets them (google) ahead they will do. But if they want to claim they are being fair or say they are presenting us with all the results or information, then they need to actually do that. I shouldn't have to dig or use other search engines to find a differing opinion then what the top 10, 20, or even 50 results all show.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
32 minutes ago, Commodus said:

Not at all.  It's been repeatedly caught spreading false claims.  It's a right-wing propaganda machine.

Project Veritas is partisan and they have been caught trying to set companies up to fall for stings. However, they also have exposed a lot of incontrovertible truth with their undercover videos including corruption in the DNC campaign which led to the firing of a campaign manager, undercover footage of Twitter engineers saying that Twitter has teams of people who read private DMs, and undercover footage of NYT managers confirming that they skew the presentation of their news to work against Trump.

 

43 minutes ago, Commodus said:

Also, keep in mind that Google as a business is geared toward giving its customers useful information.  If you're looking for details on Islam, for example, Watson should be the last person anyone considers

But the search term in the example given is not Islam, and is instead Paul Joseph Watson's YouTube page. To not give the result for his YouTube page when it is specifically searched for is an example of Google not delivering useful information.

 

43 minutes ago, Commodus said:

What I think Vorhies, Project Veritas and many others don't want to accept is that the truth isn't fair, and that some outlets are far more likely to spin lies than others.  If Google is interested in presenting facts in its knowledge cards, it has to rule out some sites.

That is fine for a news service. However, it isn't for search results. When people search for something, they could have any reason for why they're looking for what they're looking for and shouldn't be preached a narrative. They should just be given the accurate result for their search. And a lot of searches have nothing to do with fact versus fiction.

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"Google is actively censoring news and content! How evil! I don't understand the first amendment but surely this goes against it!"

 

*Google removes bias*

 

"Google is putting white supremacist hate articles and disinformation campaigns at the top of their search results! What values does this company hope to instill in its users?!"

 

Y'all can't have your cake and eat it too.


hating popular things as a personality trait is infinitely more cringe than liking things unapologetically

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1 minute ago, EarthWormJM2 said:

Oh I know. But if people want to talk in facts and how things SHOULD be, then what I described is how they should be for a fair and open media outlet. I know in this world that will never happen because most people are greedy, selfish, and not open to other peoples opinions. Whatever gets them (google) ahead they will do. But if they want to claim they are being fair or say they are presenting us with all the results or information, then they need to actually do that. I shouldn't have to dig or use other search engines to find a differing opinion then what the top 10, 20, or even 50 results all show.

Not that I'm defending Google, I assure you I'm not but I don't think they ever claimed their search results were fair. They have a very lengthy end user license agreement that basically says they can show you whatever results they want.


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2 minutes ago, steelo said:

This is not news, anybody with 2 working brain cells knows google manipulates search results. What's more alarming is most people are too ignorant to care about the implications.

It's not that, it's moreso people know the implications but couldn't give a shit about it because it benefits them, their ego, their views, etc. A lot more people here think it's funny for things to only go their way rather than things not go their way.

Frankly, it's why fanboyism is rampant on this forum with more well-known members.


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