Free Speech

President Trump Says "Google Search Results" are "RIGGED," "a Very Serious Situation" That "Will Be Addressed"

But would the First Amendment allow Congress to regulate search results?

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

President Trump Tweeted this morning:

Google search results for "Trump News" shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal? 96% of….

….results on "Trump News" are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous. Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!

Rebecca Morin (Politico) adds:

[White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow] was asked Tuesday during a brief exchange with reporters whether the Trump administration feels that "there needs to be some form of regulation for Google."

"We'll let you know. We're taking a look at it," Kudlow replied as he walked back into the White House after a TV interview with Fox News.

In 2012, Google commissioned me to co-write a White Paper arguing for First Amendment protection for search engine results; naturally, I spoke there as a lawyer for Google and not as an impartial academic, but I hope our readers would find its arguments interesting in any event. Here is the Introduction, though of course it isn't intended to be persuasive on its own — the supporting arguments are in the rest of the paper:

Once, the leading sources to which people turned for useful information were newspapers, guidebooks, and encyclopedias. Today, these sources also include search engine results, which people use (along with other sources) to learn about news, local institutions, products, services, and many other matters. Then and now, the First Amendment has protected all these forms of speech from government attempts to regulate what they present or how they present it. And this First Amendment protection has applied even when the regulations were motivated by a concern about what some people see as "fairness."

Google, Microsoft's Bing, Yahoo! Search, and other search engines are speakers. First, they sometimes convey information that the search engine company has itself prepared or compiled (such as information about places appearing in Google Places). Second, they direct users to material created by others, by referencing the titles of Web pages that the search engines judge to be most responsive to the query, coupled with short excerpts from each page. Such reporting about others' speech is itself constitutionally protected speech.

Third, and most valuably, search engines select and sort the results in a way that is aimed at giving users what the search engine companies see as the most helpful and useful information. (That is how each search engine company tries to keep users coming back to it rather than to its competitors.) This selection and sorting is a mix of science and art: It uses sophisticated computerized algorithms, but those algorithms themselves inherently incorporate the search engine company engineers' judgments about what material users are most likely to find responsive to their queries.

In this respect, each search engine's editorial judgment is much like many other familiar editorial judgments:

  • newspapers' daily judgments about which wire service stories to run, and whether they are to go "above the fold";
  • newspapers' periodic judgments about which op-ed columnists, lifestyle columnists, business columnists, or consumer product columnists are worth carrying regularly, and where their columns are to be placed;
  • guidebooks' judgments about which local attractions, museums, stores, and restaurants to mention, and how prominently to mention them;
  • the judgment of sites such as DrudgeReport.com about which stories to link to, and in what order to list them.

All these speakers must decide: Out of the thousands of possible items that could be included, which to include, and how to arrange those that are included? Such editorial judgments may differ in certain ways: For example, a newspaper also includes the materials that its editors have selected and arranged, while the speech of DrudgeReport.com or a search engine consists almost entirely of the selected and arranged links to others' material. But the judgments are all, at their core, editorial judgments about what users are likely to find interesting and valuable. And all these exercises of editorial judgment are fully protected by the First Amendment.

That is so even when a newspaper simply makes the judgment to cover some particular subject matter: For instance, when many newspapers published TV listings, they were free to choose to do so without regard to whether this choice undermined the market for TV Guide. Likewise, search engines are free to include and highlight their own listings of (for example) local review pages even though Yelp might prefer that the search engines instead rank Yelp's information higher. And this First Amendment protection is even more clearly present when a speaker, such as Google, makes not just the one include-or-not editorial judgment, but rather many judgments about how to design the algorithms that produce and rank search results that — in Google's opinion — are likely to be most useful to users.

Of course, search engines produce and deliver their speech through a different technology than that traditionally used for newspapers and books. The information has become much easier for readers to access, much more customized to the user's interests, and much easier for readers to act on. The speech is thus now even more valuable to customers than it was before. But the freedom to distribute, select, and arrange such speech remains the same.

We will discuss this in detail below, both as to the First Amendment generally (Part III) and as to the intersection of First Amendment law and antitrust law (Part IV). We focus in this submission on Google search results for which no payment has been made to Google, because they have been the subject of recent debates; we do not discuss, for instance, the ads that Google often displays at the top or on the right-hand side of the search results page.

You can also have a look at Zhang v. Baudi.com, a 2014 federal district court case that offers a similar analysis, and that, I'm pleased to say, cites our paper.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

231 responses to “President Trump Says "Google Search Results" are "RIGGED," "a Very Serious Situation" That "Will Be Addressed"

  1. Of course a statute censoring the Internet would be unconstitutional.

    But pressuring social-media companies through public hearings, behind-the-scenes pressure, “nice company you got there” reminders from people with the power to regulate…

    1. It’s what governments do. Few people who want government to do their thing recognize that that same government may soon do the same thing to them.

      1. It is true that what goes around comes around, and that if you don’t stand up for everyone’s rights, no one should be surprised when your own rights get trampled on with big black boots. But clearly there are certain lines that must not be crossed, especially when dealing with “speech” that nobody wants. We can all agree, for example, that inappropriately deadpan Gmail “parodies” sent out it the “name” of a distinguished academic department chairman are a crime punishable by jail, because of the severe threat they pose to dignity, reputation, and public order through confusion and interdepartmental mayhem. We cannot have such “speech” going around the Internet, and for the same reason, we cannot have fake news or rigged searches harmful to the reputation of our national leader. See the documentation of our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

        https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

        1. Keep spamming this nonsense, I’m sure it will change everybody’s mind eventually.

          1. Surely you wouldn’t dare to defend the “First Amendment dissent” of a single, isolated, so-called judge in America’s leading criminal “parody” case? Any mention of that unpresidented “opinion,” along with any commentary on the tragic passing of the distinguished member of the bench who wrote Albany’s majority decision in the case, should be banned from law books and from the libraries of this great nation.

    2. “Of course a statute censoring the Internet would be unconstitutional.”

      Not so. Post a few child porn images on your webpage and try a Constitutional defense.

      1. Limits apply to freedoms. Freedom does have expected restraint. You mentioned a common limit. This has nothing to do with the Google algorithm associated with rankings. Google has a patent (vis-a-vis Larry Page) on their algorithm for non-advertised searches. Its the advertised searches that needs security defintion. Cyber attacks and conspiracy theorists can be detrimental to elections.

        Altering their patented process will put Google’s patent rights at risk. Perhaps, Google shouldn’t have a patent on an algorithmic model. I’ve heard that debate. Google would take it to the U.S. courts. They’ve been there before.

        Is the Google search engine comparable to child pornography? Ah, no. Bringing up the obvious as to suggest Trump’s Google claim is analogous is head shaking.

        1. “Altering their patented process will put Google’s patent rights at risk”

          That’s silly.
          A patent, once issued, remains good until expiration. Making changes to your patented process doesn’t invalidate the patent.

        2. “Is the Google search engine comparable to child pornography? Ah, no.”

          Did someone say the Google search engine is comparable to child pornography? Ah, no.

      2. There already are child porn images on webpages — presumably Google eliminates them from its searches.

    3. Considering Eugene himself argued in a couple of recent cases that cake design was not an expressive activity (which the SCOTUS didn’t reject but didn’t buy) and that there was no first amendment implications to be forced to subsidize someone else’s political speech (which the SCOTUS did reject), I would say that the 1A implications of regulation of search results would turn on how the law was structured.

      A law designed as an extension to Sherman would, I think, pass muster, as long as it only regulated monopolies, and monopolistic practices (industry collusion), especially when properly balanced against the need for an open and free marketplace of ideas. Alternately, just as the FCC is able to regulate airwaves to prevent over saturation by a single company, the government could very well just force Google and the like to either break up or force interoperability.

      The problem with the Internet is that it lends itself to monopolies. It’s as if we lived in a city where all the streets, sidewalks and parks are privately held. And speech rights are meaningless when you have no venue to express them. 1A was not intended to protect only speech in the privacy of your own home. (Yes, I know many seem to believe 1A only protects free exercise in the sanctity of your own home, but fortunately speech rights have never been read that restrictively.)

      1. “The problem with the Internet is that it lends itself to monopolies.”

        The Internet is exactly the opposite. It detects, and routes around, bottlenecks. This is why the biggest problem the Internet has created is… disruption of monopoly, as with copyright. Right now, that’s at risk because of the extremely palette of choices for broadband access.

      2. “And speech rights are meaningless when you have no venue to express them.”

        The Internet is the greatest equalizer in ability to express views to more people in human history. The Sherman Antitrust Act already applies to the Internet. So what exactly are you proposing?

        “… just as the FCC is able to regulate airwaves…”

        That’s because when two radio waves meet, they fight each other. The Internet isn’t like that. My commenting in this thread doesn’t affect sub-reddits, or 4chan, or WaPo.

  2. On the one hand, Ron Wyden threatens businesses publicly too.

    On the other hand, that shouldn’t be normalized.

    On the third hand, Trump does not seem to have the actual power to follow through on his clumsy prediction-not-a-threat.

    1. Point taken, Bob.
      I look forwards to the next time you bring up Hillary in a Trump thread!

      But by your own token, we should move on to how Trump should knock it off, no?

      Plus, he does have the actual power – see Larry Kudlow’s quote above.

      1. No, he does not have the “actual power”. There is no law that permits regulation of search engines.

        Kudlow is just stalling until Trump moves on to the next thing.

        But yes, Trump should knock it off.

        1. I don’t much like how our President’s staff has to take advantage of his low attention span to distract and manage him to keep him from doing a tyrant. But those judges cover literally all sins, eh?

          But I do find your Kudlow hypothesis pretty likely. Though you never know – it’s not like Google is free from regulations; if Trump really wants to cause trouble for them he can (and pay a political price).

          1. Google has been dealing with China for a couple of decades now, and the EU has a few regulations to swat at them with. What, exactly, is Mr. T going to do to get their attention?

            1. “Google has been dealing with China for a couple of decades now,”

              And of late has been capitulating to their demands for censorship to a degree that “disturbing” doesn’t begin to capture.

              1. Yes. China forced Google to make huge changes to their intended business plan. And compared to that, Trump is going to do… what, exactly?

                1. Suppose China forced Google to modify their US search engine for a particular purpose by threatening to strip Google of its presence in China. May the US then regulate Google’s search engine? Or may the US require Google to disclose the modifications? Or may Mr. Mueller charge Google with failure to register as a foreign agent?

                  Google is probably not against federal regulation of search engines. I’m confident that any and all legislation/regs will only help Google and expand its share of the market.

                  Generally against government intervention here, and believe the problem is a farce–much like the farcical chargers Bob Mueller brought with no intention of prosecuting against Russian tweeters. But let’s pretend google’s search engine threatens liberty, then correct it by restricting everyone’s liberty. Use duckduckgo.

                  1. The way to “correct” Google is to amend the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to prevent them [and Microsoft and others] from co-operating with foreign [Chinese] censorship.

                    That will advance liberty.

                    1. Because suddenly China will stop regulating Google if it doesn’t cooperate? No, they’ll just ban it entirely.

                    2. I think there’s a lot to be read in Bob’s bequoted “correct.”

                    3. Intended the term “correct” in reference to Google’s search engine supposedly threatening liberty. If/when Google decides to boost preferred speech and bury disfavored speech in its search results, then other search engines should try to engage the abandoned portion of the search engine market. I am confident that laws already on the books may suffice to stifle Google collusion with foreign entities/states. DOJ is unlikely to ever prosecute companies bending to Chinese demands because the federal gov’t engages in similar private-public collusion.

      2. Kudlow is not an authority. I’m amazed that he doesn’t know that the Google algorithm is mathematically complex, makes sense and is patented (from ’98 with the newest patent I’m 2014). By attempting to force Google to throw their patented process out and reinvent another process brings up two issues. One is the needed time to include test runs on a new model once a new model has been built. Second, this Kudlow assertion places the US patent process on it’s heals. Does the office restrict patent approval on additional grounds that are now politically applied?

        I have to remind myself that our Chief Economic Advisor only has a bachelor’s degree with an economics major. He has no peer-reviewed research background. Even more tenable, Kudlow should have at least the equivalent knowledge of a single undergraduate course in Economics and Law with a module on internet commerce. Apparently, he doesn’t.

        Trump has asserted his power only to have it tossed out in the courts many times before with few wins. This one begs to be thrown out. All Google needs to do is challenge it. Does Google appear to have a monopoly? Yes. That’s not illegal. The question is ‘does the search engine limit competition and, therefore, secure Google’s monopoly’? This issue can’t be argued using good jurisprudence reasoning when addressing this issue.

        Trump needs a new Chief Economic Advisor.

        1. Kudlow is not an authority.

          He is also a loud-mouthed idiot.

          1. Loud-mouth and idiocy were his primary qualifications for his current job, An utter lack of backbone was a mandatory.

        2. He is putting off a petulant boss by “reviewing” something with no intent to do anything.

          Royal advisors have been doing this since government first emerged.

  3. Trump has two kinds of power. The first is the official and statutory kind, which is what the Volokh analysts so able dissect. The second is the bully pulpit kind in which a fellow who has learned the propaganda game in a world where a lot of the media owners actually hate him (and have for a long time) manages to get his point across and change the world.

    1. On further reflection, this president isn’t doing too badly wielding both types of brute force, considering how seemingly tsunami-like and enraged the opposition has been. Perhaps that is their weakness. . .

      1. Americans will have a chance to test that theory in November.

    2. It’s shocking that the President can still get his message out to the world at all despite the vast left-wing conspiracy to only publish fake news about the President. It’s especially unfair, since he’s such an honest person. I’m glad to hear that our President is going to do something about it, and solve this like all the other times he’s promised to do something.

      1. You seem very sincere. I hope you’re right!

  4. Google searches aren’t rigged? Google “American Inventers” or “Historical European People” then do an image search. There are plenty more as well.

    1. That was pretty impressive; Hardly a Caucasian face to be found until you scrolled down to the point where a large fraction of the results weren’t at all relevant. In a country where most inventors are white, you have to specify “white” to not get black?

      1. Google is not a sentient entity; the search results you get come from a text matching method and does not attempt to match intent except by assuming you know how to search for what you want. “American inventors” as a query will return “African American inventors” as well as the general “American inventors”. As long as there are more pages of the former with lots of images they’ll drown out images from the second.

        1. Page hits with “African American inventors”: 550,000
          Page hits with “American inventors” -African: 176,000

          Even if you forget about the popularity of the individual pages and assume that each page has one inventor’s picture there would be 3.1 black portraits for each white. Once you factor in popularity and the fact that the former pages include more pictures, you can start to see why white portraits would be drowned out.

          1. And US Inventors -American Yields about 15 MILLION results. Simply put, not that many pages about “American Inventors” that aren’t “African American” actually use the word “American” at all.

        2. Google search isn’t simple keyword search, but leverages things like synonyms and hard coded suppression’s and prioritizations. And this starts at the selection phase and not just the ordering phase. Examples abound on the Internet so I won’t google it for you.

    2. It only seems that way because you don’t understand how indexing works. Google has (a lot) of bots that scrape the web for text. It then finds keywords in the text and associates them with the pages and images on the page. There are a lot of pages about “African American Inventors”; they are included in the search for “American Inventors”. There are simply just so many articles on the web about AA inventors that the results drown out pages about white American inventors. Just think of the plethora of articles about black Americans published during February; I’m sure there are dozens about inventors each February.

      It’s similar for “Historical European People”. If you only want results with those exact words then only two groups of people talk about historical European peoples and not the peoples of a more specific region: Mother Goddess pseudo-scientists and the way-off-kilter black racial theorists. The former tend to be more “academic” (fewer images; just verbose prose) and the latter disproportionately use images to convey their point. If you expand the results to include results that just include those words (the default for a search engine) you start including hits from “People of color in European history”. That by itself is probably more popular a topic than either the Mother Goddess crap or the racial theorists.

      1. Oh, I understand how indexing works. I also understand that Google has a very, every heavy thumb on the scale, so that their search results are increasingly less a consequence of impartial algorithms.

        1. Your working theory is that someone is manually overriding the algorithms, and loading search results with biased entries, every time someone searches?

          1. No, my working theory is that quite a few someones are generating “exceptions” lists to the algorithms, to alter the results where they don’t like them. Said exceptions are then applied automatically to all searches, of course.

            Google Has Whitelists & Exception Lists

            So, no, it’s NOT all algorithmic. Specific sites can be be subject to positive or negative exceptions.

            Look, programs just do what you tell them to do. If you want them to be biased, you tell them to be biased. It isn’t black magic.

            1. ” Said exceptions are then applied automatically to all searches, of course.”

              That’s an algorithm.

              “So, no, it’s NOT all algorithmic”

              Make up your mind.

              1. You are using a definition of “algorithm” that no technical person uses. You may say that’s heuristics to mask algorithm failure and you’d be closer. But there’s a lot of evidence that that’s not what’s going on.

                1. I meant James, not Brett.

                2. “You are using a definition of ‘algorithm’ that no technical person uses”

                  So I’m not a true Scotsman, eh?

            2. You found the exception that proves the rule 🙂

              Google’s search results are algorithmic, except in rare cases where the algorithms return poor results and they need to perform some tweaks. Mostly this happens when link spammers get into results or if a search term starts returning something really offensive.

              What you’re asserting is something very different, that Google is in the process of rampantly tweaking results to fit their biases.

              Frankly, I think you just have a poor understanding of how software works.

              The kind of algorithms Google uses to perform searches are extremely sensitive to the context those words are used in web pages and linking.

              What seems to be happening with “historical European peoples” is you’re getting a lot of people talking about recent research that historical European populations were black to a much later date than people realized. That chatter and emphasis on black people is really skewing the results towards showing both those articles, but also articles about black people encountered by Europeans in history.

              1. I think you misunderstand how search engines work. I’ve actually written search engines, not at Google but Google-class. Search engines are measured on precision and recall, two qualities of accuracy but often at odds with each other, as judged based on the perspective of the user doing the search. When you make algorithm tweaks, or ad heuristic layers, occasionally you can improve both, but more commonly you’re going to lose one at the expense of the other. You have to ask of these types of lists, what is Google adding? If it’s not about precision or recall, judged based on the expectations of the users using the search engine, then it’s bias.

                1. “I think you misunderstand how search engines work. I’ve actually written search engines”

                  So has pretty much anyone in the second-year of a CS program.

                  1. So has pretty much anyone in the second-year of a CS program.

                    Considering you’re asserting things about search algorithms that just isn’t so, you’ll have to pardon my disbelief.

                    1. “Considering you’re asserting things about search algorithms that just isn’t so”

                      What, pray tell, are you spouting off about?
                      I mean, since I haven’t said a fucking word about search algorithms, would you mind listing off the list of things that “just isn’t so”?

                2. Your definition of precision as a function of user satisfaction is self-fulfilling then, no? Users still like what Google delivers, so it is precise, so there is no bias.

                  I’m not saying that’s good logic; but that seems to be what you’re laying down here.

                  1. Your definition of precision as a function of user satisfaction is self-fulfilling then, no? Users still like what Google delivers, so it is precise, so there is no bias.

                    It doesn’t count if the recall, or the lack thereof in this case, is not tested with a representative sample of users ensure that actual relevant results are not dropped. Generally, you want to drop or at least deprioritize noise and imminent dangers: spam, SEO crap, things that might infect your computer, actual illegal stuff, etc. The rest, especially where it gets to viewpoint, you let the user judge that.

                    Users developed a trust in Google in the years when it wasn’t doing these kinds of things. Remember that Google initially took out AltaVista by promising the highest recall with the most relevant ordering.

              2. “except in rare cases where the algorithms return poor results and they need to perform some tweaks.”

                The problem is that,

                1) we don’t know how rare these cases are, Google is very secretive about the actual contents of it’s various white and black lists, and manual tweaks.

                and

                2) There are reasons to believe Google may define “poor results” in political terms. They’ve fired people on purely political grounds, and anonymous interviews with employees reveal that the conservatives working at Google live in fear of being discovered and purged.

                Just the fact that companies like Google and Facebook work with the notoriously biased SPLC is enough to conclude that they’re manipulating things.

              3. “except in rare cases where the algorithms return poor results and they need to perform some tweaks.”

                The problem is that,

                1) we don’t know how rare these cases are, Google is very secretive about the actual contents of it’s various white and black lists, and manual tweaks.

                and

                2) There are reasons to believe Google may define “poor results” in political terms. They’ve fired people on purely political grounds, and anonymous interviews with employees reveal that the conservatives working at Google live in fear of being discovered and purged.

                Just the fact that companies like Google and Facebook work with the notoriously biased SPLC is enough to conclude that they’re manipulating things.

                1. ‘there are reasons to believe’ is just covering partisan speculation, though. Your examples are all similarly speculative jumping to the same conclusion writ small.

                  You have a consistent enthusiasm about about every large institution from media to government to large corporations (military included IIRC) has an anti-conservative agenda they secretly push.
                  It’s a helluva world you live in.

                2. “There are reasons to believe Google may define “poor results” in political terms.”

                  That seems unlikely, and they’ve expressly denied it. Including in response to the President’s tweets. And what would Google gain by doing that? They want conservative people to use their search engine.

                  But set that aside. Why would you care? Don’t you think Redstate defines its own listed links in political terms? Don’t you think companies should be free to do so?

            3. The “where they don’t like them” means it interferes with google’s core function, i.e. getting users to what they are searching for as quickly as possible.

              I used to run a website that was part of a large whitelist exception. It was on a sports blog network where we sold space to ticket agencies for a flat fee (although they always tried to get a contingency). The links were never intended to sell tickets; instead the ticket brokers would buy up the space on as many websites as possible to increase their google rank, because that space at the top of the google search for “football tickets” is extremely valuable. Once google figured out what was happening, they manually downgraded websites that sold space that way. We got our ranking back when the last of our agreements with the ticket brokers expired. It’s not a value-judgment by Google over ticket brokers; they just didn’t want someone gaming their search algorithm.

        2. In a robust free market Trump could apply some of his fortune to designing a search engine that uses algorithms that always turn up Trump-positive results, and then see whether that new search engine has any market traction.

          1. “In a robust free market Trump could apply some of his fortune to designing a search engine that uses algorithms that always turn up Trump-positive results”

            I would expect an exercise of this sort to have a few predictable results.

            1) Trump would stiff paying off the software engineers the money they contracted for.

            2) As a result, those software engineers would insert complaints into the results their search engine produces

            3) Trump would whine about the FAKE NEWS Disgruntled Losers who built TrumpSeek, and suggest that perhaps the DOJ should take a look at prosecuting them.

            4) The project would lose money

      2. ” There are simply just so many articles on the web about AA inventors that the results drown out pages about white American inventors”

        Beyond that, many sites about inventors from the USA that aren’t specifically about African American inventors probably don’t include the word “American” at all.

        Search for US Inventors instead and you get something considerably more balanced.

        1. Sure. But the returns are sharply different if you also introduce a typo.

    3. Try “US Inventors” instead of “American Inventors”.

      Likely many sites about non “African American” inventors don’t include the word “American” so they don’t show up in your search at a high relevance.

      As to “Historical European People” if you put that in the search criteria, what you get is Historical or European or People”.

      “Historical+European+People” you get results for Historical and European and People, but the words don’t necessarily occur together on the page.

      Or include the quotes for “Historical European People” in the search bar and you only get pages that contain the phrase “Historical European People”.o

      1. Try “US Inventers”, same blackwashing. Try “White American Inventers”, still blackwashed except now it includes good old “Clock Boy”.

        1. What is an inventer?

          Thank you.

        2. I get a bunch of white people. Perhaps Google knows your porn preferences?

        3. You’ve just discovered why Google is rich.

          Search is HARD. And even Google, who made their fortune by being the best at it, still kinda sucks and gets weird results.

          If you really think Google is fiddling with their results to be PC then google “black people” and see how long it takes you to find a picture of a monkey.

      2. It’s odd that Google would not have specified US as a synonym of American.

        1. Because it isn’t. South US and South America have 0% overlap, for example.

          1. It’s worse than that, he thinks US is a synonym for American. “I am US” and “I am American” do not mean the same thing at all.

        2. The rest of this content and all of the continent south of us would be irritated if Google l was that stupid

    4. Have you ever thought to google “inventors”? Lots of white folks there.

      Or is “proving” this blackwashing the entire point of the exercise?

    5. Google searches ARE rigged, in the sense that they take into account your prior searches. So the results you get may or may not match the results someone else gets on the exact same search term.

    6. Google searches aren’t rigged?

      The question is a category error. It doesn’t make sense. What is a “rigged” search vs. a “non-rigged” one?

      1. Whats a “rigged “anything ? What’s a”rigged’ jury ? I submit it’s a jury that has been constructed to do something other than its publicly advertised task – eg not to find the accused guilty or not, according to the evidence presented, but to find the accused guilty or not according, say, the accused’s popularilty with the government.

        And so if a search engine advertises that its algorithms are intended to bring you the stuff that’s likely to be of most interest to you, based on your past searches, and if in fact they have a thumb on the scale reducing the likelihood of All-In Wrestling coming high on their search list – perhaps because they’re getting money from NASCAR to boost NASCAR results and depress other sports – even though your past searches indicate an interest in All-In Wrestling, then that’s a rigged search.

        Obviously any selection involves a choosing some and rejecting others, and the selection requires the attributon of values. The question is whose values do they use ? Theirs or yours ?

        1. “And so if a search engine advertises that its algorithms are intended to bring you the stuff that’s likely to be of most interest to you, based on your past searches, and if in fact they have a thumb on the scale”

          If they AREN’T delivering the stuff that’s most likely to be of interest to you, why haven’t you moved on to a different service that does a better job of guessing what you want?

          They give you results that they’ve been paid to deliver. Those results are clearly marked.

        2. “I submit it’s a jury that has been constructed to do something other than its publicly advertised task…”

          Google’s publicly advertised task is to make money.

  5. I am reliably informed that tee-times at Trump-owned golf courses are not assigned fairly. In other words, they are “rigged.”

    I think that some regulation is in order to assure first-come-first-teed on the first tee.

  6. “In this respect, each search engine’s editorial judgment is much like many other familiar editorial judgments:”

    Google attorneys may be cringing at that statement because, right now, they are often treated better than newspapers. For example, Google currently enjoys broad “safe harbors” under the DMCA. However, those valuable protections start to fall apart if Google were exercising “editorial judgment” over those items. Similarly, newspapers are potentially liable for liable in a way Google currently isn’t.

    1. I’m having a hard time seeing how the DMCA is implicated. The safe harbor Google enjoys is under Section 230 of the CDA. And I’m not sure why google’s lawyers would be cringing, since the “editorial judgments” described in the OP are precisely the ones protected under Section 230.

      1. Reading Section 230, I’d think Google’s lawyers might be a bit concerned.

        “(2) Civil liabilityNo provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of?
        (A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected;”

        Google is going to have a hard time arguing that political censorship is a good faith effort to restrict access to or availablity of materials that are “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable”. They do appear to be operating outside the statutory safe harbor.

        Moreover, to the extent they curate their search results, I think they arguably become a content provider themselves.

        1. Right, but 230(c)(2) doesn’t impose affirmative liability on providers that do things not in good faith. It just provides a defense against any other claim that a party may have (for example, for breach of contract).

          1. Right. Given bad faith, they lose their defense. That’s enough to open them to lawsuits.

            1. But why? What grounds would a user censored (say on Facebook) have to sue?

              1. See my link below to the Prager U lawsuit. Unlawful discrimination under California law. Misleading and unlawful business practices. Libel by declaring Prager’s output objectionable.

                1. Please don’t play lawyer on the Internet. “Objectionable” by definition can’t be libelous.

                  1. ” ‘Objectionable’ by definition can’t be libelous.”

                    Why not? (If the elements of defamation are met… falsity, actual damages, etc.)

                    Are you considering it opinion? Because if the content is suppressed, it might be opinion based on nondisclosed fact.

                    1. The word “objectionable” is pure opinion; it is not capable of being proven true or false, because it has no objective meaning.

                    2. It’s potentially libelous because it is suggesting that you belong on a list like this: “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing…”

                      When all you’re doing is disagreeing with the company management’s politics.

                    3. “It’s potentially libelous because it is suggesting that you belong on a list like this: ‘obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing…'”

                      Let’s test your theory.
                      You, Brett Bellmore, personally, belong on a list like this: “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable”.

                      Sue me.

                    4. Opinion based on undisclosed fact can still be libel. Even “pure” opinion.

        2. Note that it doesn’t say anything about the material being objectively obscene, etc., just that the provider or user considers it to be so.

          I think you’re also going to have to do a lot more to prove censorship than “Googling Trump news turns up more hits from CNN and the Washington Post than Breitbart!”

          1. Assuming a lawsuit was filed, Youtube, for instance, is going to have a hard time getting a jury to believe that they had a good faith belief that Prager U videos were obscene.

            I’m not a tort lawyer, but given some of the crazy theories I see pursued successfully in court, I have a hard time believing they couldn’t find SOME basis upon which to file a lawsuit.

            1. “Assuming a lawsuit was filed, Youtube, for instance, is going to have a hard time getting a jury to believe that they had a good faith belief that Prager U videos were obscene.”

              Or otherwise objectionable. whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.

              Additionally, Youtube can (and does) impose content restrictions contractually. And if those contract terms include allowing Youtube to decide, unilaterally, what does and does not constitute “objectionable material”…

              I would guess that your lawsuit against them is going to be removed to federal court, and then 12(b)6’ed to death.

            2. “Youtube, for instance, is going to have a hard time getting a jury to believe that they had a good faith belief that Prager U videos were obscene.”

              Why? What evidence would there be of bad faith?

      2. Mavrix Photographs v. LiveJournal is an example of this. The website operator got in trouble because it was highlighting some user-provided content.

    2. ” Google currently enjoys broad ‘safe harbors’ under the DMCA.”

      The safe harbor of the DMCA is fair use, 17 USC 107.

      “However, those valuable protections start to fall apart if Google were exercising ‘editorial judgment’ over those items”

      How so?

      1. The DMCA isn’t limited to the anti-circumvention stuff. It also has protections for certain contributory and/or vicarious infringers 😉

        1. Anti-circumvention doesn’t show up until chapter 12 of the DMCA, and it has it’s own safe harbor.

          Which section are you claiming provides a safe harbor but excludes “editiorial judgment”?

  7. The problem is, Google doesn’t represent itself to its customers as exercising editorial judgement, or as being just a curated guide to parts of the internet it judges worth recommending. It represents itself as an impartial means to it’s customers’ ends.

    If Google becomes widely regarded, (Recognized?) as deliberately skewing search results in order to manipulate its users, trust in Google will drop dramatically, and they will lose a lot of market share.

    Perhaps they should, because in fact, they ARE skewing search results to manipulate their customers, and are becoming less and less covert about it.

    1. Yes, believing the market will cure this issue is the consistent position.

      1. Oh, I think it will, once their lies are penetrated.

        1. I don’t expect their lie will be penetrated because I don’t think they are deliberately skewing search results.

          Their brand will not be tarnished by right-wing complaints, that’s for sure.

          1. Also, people searching the Internet aren’t Google’s customers; people buying advertising are Google’s customers.

            1. True… people searching the Internet with Google are Google’s product. But if they can’t deliver them, the advertisers won’t be paying.

          2. What you call “skewing” they call focusing on trustworthy and relevant results.

        2. Not likely. There are no only two basic Internet-scale search engines, with the others reusing them but adding window dressing. Users don’t generally select search engines but when they do they select the same ones everyone they know does. In that way, and like social networks, it falls prey to the “network effect”. Thus, natural monopolies.

          Even if you could get half the country to agree that Google was evil, where are they going to go to? Bing? New entrant? There are many reasons why it is very hard to run an Internet scale search engine today. (Yahoo uses the Bing engine, the other English-based search engines just wrap Bing or Google that I’m aware of.) The reason for this has to do with the exponential growth of the Internet over the last two decades. Any search engine starting today may spend the better part of a decade just catching up.

          1. There is no network effect for a search engine. The network effect refers to a situation in which the fact that something has more users makes it more valuable to other users, regardless of the quality of the underlying product. That’s true of something like Facebook or Twitter or fax machines. It’s not true of a search engine.

            1. No, it actually IS true of a search engine, because the resources you can throw at the problem scale with your user base, but the problem doesn’t.

              I suppose technically not a “network” effect, but a classic “natural monopoly” like the Bell system, where the largest provider has an unbeatable financial advantage over startups.

              1. “No, it actually IS true of a search engine, because the resources you can throw at the problem scale with your user base, but the problem doesn’t.”

                So it’s a monopoly because the more money Google makes, the more resources they can throw at improving their products? Who isn’t a monopolist?

                “…but a classic “natural monopoly” like the Bell system…”

                There are not high infrastructure costs associated with starting a search engine. Google did it with $100,000. If Google skewed its results in a way that interfered with the effectiveness of its search engine, that would make it easier to compete with them.

            2. People don’t use and trust a search engine because the people they know and trust do? Basic network effect. It’s not everything, of course.

              There’s the basic monopoly practice of the “default search engine” in browsers. And there’s, as Brett notes, economies of scale in search that make for a tremendous barrier to entry for any new entrant. It would take the likes of Apple, Facebook or Amazon to be able to throw the resources into it, and it would take years before they were ready to service the first search.

              As I noted, today you have Bing and Google. Everything else is either a contract clone or a wrappers/rebrands. There are reasons this happened.

              1. “People don’t use and trust a search engine because the people they know and trust do? Basic network effect. It’s not everything, of course.”

                So all popular products are “Basic network effect”? You’re watering down the brand. Huggies is a basic network effect because…?

              2. “There’s the basic monopoly practice of the “default search engine” in browsers.”

                That isn’t a basic monopoly practice. You’re thinking of tie-ins, but default browsers aren’t even a tie-in in the traditional sense. This isn’t Microsoft requiring Dell to pay it even if Dell switches its computers to Linux. This is Microsoft selling an OS to Dell, and requiring only that Dell remove the OS when it switches to Linux.

                The other problem is that tying isn’t fucking bad. Every product uses tie-in agreements. Do you think shoe manufacturers should be required to sell them individually? Do you think consumers would even be better off? In the antitrust context, SCOTUS already recognized the potential welfare benefits of tying in Jefferson Parish.

                1. “That isn’t a basic monopoly practice”

                  Hold on, I’d like to learn more about this monopoly, since web browser search is a market in which multiple providers offer established products, some of them freely open-sourced, and there are also multiple emergent products at any given time.

                  And all of them offer support for multiple search engines. And even if they didn’t, search engines are available for use, some free, some behind a paywall, to any web browser because they’re connected to the Internet and offer an HTTP interface and produce HTML output.

              3. “…economies of scale in search that make for a tremendous barrier to entry for any new entrant.”

                Neither of you understand what a barrier to entry is. What Brett was saying is that Google has the resources to make a better product than anyone else can afford to make. That isn’t a barrier to entry; anyone can make a search engine, it just might not do what Google’s does. But that’s because (as you both concede) Google’s search engine is better, which is what consumers want. It’s not anti-competitive if it leads to the best search engine for customers.

                “…and it would take years before they were ready to service the first search.”

                That’s fucking stupid. Google was started as a research project by some post-grads, who were servicing searches before they even formed the company. You could go do that, too.

                “There are reasons this happened.”

                Because it’s socially useful?

                1. Google is the #1 English language search engine, with a majority of searches.
                  Google is the #1 English language online advertising company.
                  Google is the #1 DNS provider.

                  To compete with Google, a new company would need to:
                  a) accumulate equivalent data to that which Google has on web pages and links
                  b) accumulate equivalent search patterns to that which Google has
                  c) purchase and install hardware equivalent to Google’s

                  These are all *very* expensive and *very* time consuming. A new competitor would take years to prepare, and it would cost billions of dollars. And that ignores the advertising influence, and ‘other services’ Google leverages to keep in control.

                  Thus, there is a VERY high barrier to entry in the internet search engine market.
                  This is similar to the barrier to entry in the operating system market.

                  And there is no way in hell a project by a couple of post-grads could compete with Google. It was only possible, because way back when, there was no established market. All the players were bit players, with small shares and little influence. Now, Google and Bing dominate so dramatically, it is basically impossible to displace them until the next technology paradigm shift.

                  1. “These are all *very* expensive and *very* time consuming. A new competitor would take years to prepare, and it would cost billions of dollars. … Thus, there is a VERY high barrier to entry in the internet search engine market.”

                    Isn’t Duckduckgo a counterexample? They currently have 50 some employees, and started when google was already a colossus.

                    They seem like a competitor to me, in the sense that people like me who like their flavor of search can use their search engine instead of google’s.

                    1. “They seem like a competitor to me, in the sense that people like me who like their flavor of search can use their search engine instead of google’s.”

                      And, in fact, support for DDG is now baked into a number of products, including the TOR browser, where it is the default, according to Wikipedia.

                    2. DuckDuckGo is a search redirector, using primarily results from Google and Bing.

                      They do not index the internet themselves – if Google and Bing went away (or just blocked DDG), they would be unable to return many results.
                      DDG’s claim to usefulness is that they say they can better order the search results returned from Bing and Google.

                      They are not a competitor; they are a support app for Google… or if being uncharitable, a leech.

                    3. “DuckDuckGo is a search redirector, using primarily results from Google and Bing.

                      They do not index the internet themselves”

                      I think that last sentence is wrong – people report being crawled by their web crawler. One example.

                      The font of all knowledge has a more nuanced view than yours:

                      “DuckDuckGo distinguishes itself from other search engines by not profiling its users and by deliberately showing all users the same search results for a given search term,[5] and emphasizes returning the best results, rather than the most results, generating those results from over 400 individual sources, including crowdsourced sites such as Wikipedia, and other search engines like Bing, Yahoo!, and Yandex.”

                    4. DuckDuckGo apparently indexes specific sites – like Wikipedia – and passes general queries on to other search engines like Bing and Google.
                      Here’s a list of the sites they index themselves: The list of all 400 of them.

                      Unless they’ve changed since late 2016, their own recommendation to be listed on DDG is to submit your site to Google, Bing – or Yandex, Baidu, or other non-English search engines.
                      While they do seem to be building an index, it is nowhere near useful by itself. They said in January 2018 that they had passed 1 billion pages.
                      Google has indexed *at least* 30 trillion pages with links to 100 trillion more, as of 2016 (according to them).
                      To compete with Google (without using Google), DDG would need to index a large percentage of that data. They currently have 0.001%.

                      Also – DDG handles 25-30 million queries a day. Google handles 30 million queries in just over 5 minutes.

                      DDG is not a Google competitor. It has a LONG way to go before it can become one.

                    5. DDG’s claim to usefulness is that they say they can better order the search results returned from Bing and Google.

                      No. Their claim to usefulness is that they do not track users at all.

                  2. “To compete with Google, a new company would need to:”

                    None of the stuff you listed is required. All they’d need is an algorithm that produced better results, and backing from a VC.

                    ” It was only possible, because way back when, there was no established market.”
                    Sure, if you ignore the solidly established offerings from DEC and Yahoo.

                    1. Yahoo didn’t have a search engine; they had a directory listing human-curated recommended links. Since they ran a portal service, a lot of people saw those links, and misunderstood what they were seeing.

                      When Google came around, Yahoo started using them to return results – in 2000.

                      Yahoo was the most popular *home portal* on the Internet for a while, like AOL was once the most popular connection service. Neither was ever a “solidly established” search engine, much less a dominant one.

              4. People don’t use and trust a search engine because the people they know and trust do?

                I mean, I doubt it, but I don’t have specific evidence on that point (and neither do you). But…

                Basic network effect.

                …no. Again, you misunderstand the concept.

                As I said above, a network effect is when the product becomes inherently more valuable because other people use it. The fax machine is an example. If I am the only one with a fax machine, it has zero value. I can’t do anything with it. (I mean, I can’t use it for its intended purpose; I can use it as a paperweight, or a blunt object murder weapon.) If one other person has one, it might have a bit of value — but, I mean, two people faxing things back and forth isn’t much of anything. On the other hand, if everyone has one, then mine has a lot of utility.

                That isn’t the case with search engines. If everyone on the planet stops using Google tomorrow, that would make it no less useful to me.

                1. “That isn’t the case with search engines. If everyone on the planet stops using Google tomorrow, that would make it no less useful to me.”

                  You misunderstand the business model and application of the network effect.

                  Google’s business purpose is to deliver eyeballs to advertisers. That’s where the money comes from. If people all over the world stopped using Google tomorrow, the value of placing ads with Google would drop to zero. If twice as many people use Google tomorrow as did today, then the value of placing an ad with Google goes up.

                  YOU are not Google’s customer. YOU are Google’s product.

                  1. Google’s business purpose is to deliver eyeballs to advertisers. That’s where the money comes from. If people all over the world stopped using Google tomorrow, the value of placing ads with Google would drop to zero. If twice as many people use Google tomorrow as did today, then the value of placing an ad with Google goes up.

                    This is true, but it has nothing to do with the concept of a network effect. If wholesalers stopped selling to Target, then the value of Target to shoppers would diminish. It’s pretty much a truism that if a company loses its assets, then it’s less valuable to customers. That’s not what a network effect is.

                    1. “If wholesalers stopped selling to Target, then the value of Target to shoppers would diminish.”

                      If the products shipped to Target only decide to stay in Target’s warehouse because of other products being in in Target’s warehouse, then this would be an apt comparison.

          2. ” the other English-based search engines just wrap Bing or Google that I’m aware of”

            Can you provide a source for that?

            I routinely use duckduckgo, but if they aren’t giving me what I want I will try the others, and usually get somewhat different results.

            Which of the two does your information suggest that duckduckgo is wrapping? I’ll pay more attention to comparing those results in the future.

    2. A simple requirement that Google prominently post on its search results: “These results are biased”, should not run afoul of 1A. Indeed, it should be required in order to avoid fraudulent representation.

      1. In light of the ruling that struck down the “crisis pregnancy center” requirement that they inform women who come to them that they don’t offer abortions, how is your search engine message going to pass muster?

        1. The crisis pregnancy centers never presented themselves as being unbiased arbiters of information. As such, there was no implicit fraud in not providing pro-abortion information. Google apparently presents itself, loudly and repeatedly, as non-discriminatory by political orientation. A compelled statement refuting this apparent fraud is within the purview of any legal system.

          How about a statement analogous to those on cigarettes: The Federal Government has determined that Google search results are biased and can result in ignorance, misinformation, and brain death.

          1. “The crisis pregnancy centers never presented themselves as being unbiased arbiters of information.”

            Srsly?

            1. The church ladies masquerade as medical professionals by wearing scrubs.

              The centers rely on misleading information, misleading tactics (‘rope-a-dope’), and falsehoods.

              Other than that, great point.

    3. “It represents itself as an impartial means to it’s [sic] customers’ ends.”

      Pray tell, where does it do that?

    4. “Google doesn’t represent itself to its customers as exercising editorial judgement”

      Unless you count all the disclaimers, I guess.

    5. Once skewing is presented as an offensive strategy, it must be proven beyond any reasonable doubt. Coming to court with a laptop enlarged for viewing and a request is made to view general searches (Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, George W Bush, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, George HW, Carter, Ford, Nixon, etc.) will reveal editorial concern beyond the current patented algorithm Google uses.

      If Trump’s offense is to only look at his googled pages, good luck with that. No reference can be made for skewing. It must be comparative.

      Trump does have a few issues that a defense can employ. The McCain death issue where the White House flag was not flown at half mast while all other government office flags were. Then, those flags were raised only to be lowered again. This is negative. This would be googled. Does Trump injure himself often with his own rhetoric? Plus, there is age skewing. Recently, I saw a poll that Trump had a 64% disapproval rate among people under 35. This age group uses the web much more often then older people do. There is plenty of peer-reviewed research to verify the age claim and many polls to verify disapproval by age. Is this Google’s fault?

      Attempting to claim skewing without comparative analysis leading to likelihood of that claim is just political nonsense.

      1. “Once skewing is presented as an offensive strategy, it must be proven beyond any reasonable doubt.”

        Only if it’s somehow criminal. In civil court, the burden of proof is lighter.

  8. Maybe we can dust off the Sedition Act of 1798; it was, after all, never brought before the SC.

  9. That’s all well and good, but if you’re going to exercise editorial powers, you are no longer a common carrier afforded a Section 230 safe harbor. You can’t have it both ways: You’re either a common carrier or a content provider.

    1. I understand that as an argument about what the law should be — but didn’t Congress quite expressly reject that position in enacting section 230?

      1. Did it? Is someone with publishing content (and excercising editorial control) merely “provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including specifically a service or system that provides access to the Internet and such systems operated or services offered by libraries or educational institutions.”

        1. Yes:

          Section 230(c)(1) makes clear that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

          Section 230(c)(2) expressly contemplates (and protects from liability) “provider[s] or user[s] of an interactive computer service” who engage in “restrict[ing] access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.”

          That expressly shows that the protection extends not just to “common carrier[s]” but also to entities that “exercise editorial powers.” And indeed section 230 was in large part a reaction to Stratton Oakmont v. Prodigy, a New York state case that expressly held that editorial control should lead to greater liability for others’ content that the editor lets through — Congress took the view that this approach would improperly disincentivize editorial control, and passed section 230 to remove that disincentive.

          1. “restrict[ing] access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, …”

            There’s an “in good faith” preceding that language you quoted. So the protection is lost if the restrictions are in bad faith. Prager’s argument is that restricting on the basis of political ideology isn’t in good faith based on those categories, particularly when it is trivially easy to demonstrate the failure to restrict political matter of a much more outrageous nature, such as advocacy of terrorism.

            1. I don’t think that “in good faith” bars judgments based on political ideology — one can certain believe, in perfect good faith, that certain ideological messages are “objectionable.”

              But that doesn’t matter when it comes to croaker’s and OldCurmudgeon’s arguments, to which I was responding — their position was that any editorial control stripped sites of section 230 immunity.

              1. I don’t think that helps them, because the test isn’t going to be whether your crazy uncle you keep locked in the attic would think something was objectionable. It’s going to be whether something about half the population agrees with belongs on a list that begins, “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing…”

                “otherwise objectionable” is obviously meant to be a catch-all for anything that belongs in that company. Claiming that you have a good faith belief that political points of view that are shared by a third or more of the population belong on that list is going to be a tough thing to argue before a jury.

                Especially when Prager breaks out the list of terrorist websites explicitly advocating violent crimes that you haven’t seen fit to ban.

                “Good faith” isn’t an automatic get out of jail card, it’s a matter for a jury to decide.

                1. ” Claiming that you have a good faith belief that political points of view that are shared by a third or more of the population belong on that list is going to be a tough thing to argue before a jury.”

                  Not NEARLY as tough as you seem to think. Finding a politically-homogenous jury is going to be fairly difficult in some federal court districts, and not at all in some others.
                  A good deal of the President’s short-lived border policy of separating parents from children was widely labeled as “obscene” (not just “objectionable”)

                  There’s also a substantial portion of Americans (and thus, of potential jury pools) who find both sides “objectionable”. They avoid news coverage and don’t even vote because of just how nasty both sides get when the partisans start in on their opposition.

                2. “It’s going to be whether something about half the population agrees with…”

                  Why wouldn’t it be a subjective test? The statute refers to the “provider . . . considers” to be objectionable. If Redstate bans liberal users, what makes you think they’d lose in court just because the jurors are liberals?

          2. So does the 230 censor power give the platforms unrestricted power to determine what qualifies as “otherwise objectionable” so the platform can decide “otherwise objectionable” means conservative

            OR

            Does “otherwise objection” take its meaning from the list of other items, which would imply a platform could not decide that conservative content can be removed because it’s objectionable

            Or

            Does it not really matter because the platform has a First Amendment right to censor based on viewpoint like a normal publisher?

            1. Well, of course they DO have a First amendment right to censor based on viewpoint like a normal publisher. If they don’t mind being subject to the law on the basis of being a normal publisher, which is what Section 230 spares them.

              1. “If they don’t mind being subject to the law on the basis of being a normal publisher, which is what Section 230 spares them.”

                You’re misreading the statute. They’re not a publisher under 230(c)(1). Full stop. If they aren’t a publisher, they aren’t going to be subject to the laws of publishers. Full stop. The civil liability exclusion at 230(c)(2) does not affect their status as a non-publisher. They can act in bad faith all they want, and still aren’t a publisher.

    2. Google isn’t a carrier, much less a common carrier (except, of course, to customers of Google Fiber).

  10. If President Trump were both right and half the businessman he tells people he is, he’d take advantage of that vast void existing where “Search Engine that only produces results Conservatives like” should be, and build a “Fair and Balanced” search engine and score 30-50% of the search engine traffic, as all his like-minded fans switched over from biased, er, BIASED old Google..

    But he isn’t, and he isn’t.

    1. I will offer my creative assistance to Trump with respect to a project to develop a search engine for right-wingers: Call it Gooble.

    2. And if he did, he’d find his brand new search engine couldn’t get hosting services, banks wouldn’t process vendor payments, maybe some of the DNS servers were being set to not resolve his url…

      This isn’t just one company we’re talking about, as the Infowars expulsion demonstrated. It’s most of the IT ecology, acting in concert.

      1. In other words, most of society using all available tools to reject whatever ‘conservative’ brand Trump is selling.

        Got it.

      2. “This isn’t just one company we’re talking about, as the Infowars expulsion demonstrated. It’s most of the IT ecology, acting in concert.”

        That’s some AJ-class paranoid conspiracy theory, all right.

        1. It would be paranoid if we hadn’t watched it in action.

          1. Oh, dear.

            Brett, Alex Jones having tech issues isn’t some conspiracy, even if he insists it is.

          2. “It would be paranoid if we hadn’t watched it in action.”

            By definition, paranoids see things that aren’t there, so if you saw this conspiracy, that doesn’t refute paranoia, it confirms it.

  11. Professor, what about this argument —

    Section 230 grants online platforms special governmental powers — immunity from liability for their editorial decisions. When government grants a private entity special powers, sometimes those private entities must provide constitutional protections.

    While any restriction on Google’s ability to discriminate based on viewpoint would be directly contrary to Section 230, First Amendment/Due process restrictions would not. Thus, Google could be required to adopt clear rules for how results are filtered, including express notice when particular individuals or subjects are subject to specific limits. For example if Google was automatically suppressing search results from infowars it would have to expressly say so. (This would not require google to make its algorithm public, just subject-matter based tweaks that might skew the results.) The imposition of limited due process protections seems like the right balance because it allows the public to know when search results are specifically manipulated.

    As support I would in part point to Alexander Volokh, The New Private Regulation Skeptisim, 37 Harv. L.J. & Pub. Pol’y 931 (2014).

    1. I have some Skepticism about my spelling

    2. “Section 230 grants online platforms special governmental powers — immunity from liability for their editorial decisions.”

      This part fails, because that isn’t what section 230 of the CDA does.

      1. Section 230 does grant online speakers fairly broad immunity from liability for their editorial decisions, as well as fairly broad immunity from liability for speech posted by other speakers.

        But immunity from liability isn’t a “special governmental power[].” Immunities from liability are commonplace in the law — consider the various libel law immunities, whether absolute or qualified, the self-defense privilege, applicable to tort claims as well as criminal punishment, and much more. They don’t make speakers, defenders, or others state actors, or subject to First Amendment or Due Process Clause constraints.

        1. This isn’t just any old “immunity” — this is immunity to act like a publisher without any of the liability of publisher and to censor speech in ways that the government is not able to censor.

          But for this immunity, google, Facebook and YouTube could not exist because (1) they don’t have the resources to determine issues like libel and copyright and (2) would be inundated with lawsuits absent immunity. As history shows, these two immunities are incredibly valuable.

          Thus, is I think the analogy to private regulations of certain business cannot just be dismissed.

          Moreover, when the censorship is hidden with practices like shadow banning, it warps the private marketplace — If Google was deprioritizing conservative stories and had to admit it, no one would use Google. Thus, there is a strong justification for government intervention. Not to stop Google from deprioritizing any viewpoint — just to make them admit it.

          1. “This isn’t just any old “immunity” — this is immunity to act like a publisher without any of the liability of publisher and to censor speech in ways that the government is not able to censor.”

            Google doesn’t have the ability to censor anything (except, of course, for customers of Google Fiber).

            1. Remember that Google runs Youtube. They are certainly censoring that platform, unless you’re trying to assert that only government can “censor”.

              Further, not being able to find a book is as good as having it burnt.

              Only the government is constrained by the 1st amendment, but not only government is capable of reducing our liberties.

              1. “Remember that Google runs Youtube. They are certainly censoring that platform”

                If you don’t like Google’s rules for YouTube, don’t post things to YouTube. Poof. No censorship.

                Google (YouTube) doesn’t keep people from publishing whatever the hell video content they want.. It keeps people who are not Google from using Google’s resources in ways Google doesn’t like. See how those are different things?

            2. They “censor” but manipulating search results, plus things like Google plus and Youtube. But the point applies to all social media platforms.

              The Professor’s reliance on common law immunities is misplaced — those are common-law immunities. And while the government does grant statutory immunities, those are by definition grants of power from the government — and when entities accept them, they can also be forced to accept conditions.

              The beauty of due process protections, as opposed to restrictions on viewpoint discrimination is that those due process protections do not infringe on the First Amendment rights of social media sites.

              1. And while the government does grant statutory immunities, those are by definition grants of power from the government

                No, that’s not the definition. An immunity isn’t a power.

                You are a bit right that Congress could amend ? 230 to say that an Internet access provider gets immunity if it does ____. And if ____ is a content- and viewpoint-neutral procedural rule, it might be constitutional. (The DMCA, which people mistakenly referred to above, works like that; the safe harbor only kicks in if you fulfill certain requirements.) But of course a rule that said that IAPs only get immunity if they don’t make editorial decisions would make no sense at all.

                1. The power is the ability to publish slanderous material without risk of liability. But for Section 230, a platform that allowed a third party to post a libelous article would be liable along with the third party.

                  My suggestion is the IAPs have the right to make editorial decisions but that they should be required to practice transparent censorship and comply with basic due process protections. They can still discriminate based on viewpoint and otherwise enjoy their immunity — as long as the adopt the rules ahead of time. This is content-neutral and only imposes a minimal restriction on their editorial authority that parallel’s the immunity from traditional editorial responsibility.

                  The reason a newspaper editor has absolute control over what it publishes is because it is liable for what it publishes. If the IAP is not liable, a minimal restriction on that authority is warranted.

                  1. “The reason a newspaper editor has absolute control over what it publishes is because it is liable for what it publishes.”

                    Not quite. It’s liable for what it chooses to publish. So, for example, if a hacker infiltrates the compositing computer and changes a story to include libelous statements, the newspaper is not liable, even if the altered story is widely distributed.

                    Similarly, Internet sites that allow user interaction (like, say, this one) and use automated processes to publish, are not liable for the contributions of other people… rather, the other people who wrote it are liable.

                    This avoids targeting the “deep pockets” of the service provider rather than the person most responsible for the offending content.

                    1. Not quite. It’s liable for what it chooses to publish. So, for example, if a hacker infiltrates the compositing computer and changes a story to include libelous statements, the newspaper is not liable, even if the altered story is widely distributed.

                      Have you ever asked yourself, why do those stupid newspapers keep publishing stories announcing the defendant was found “innocent,” instead of “not guilty?” I can tell you why. With whatever basis, it is because of the potential liability implications of a composing error in which the “not,” was inadvertently dropped.

                      That suggests a premise?regarded as valid at least among newspaper publishers?that they could be held liable for something they published inadvertently. Maybe it’s not as clear cut as you think.

                    2. That suggests a premise?regarded as valid at least among newspaper publishers?that they could be held liable for something they published inadvertently. Maybe it’s not as clear cut as you think.

                      It suggests that the mere fact that someone speaks confidently (and condescendingly) does not mean one should accept what he says as correct.

                      Ex-Football Player Found Not Guilty in Rape Case: VERMILLION, S.D. ? A former University of South Dakota football player has been found not guilty of attempted rape.

                      Former Oyster Bay Supervisor Found Not Guilty of All Charges.

                      Jury finds Greg Burroughs not guilty of manslaughter: A Franklin County jury found Greg Burroughs not guilty of manslaughter in the death of 23-year-old Katherine Sinclair.

                      His girlfriend was found dead at his Laurel home. A jury says he’s not guilty.: A Franklin County jury has found a Laurel man not guilty of manslaughter in the killing of his 23-year-old girlfriend at his home in a gated, upscale subdivision.

                    3. So your point is that sometimes newspapers publish, “Not guilty?” That’s the practice I advocate, and have followed myself.

                      Now explain why so many publish “found innocent,” instead. You can’t show that something doesn’t happen by showing that something to the contrary does happen.

                    4. I didn’t establish that something doesn’t happen by showing that something to the contrary does happen; I established that something does happen by showing that it happens.

                      You claimed that newspapers don’t say “not guilty,” because they’re afraid of accidentally dropping the “not” and being sued for libel, and that this proves something about defamation law. I mean, your logic is wrong; the fact that newspaper publishers think something about defamation law tells us nothing about defamation law — as you yourself demonstrate routinely. (Also about copyright.) But the underlying factual premise of your claim was also wrong; newspapers do regularly use the formulation “not guilty.” (So maybe newspaper publishers aren’t as clueless about defamation law as you accused them of being.)

                    5. I didn ‘t say, or imply, any of what you inferred. The underlying factual basis of my claim would have been mistaken, had I said what you inferred. Because I knew better, I didn’t say that. You are arguing like a lawyer who has been caught making an unsupportable attack in court, and is trying to escape amid a cloud of squid ink. That does happen, doesn’t it, the part about squid ink in court?

                    6. “That does happen, doesn’t it, the part about squid ink in court?”

                      This sounds more like self-reflection than accusation.

                    7. I didn ‘t say, or imply, any of what you inferred.

                      Yeah, you did.

                    8. “With whatever basis, it is because of the potential liability implications of a composing error in which the “not,” was inadvertently dropped.”

                      I agree… lots of people don’t understand how law works.

                    9. I was curious enough to run some google queries, and ‘not guilty’ seems to predominate today.

                      A little more googling found an editor who says the AP rule was as Mr. Lathrop states, but it was changed in 2004 for the very good reason that ‘not guilty’ is legally correct; American juries don’t return findings of ‘innocent’.

                    10. Interesting. But note that he doesn’t actually endorse Lathrop’s claim that the rule was promulgated by the AP because publishers were worried about liability, as opposed to simply trying to avoid inaccuracy.

                      And the latter is more consistent with the rule being abandoned — it’s not actually accurate to say “found innocent.”

                  2. “The power is the ability to publish slanderous material without risk of liability.”

                    Which you would take away from them if they removed material? This makes no sense. If we’re worried about them publishing slanderous material, what difference does it make if they limit content? Non-published content cannot be slanderous.

                    1. “Non-published content cannot be slanderous.”

                      True, because slander is spoken, not published.

    3. As support I would in part point to Alexander Volokh, The New Private Regulation Skeptisim, 37 Harv. L.J. & Pub. Pol’y 931 (2014).

      I don’t think you read the piece. He was talking about regulation. (It’s right there in the name.) Google isn’t a regulator. It has no power to impose binding rules on anyone.

      1. ” It has no power to impose binding rules on anyone.”

        Not quite true. It can impose binding rules on customers and users of its products, via contract (“By using this site, you agree…”)
        Of course, customers and users of its products then have the choice to become ex-customers and ex-users of its products.

        1. Not quite true. It can impose binding rules on customers and users of its products, via contract (“By using this site, you agree…”)

          “Impose” and “by contract” are antonyms. Contracts, by definition, require agreement.

          Of course, customers and users of its products then have the choice to become ex-customers and ex-users of its products.

          Hence, why it cannot impose rules.

          1. “‘Impose’ and ‘by contract’ are antonyms.

            This is not true.

            Contracts, by definition, require agreement.”

            Did you keep your 1L textbooks? If you did, go find your Contracts text and look up “Contracts of adhesion”. No text? Then use the search engine of your choice and search for “click-wrap”.

            “Hence, why it cannot impose rules”

            And yet, it does.

            1. Neither shrink wrap contracts nor contracts of adhesion are generally enforceable.

              1. Guess again.

              2. You’re both wrong. Contracts of adhesion and shrink wrap contracts are enforceable, because they have the same feature as every other contract: They require agreement.

                1. From ze wiki:

                  ‘For a contract to be treated as a contract of adhesion, it must be presented on a standard form on a “take it or leave it” basis, and give one party no ability to negotiate because of their unequal bargaining position. The special scrutiny given to contracts of adhesion can be performed in a number of ways…’

                  1. They’re enforced in the United States.

                    1. Contracts of adhesion can be challenged as unconscionable, but they don’t (even close) automatically qualify.

                      Contracts of adhesion are imposed on customers. “You want X? These are the terms, and they are not negotiable.”
                      The terms aren’t imposed on people who can, and do, walk away. They are imposed on people who either need the product or service, or don’t bother to examine the terms. It is NOT a requirement that all the terms be specifically agreed to.

                      You can also get terms you didn’t specifically agree to by application of the UCC.

                    2. Contracts of adhesion are imposed on customers. “You want X? These are the terms, and they are not negotiable.”

                      And?

                      The fact that a particular provision of a contract is not negotiable does not mean that the contract itself is imposed on you. See the part of your statement where you say, “You want X?” The customer can say, “No.”

                      In contrast, a regulated entity cannot say “No,” to a regulation.

                    3. “The fact that a particular provision of a contract is not negotiable does not mean that the contract itself is imposed on you”

                      No. It means the terms are imposed on you.

                      “In contrast, a regulated entity cannot say ‘No,’ to a regulation.”

                      Sure they can, in the same manner: By not doing any business at all.
                      You see this with insurance companies all the time. State X imposes regulations the company doesn’t like, so they don’t do business in that state.

            2. Did you keep your 1L textbooks? If you did, go find your Contracts text and look up “Contracts of adhesion”. No text? Then use the search engine of your choice and search for “click-wrap”.

              Your rebuttal makes no sense. Contracts of adhesion are contracts, and hence require agreement. Click wrap contracts are contracts, and hence require agreement.

              1. You didn’t bother to do the reading, and it shows.

                1. Allow me to summarize.
                  You claim that Google (as itself, or, as one of its subentities) cannot impose anything on its customers by contract, because contracts must be entered voluntarily. You argue that it is categorically impossible as a matter of law.

                  Which is dumb, because there’s a specific legal term for contract terms that are unilaterally imposed. (Plus, as alluded to above, when contract terms covered by the UCC are omitted, the UCC acts to impose terms on the parties by operation of law.)

                  1. You claim that Google (as itself, or, as one of its subentities) cannot impose anything on its customers by contract, because contracts must be entered voluntarily. You argue that it is categorically impossible as a matter of law.

                    Correct.

                    Except, my actual argument was that Google couldn’t impose anything on its competitors, while an entity of the type referred to by the Sasha Volokh piece could.

                    But the first argument is also correct: Google cannot impose anything on its customers by contract. You keep getting confused about the difference between Google not being willing to negotiate individual terms (true) and Google imposing those terms on people (false). People must voluntarily choose to accept those terms, by electing to enter into a contract with Google.

                    1. “Except, my actual argument was that Google couldn’t impose anything on its competitors”

                      Except, what you actually said was that Google could impose anything on ANYONE, and they can, and they do.

                      “But the first argument is also correct: Google cannot impose anything on its customers by contract.”

                      But they can, and they do.

                      Contract:
                      You agree to admit your were wrong. In exchange, I’ll stop pointing out that you were wrong.
                      You can accept this contract by replying below.

      2. Of course I read it. It’s relevance is by analogy — it shows that under some circumstances, private entities can be subject to constitutional restrictions that normally only restrict government.

        And while Google is not exercising regulatory powers in a traditional sense, Section 230 allows them to regulate what users see in a way that a newspaper editor cannot. As the professor’s response shows, he understood the point I was making — he just does not agree with my analogy. And it’s not perfect, but that’s how the law works with new technologies — existing legal concepts are applied by analogy to the new situation.

        1. Of course I read it. It’s relevance is by analogy — it shows that under some circumstances, private entities can be subject to constitutional restrictions that normally only restrict government.

          The analogy is flawed. The point is that they de facto aren’t private entities; they’re using authority delegated to them by the government.

          And while Google is not exercising regulatory powers in a traditional sense, Section 230 allows them to regulate what users see in a way that a newspaper editor cannot.

          That’s not true in any respect. They’re not exercising regulatory powers in any sense. They cannot regulate what users see. Google has no power to impose rules on Bing or Duckduckgo or any other engine.

          (Moreover, ? 230 applies to newspapers just as much as to Google; ? 230 is not a search engine rule, but an Internet rule.)

          1. “The analogy is flawed. The point is that they de facto aren’t private entities; they’re using authority delegated to them by the government.”

            Private landlords who own malls must permit petitioners to attempt to gain signatures from mall customers. Which authority was delegated to them by government?

            (Hint: None. The reason given for this requirement is that the mall is where the people are gathered, rather than in the public square.)

            1. “Private landlords who own malls must permit petitioners…”

              This isn’t true in most of the United States, and in the places where it is the case, (California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) it isn’t because of the first amendment.

              1. “This isn’t true in most of the United States, and in the places where it is the case, (California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) it isn’t because of the first amendment.”

                It is true in multiple states, and at no point did I claim it was because of the first amendment.

                The claim, was, that the quoted text, which claimed that power was being delegated from the government to private entities. I offered an example where private entities were limited, and did not have any power delegated by government.
                This point was not addressed in your response.

            2. Which authority was delegated to them by government?

              Which authority was delegated to whom by government? I don’t have any idea what you’re trying to say here, or how you think this helps your analogy. Malls aren’t regulators.

              1. “Malls aren’t regulators.”

                They can, and do, regulate conduct on their property.

  12. So far, this discussion (beginning with the original complaint about Google) is everything I would have expected to find at a right-wing blog. The grievances, the unexpected legal insights, more grievances, the outrage, the sense of persecution, the alternative facts, the call for authoritarian government, the disdain for the mainstream, the other grievances . . .

  13. “In 2012, Google commissioned me to co-write a White Paper ”

    A lot has changed since 2012..

    I don’t know whether it’s algorithms, preferences for certain news sites or just the fact that so many stories are indeed negative to begin with, but I quit reading the news feeds on my phone because it was mostly bad news.
    That in itself might be part of the explanation of why fewer people are reading certain newspapers.

    The fact is, news for the past two years has been mostly bad news and, as human beings, we have a limit of how much bad news we can tolerate before we turn it off.

  14. Well, that’s it, the butter has slipped off of Donny’s noodles. The DOJ, the FBI, the CIA, the Judiciary, the NSA, the news media, and now even Google are all against Donny. Donny say’s, even though I’m a pathological proven serial liar, don’t believe your lying eyes and ears about me, just believe me. Time for a mental health intervention.

    1. He’s not talking to you. He’s talking to his fans. The ones who believe him, and not their lying eyes, because he’ll tell them what they want to hear, and reality is not so accommodating.

  15. Underlying this is the looming issue of a completely suppressed narrative that is a red-hot favorite of us righties that is swelling with explosive Hydrogen gas like a mega-size modern day Hindenburg, all while being studiously ignored by the Left.

    Ignored! Stonewalled!

    I refer to the emergent, undeniable reality of the Deep State and all its profoundly seditious activities regarding a certain president elect and his administration. Another revelation today from frequent Fox contributor Sarah Carter. I can’t embed link but you cheat yourself if you don’t search and read this story at SarahACarter.com > Nation

    You will learn of Adam Lovinger, whose attorney (Sean Bigley) alleges was booted from his position as senior director for strategy at the National Security Council on May 1, 2017, because he was becoming a threat to expose the critical Deep State role of one Stefan Halper.

    Mr. Halper was an emeritus Cambridge professor enjoying a $1 million Obama-era contract to write DOD foreign policy reports. He moonlighted with a matrix of CIA players in the “Crossfire Hurricane” effort to justify launching a Russia probe that focused exclusively on Trump and Trump associates. Now Halper and his like-minded pals had plenty of Russian pals and contacts, as did people like Hillary, the Bidens, and the Podestas, etc., but the Blind Eye for them!

    Google this: when a great big redwood tree falls in the forest and no ear is allowed to hear it, does it make a sound?

  16. Google’s old, now abandoned code of conduct:

    “”Don’t be evil.” Googlers generally apply those words to how we serve our users. But “Don’t be evil” is much more than that. Yes, it’s about providing our users unbiased access to information, focusing on their needs and giving them the best products and services that we can. But it’s also about doing the right thing more generally ? following the law, acting honorably, and treating co-workers with courtesy and respect.”

    Googles new code of conduct:

    “The Google Code of Conduct is one of the ways we put Google’s values into practice. It’s built around the recognition that everything we do in connection with our work at Google will be, and should be, measured against the highest possible standards of ethical business conduct. We set the bar that high for practical as well as aspirational reasons: Our commitment to the highest standards helps us hire great people, build great products, and attract loyal users. Respect for our users, for the opportunity, and for each other are foundational to our success, and are something we need to support every day.”

    Note that they’ve dropped the promise to provide unbiased access to information? At the same time they dropped the promise not to be evil…

    1. You want a different search engine experience?

      Hire some software engineers. Build your site. Or just use one of the competitors that already exists.

    2. You are reading substantive policy significance in a PA document?

      Come on, Brett.

    3. They didn’t drop the promise not to be evil. It’s right there in your link. Control F. At the bottom.

      1. Fair enough. I was more interested in their dropping the promise to be unbiased.

  17. Addendum on the name Stefan Halper, whose name is now bandied about in a major way as a trans-Atlantic conspirator in a very calculated and deliberate plan to destroy Donald Trump and anyone else necessary to bring him down. As much as hazy democratic socialist/globalist type ideology perhaps motivated Professor Halper, it also seems he may be a long term and committed friend of George H.W. Bush and the Bush family.

    My, oh my. Forget Watergate. This is going to be the Grandmother of all Kerfluffles. One thing about genuine criminal cases of a certain magnitude is that once they get rolling they have to go somewhere. If they go off the track for awhile, enough evidence will force them back on to the right track.

    All the way to the end of the line.

  18. This is a case where strict First Amendment observance is at odds with general Free Speech principles. If you are one of those that can’t conceive of Free Speech without 1A, then likely your concept of liberty varies from that of our founders. The purpose of the Bill of Rights was to restrict government, and under our founders’ design, as discussed in the Declaration of Independence, liberties precede government, and indeed the primary function of that government is to maintain and advance those liberties.

    The Internet today is almost entirely under private control here in the US. Everything from domain name registration and lookup to search to email services to Internet providers to social networks to mobile apps, not one of those cannot be locked down by one or few Internet firms. In this reality, a person can be effectively knocked off the Internet, or particular perspectives generally censored.

    1. If the Internet didn’t lend itself to network effects and thus monopolies, it would be a different matter, but it does. There are two ways forward:

      1. Mandatory interoperability for services like search, social. (Interoperability is what allows email to work, but because it’s not mandatory, Google could refuse to deliver your email to Google accounts even if you don’t use Google yourself.)
      2. Alternatively, or until interopabiltiy results in meaningful competition with options for all legal viewpoints, mandatory restrictions against viewpoint discrimination. Subject matter discrimination would still be allowed, but not viewpoint discrimination.

      If written up correctly, I am pretty confident that such as law would pass constitutional muster, and it wouldn’t even require post hoc rationalization.

      1. “If written up correctly, I am pretty confident that such as law would pass constitutional muster, and it wouldn’t even require post hoc rationalization”

        Given that the state of California isn’t even allowed to require that “crisis pregnancy centers” who don’t offer abortion services accurately state that they don’t offer abortion services, I don’t see it.

        This is beside the fact that your “mandatory interoperability” rule isn’t going to produce the results you want. If Google is required to publish the specs on how to format a search for submission (which is freely available now) and the result they return is fully-formatted HTML, they’re interoperable. You still get no vision as to how the algorithm works nor can you control what results are obtained.

        1. The magic words are mono- and oligopoly. Crisis pregnancy centers are anything but. Remember that law was rejected not categorically but as not being sufficiently narrowly tailored for the described government interest.

          As far as interop, that’s more readily applied to social networks. However, it’s an option that Google has. They can do that, or they can stop engaging in viewpoint discrimination. Or be broken up. (I do believe viewpoint discrimination is the right standard here, as normally applies to limited public fora. They may still discriminate as to subject matter, though that is something social networks and app stores do more than Google search itself.)

          1. “As far as interop, that’s more readily applied to social networks. However, it’s an option that Google has. They can do that,”

            Did you miss the point that they already do? I think you missed the point that they already do.

  19. Rigelson and Brett are communists.

    1. Harsh but fair.

  20. Do you think the cult or its leader cares about the Constitution?

  21. So I went and tried DuckDuckGo for my search engine

    and found

    I had no idea that there are so many conservative sites offering opinions on political questions!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.