tv Documentary RT April 28, 2019 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
more something like how about we don't get near enough to the creepy line so that we're ever. engaging in even pseudo creepy behavior because creepy is really bad you know it's. a creepy mugger is worse than a mugger the mugger wants your money god only knows what the creepy mugger wants it's more than your money and you give google a lot of information you searching for the most private stuff on google you're searching about you know illnesses and diseases that your family have you're searching about things that might be your wife may or may not want you to know about and you're going to telling google more than you would tell a family member or your spouse or a very close friend and google has so much information about you that it's scary for who were starting three very powerful ways in which they're impacting people's opinions. and this phenomenon that we discovered a few years ago seem search engine if you lation a fact is
a list of facts list effect is an effect that a list has on some aspects of our cognitive functioning what's higher in a list is easier to remember for example seem is an example of a list effect but with a difference because it's the only list effect i'm aware of that is supported by a daily regimen of operant conditioning that tells us that what's at the top of search results is better and truer than what's lower in the west it's gotten to a point that fewer than five percent of people quit beyond page one because the stuff that on page one and typically at the top in that sort of above the fold position is the best most of the searches that we conduct are just simple routine searches what is the capital of kansas and on those simple search is over and over again the correct answer arises right at the top so we are learning over and over and over. and then the day comes when we look something up that were really
unsure about where should i go on vacation which car should i like which candidate should i vote for and we do our little search and there are results and what do we know what's at the top is better at the top is true or that is why it's so easy to use search results to shift people's opinions this is kind of phenomenon this is really scary compared to something like fake news because it's invisible there's a manipulation occurring they can't see it it's not competitive because well for one thing google has for all intents and purposes has no competitors google controls ninety percent of search in most of the world google is only going to show you one list in one order which have a dramatic impact on the decisions people make on people's opinions beliefs and so on. the second thing they do is what you might call the auto fill in if you are
searching for a political candidate congressman john smith you type in congressman john smith and they will give you several options that will be a prompt as it were as to what you might be looking for if you have four positive search suggestions for a candidate well guess what happens seem happens people whose opinions can be shifted shift because people are likely to click on one of those suggestions that's going to bring them search results obviously that favor of that candidate that is going to connect them to web pages that favor that candidate but now we know that if you allow just one negative to appear in that list it wipes out the shift completely because of phenomenon called negativity bias one negative can in some demographic groups drop ten to fifteen times as many clicks as a neutral i mean the same list turns out that google is manipulating your. opinions
from the very first character that you type into the search bar so this is an incredibly powerful and simple means of manipulation if you are a search engine company and you want to support one candidate or one cause or one product or one company just suppress negatives in your search suggestion all kinds of people over time will shift their opinions in that direction that where you want them to ship but you don't suppress negatives for the other candidate the other cause the other product and then third very often google gives you a box so they will give you search results but they're below the box and up above is a box and the box just gives you the answer. when it comes to local search which it turns out is the most common thing people do in google forty percent of all searches it's not so clear if i'm doing a search for a pediatrician in scranton pennsylvania what happens is google still bisects the page shows the organic meritocracy based information far down the page and pops its
answer box up at the top but it's populating the box with its own sort of restricted set of information that it's kind of drawing from its own kind of proprietary sandbox these are just google's reviews that it's attempted to collect over the years users are habituated to assume the stuff at the top is the best but instead is just what google wants them to see and it looks the same and what happens is google is basically able to put its hand on the scale and create this direct to consumer harm because that mom searching for the pediatrician in scranton is not finding the highest rated pediatrician according to google's own algorithms and she's just getting served the google thing no matter what and that i think is leading to you know terrible outcomes in the offline world so google has at its disposal on the search engine itself at least three different ways of impacting your opinion and it is using them we're talking about. a single company having the
power to shift the opinions of literally billions of bebo without anyone having the slightest idea that they're doing so. let me ask you guys about was switching gears and asking about the sort of privacy and information we have a phone you're talking about the i guess technically always on we have google which basically maybe knows what i'm going to ask for before i ask for it finishes my search request it knows everything that's going on in my household and should i be concerned about how much you know about me we've had this question for more than a decade google and our answer is always the same you have control over the information that we have about you you can actually have a deleted you can also search anonymously you will you get to choose not to give us this information but if you give it to us we can do a better job of making better services for you and i think that's the right answer these computer systems naturally collect this data but we also forget it after
a while and we've written down why and how. google wants you very much to haves privacy from everyone except that. the first thing we all should do is quit using g. mail google stories analyzes all mails that we write and all the incoming e-mails that we read the ones coming from other e-mail services google tracks it all really track the g. mails that you write they track the drafts of those crazy e-mails that you decided not to sand. and the information from g. mail is then put into one's personal profile and becomes another source of information they have for sending people targeted ads tech giants are increasingly under scrutiny from politicians regulators and experts on. the left and the right
some are concerned about their growing power even calling the monopolies and the tension keeps building yet their wall in contemporary life certainly isn't shrinking we too at the news hour have worked in collaborated with facebook google and many other new media businesses and journalists who might communicate with regularly about these issues including journalists at time magazine the guardian the hill i could go on and on very using. not only that their companies are using a form of g. mail their emails are running through google servers all of their incoming and outgoing communications are being monitored by google this is happening also major universities if you enter the university of california after a certain date. you're using g. mail whether you know it or not and it was found that google was yes in fact scanning student e-mails for non educational purposes and what those not and purposes were we still don't know to this day because google still has not come
clean with what they were doing with the information they still haven't certified that they have deleted that data the big challenge was when i found out that google was scanning our student e-mails for advertising purposes and other non educational purposes i went to my state lawmakers and i tried to encourage them to introduce legislation that would ban these practices when i went to the state house who was there a lobbying against any stronger privacy protections for our kids it was google and facebook. we could all and if you don't little book.
if you go back to cuba. and what that plane will. tell you among the group was. the movie did well yeah except you're then he says and pulls with folks like me that the security. will psycho. wall the closure we're going to produce a. new suit to be perceived as this is the last stop that a portion of. what
is it calling his magic internet a new type of digital currency essential lies digital scarcity chancellor i'm bringing a second bailout for a bank that's called the genesis blog for reason to calling it civil disobedience a source of optimism because i can control my own financial destiny it's just a new way of coming to consensus it's a game changer in the human history this is columbus discovering a new world this paradigm shifting technology that transforms economics and finance in a heartbeat the apollo eleven landing on to the next and stacy. you know world of big partners. and conspiracy. where. to
dig deeper to hit the stories that mainstream media refuses to tell more than ever we need to be smarter we need to stop slamming the door on the bath and shouting past each other it's time for critical thinking it's time to fight for the middle for the truth the time is now for watching closely watching the hawks. well i guess it makes sense that so many parts of our life would be influenced by google but guess what the federal government runs on google so if you're counting on the federal government to regulate google realize that the federal government is using google docs they're using google tools in some cases there are even linked to g. mail so google has fused itself with our federal government in so many ways the government's motivation for using it is well google's already done it and they they have this thing that works it seems to be working pretty well for consumerist so
the idea behind it was one very well let's just put some government agencies on google. you know will use google cloud for something they lack the expertise to you have the necessary security. and then it becomes a big embarrassment afterwards of trying to keep it out of the media because people would rightfully point out there is a huge security risk so members of congress are calling for an investigation of google for secretly tracking i phone users all over the internet even users who thought they had blocked that kind of surveillance were you see this pattern emerging over and over again so look at google street view google agreeing to pay seven million dollars to settle what thirty eight states are street new cars collection of data unsecured by five networks. as an open source software and gather network identification information as well as data frames and data being transmitted over unsecured wireless networks as the cars were driving by it's
a great tool for say tourists or transplants but privacy advocate kevin bankston says google is being too invasive there are a lot of people on the web who i think. by this they find it kind of unconscionable and so absent the fact that they got caught and they were fined and that they tried to cover up some of the things that they were doing and then the media got wind of it nothing would happen to them then you google him. the mini has a massive problem and it isn't even out yet it was released to reporters for free last week to test it out one journalist discovered his device recorded everything in earshot and uploaded it more and more people are beginning to use the smart devices in their homes there's two things to it that i think people need to be aware of the fact is that it's always on and always listening so it's collecting an enormous amount of data on their users the other thing is the fact that it is only giving you want to answer back to. the rose. bowl.
greeting the website a little stone national geographic joke. that it shows the entire run of stories was about. i think it's something it's we should be aware of what's happening with the bias being introduced because more and more people are starting to use these units and certainly children are using it and the kids don't have the ability to discern that it's a biased result according to a new report by the electronic frontier foundation schools are collecting and storing kids' names birth dates browsing histories location data and much more without proper privacy protections they wanted to schools and they offered their google apps for education for free to schools what they weren't telling anyone was they're actually collecting information on our kids secretly and they're using this for profiling purposes we just don't know how that information is going to be utilized to get some it could be utilized against them when they apply to college to be utilized against them when they go on for a job it could be utilized against them for insurance that could be utilized against them whenever you want to buy something online and they're taking that
information and they're weaponize ing it against their own kids and guess what happened nothing absolutely nothing happened when when the f.t.c. heard about it when the former education heard about it they took no action. so google grew out of the ph d. program at stanford right they have this affinity for academics they view themselves as academic a little bit nature their campus looks like a college campus so google provides a ton of funding. four academic institutions individual academics all around the world so we found something like three hundred papers that were funded by google in some way that's a part of google's policy positions they like to say hey we have the country's foremost academic experts behind us and what they're not telling in the public is the fact that they're actually funding these so-called independent experts he's so hot in the pen and academics where shows have time for congress about whether or not google is a monopoly she was relying on an academic study to bolster his point they didn't
disclose at the paper was actually funded by google. are you concerned that your company has been exerting enormous power to internet traffic in ways that hurt many small world businesses and local extremely good and well meaning small businesses up and down the rankings but we are in the rankings business and so for every loser there's a winner and so forth i am satisfied that the vast majority of small businesses are extremely well served served by our approach and as i said earlier it's funny but i do believe that they need anything our system moves i mean the answer small business over larger businesses because it gives them a hearing in a rule they would not otherwise have is the nature of the way the algorithms work. google has a blacklist and the biggest blacklist they have is called their quarantine list. now i'm guessing very few people have ever heard of this list and yet i'm telling
you it not only as a tool of censorship it is by far the biggest and most dangerous list that google maintains for the purpose of controlling information the quarantine last is a list of websites that google doesn't want you to visit are there are a thousand items on this list there are millions of websites on this list will has the power to block access to websites and there are no. relevant regulations there's no oversight there's no advisory group there's nothing or no one even realizes that google is doing that there was a curricular day were shut down the entire internet for forty minutes this is reported by the guardian google did not deny it they shut down half of the internet in japan and again they acknowledged it we are talking about a company was so much power who gave google the power to shut down the internet where did that come from.
the adoption rate of smartphones is so profound that that is the information tool and so how people get their information what they believe what they don't use i think the project for the next. i think we are increasingly moving to an era where people are saying we need to take better care of our digital environments and we need to take better care of our digital selves and what that means is being aware of what we are putting into our computers but more importantly what our computers in our devices are putting into us we are sharing information with them increasingly sensitive information the amount of data that they had on us fifteen years ago is relatively small now it's amazingly complex and they never forget any other. posters or to brag i remember well your first visit to capitol hill back in two thousand and ten you spoke to the senate republican tech task force which i'd share you said back then that facebook would always prefer. is that still your
objective. sen yes there will always be a version of facebook that is free it is our mission to try to help connect everyone around the world and to bring the world closer together in order to do that we believe that we need to offer a service that everyone can afford and we're committed to doing that or if so how do you sustain a business model and what use are your service. senator we write out it's. the end of the day there is no free lunch especially when it comes to social media and the internet the entire in common is literally based off of surveillance and that's something that we really need think long and hard is that a sustainable business model to protect their privacy and protect our families and protect our kids moving forward what we need to think about is how can we continue with a light touch deregulated approach but one where people have the information they
need to know what's being done and whether they consent to it or not and so that's why i think we need to have a really big focus on transparency on privacy on a level playing field across the board so that people understand what's happening and they can make decisions in a way that they're not able to very clearly right now. it isn't obvious that regulators are fast enough to keep up with the tech world they're going to be five years behind the game that's like a hundred years that's like wrestling with victorian england to know it seems to me that it would be better in many ways if there were multiple competing search engines and if there were multiple face books because at least then we'd have a diversity of ethical conundrums instead of this totalitarian conundrum that we have right now my concern at this point is that i don't think a lot of people and government really fully understand the extent of the problem i don't think they really understand what they're up against i mean these are massive massive technological changes and they're all happening in parallel we have no idea
what the consequences of that are going to be so my concern fundamentally is that these machines will reflect us ethically and that should be frightening because i wouldn't say that our ethical house is particularly in order so they're going to magnify what we are. that's making the presumption that the thing that we're building will be a good thing and i'd. don't think that it will be a good thing because it will reflect us if they have this kind of power then democracy is an illusion the free and fair election doesn't exist there have to be in place numerous safeguards to make sure not only that they don't exercise these powers but that they can't exercise these powers the internet belongs to all of us and does not belong to google or facebook i mean we have empirical evidence that google is participating in self-serving bias in a way that directly harms consumers as a society as
a democracy any time you have concentration at the levels they are in the information sector it should be concerning because they really are now more powerful than governments they are former regulator but they are private regulator with no democratic accountability i can't believe in a system in which the power is separate from the people we're talking about you know some pretty arrogant people in my opinion who think of themselves as gods of sort and who really want to have a complete hold over humanity and these are basically big mind control machines and mind control machines they're really good at controlling minds it's going to be harder and harder to find more rope we give them the sooner we are all hanged. i don't believe our species counts are vive unless we fix this we cannot have a society in which if two people wish to communicate the only way that can happen
is if it's financed by a third person who wishes to manipulate them. through traditional notion of totalitarianism was resting on the premise or the idea that a government would try to achieve total control over your life and they would do it by using the might and muscle of government to do so under compulsion all today we essentially. i have a totalitarian force in the world and there is these large tech companies but guess what they didn't use stormtroopers they didn't use the gulag they didn't use the arrest of political prisoners. we all opted in to do it ourselves we volunteered for this arrangement and we live in a world today where these tech giants a level of control and an ability to manipulate. hitler and mussolini could only have dreamed of the power and we are essentially trusting
my son doing drugs my nephews was still in drugs my sister just with doing drugs it was like an epidemic of drug abuse america's public enemy number one in the united states is drug abuse. the users in the prison population who are we started treating sick people people who are addicted to these drugs like criminals while i was on the hill i increasingly became convinced that the war on drugs. there are countless numbers of people who are in prison for. sins for minor minor offenders in the drug trade it's
a lot watching your children grow up in issue in waves and say by day as you're walking out of this it's just it doesn't get easier. after the previous stage of my career was over everyone wondered what i was going to do next. different clubs on one hand it is logical to stay home fields where everything is familiar on the other. i wanted a new challenge and the fresh perspective i'm used to surprising people and i saw one on t.v. . i'm going to talk about football not the moral thing to think i was going to go. by the way ways of that slide here. but politicians to do something to. put themselves on the line to get accepted or rejected. so when you want to be
president or injury. or somehow want to. have to go right to be press this is like the full story in the morning can't be good. i'm interested always in the waters about how. question. of american politics it's only going to intensity and the notion that somebody's playing games at the mall arjun's a little close election. believe it or influence the outcome is frankly just frankly absurd to food to compare russia with the other states the united states has been fall or. in influencing the domestic politics of other countries in the learn russia.
among the stories balanced shape the week the first ever summit between of london we are poets in the north korea's kim jong. il relations but the focus also on breaking the nuclear deadlock on the korean peninsula. russian national media is jailed in the u.s. for failing to register as a foreign agent but her lawyer and she's a victim of washington's current political climate. in the us were illegal. in and of themselves but you are caught up in this. also and on the program this hour saudi arabia.