Google has recently (June 2019 ) used their power to manipulate public opinion in favor of the Pro Vaccine Argument! In the first-ever attempt to influence public opinion, using powers at their disposal, Google “search” has decided to actively manipulate available information by removing controversial online discourse raging over vaccine safety from the results they provide. Websites who promote or provide a platform for critical perspectives of vaccine safety, questioning the lack of safety studies or vaccine efficacy, found that Google has unilaterally removed the search traffic they once enjoyed, without engaging in any debate or providing any notice, or any explanation!
‘Don’t be evil’, Google’s motto during their growth phase, different from ‘Do no evil’, was “chosen because it leaves room for honest disagreements, but still encourages Google to strive to make the world better“. But are Google still striving to make the world better by removing ‘honest disagreements’ or has there been a change of policy? Are mottos like ‘don’t be evil’ or ‘make the world better’ compatible with unilaterally and secretly deciding what specific information is made available to the public by removing honest disagreements and controversial sources of information (claimed to be misinformation), while quietly choosing which narrative will prevail?
Incentives to manipulate:
Has Google ever profiteered in the past from removing controversial information from the results they provide? I can answer, to my knowledge, NO! Google has never before removed controversial content or had an agenda to create profit directly or indirectly as a result of removing honest arguments from their results. But it has been common practice for Google to profit while removing commercial companies because they allegedly violated Google’s ‘terms of service’ or allegedly failed to meet their ‘quality guidelines‘.
In fact, Google has a long history of doing such, and have traveled down a path, starting with, profiting from removing ‘webspam’, to profiting by removing companies whose page load speed or technology was not up to standards they imposed. It has been a slippery moral slope whereby ethical standards have slowly been eroded, to the point that they now see no hindrance in actively, aggressively, and secretly, enhancing profits in one industry by using their power to censor access, and dispel negative information about certain products.
Public Relations & Reputation Management
Typically it has been the realm of public relations companies to deal with reputation management, who would engage in this arena and try and manipulate public opinion or preserve the reputation of individuals, companies or products, in the interests of preserving profits or preserving a companies reputation or one’s dignity. But when you remove negative reviews, personal opinions, product complaints, honest scientific discourse, intellectual debate, because it interferes with profit that is gained from selling products, because those products have a reputation for killing or injuring the consumers, that could be an act of EVIL if it finally turns out that there is truth in the arguments that the current vaccine schedule is severely miss-reporting the cases of brain damage and death caused by adverse reactions.
Google’s own reputation management department could frame this as either an impartial update, whereby the bias was caused because of collateral damage, a phenomenon that has happened in previous Google ‘updates’ which were intended to remove low-quality results but then incorrectly impacted high-quality sites, but most fittingly this will be framed as Google taking a stance against evil vaccine skeptics who are putting lives at risk by exposing people to curable illnesses with misinformation about vaccine safety.
When we take into consideration the wider picture and this apparent statement by google:
“Google, which owns YouTube, promised to deprioritize antivaccine and cancer quackery in its search results and to ban people and companies posting such content from monetizing it through its ad-serving system. Indeed, at the time, a number of prominent purveyors of medical misinformation started complaining loud and long about this, which is not surprising given that running YouTube ads on videos hosted on the platform can generate a considerable amount of income when the videos are viewed thousands—or even millions—of times.”
While I cannot find the direct quote from the Google ‘search’ department this is what Youtube/Google had to say:
“To that end, we’ll begin reducing recommendations of borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways”
Which is in-line with a stance recently adopted by other social media tech giants who have also announced they too are deprioritizing misinformation about vaccines:
Facebook, Amazon, YouTube and Pinterest are all taking various actions to hide, downgrade or otherwise control the spread of anti-vax content.
The companies are responding to the uptick in public attention that stems from certain lawmakers and the news outlets covering them.
“We are on the verge of a public health crisis,” New York Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy said, following her sponsorship of a bill to allow minors the chance to consent to vaccinations, regardless of their parents’ opinions.
In addition, California representative Adam Schiff sent letters to CEOs of Google, Facebook, and Amazon, urging they “consider additional steps [they] can take to address this growing problem.”
The pro-vaccine Vs AntiVaccine controversial debate has reached all-time highs with Google and the big tech companies now taking an active stance in this subject while siding with the pro-vaccine side of the argument. This is significant because it is the first time that Google (as far as I am aware) has ever picked a side in a controversial public debate over anything by editing their results in favor of one side of the argument. Sites that provide a platform for the antivaccine perspective have been obviously penalized (removed) in the June 2019 update.
For those that are not informed as to this particular controversy, the debate toils over controversial claims that aluminum unnecessarily (added to vaccines to extend their reach) is a powerful neurotoxin which has been widely studied and is proven to be dangerous to human health, but the controversy goes that the micro amounts used in vaccines to extend their potency (believed to be harmless), is causing brain damage in a small subset of suspectable individuals where the blood-brain barrier is not adequately developed, which can result in Autism and death or other conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Within this controversy, one side claims that the anti-vaxxers are dangerous to the wider population and are responsible for a resurgence of epidemics of measles and other preventable illnesses because herd immunity is not reaching high enough (>90%) proportions, while mandating and insisting governments make it a legal requirement to force populations to conform to the full vaccine schedule which has risen in recent years to nearly 100 individual vaccine doses before age 20.
Both sides have strong arguments which divide communities and families, but ironically, there have been no official studies conducted to-date to prove scientifically that the amount of aluminum collectively used in the recommended vaccine schedule is harmless, and without such science being available, the pro-vaccine side resorts to downplaying the known risks and airbrushing the evidence to paint vaccines as safe and continuously point to evidence that is not conclusive, inadequate, or which has already been shown by the anti-vax side of the debate to be flawed.
Whichever side of the debate you are on, depending on your level of knowledge of the subject and how likely you are to follow orders from men in white coats, you will be torn between the acceptable known risks of vaccine adverse reactions Vs the risks of preventable illnesses. But are the risks being downplayed as claimed by the anti-vax side of the debate?
What is not yet known is which side will win this debate, as it is still yet to be scientifically settled. Until such time that scientifically proven studies are conducted (and repeated) to prove there is no statistically significant increase in brain damage (autism) following the approved vaccine scheduling, then this debate will rage on dividing communities, families, and nations. Ironically it seems to be generally accepted that all vaccines increase autism risks but we just don’t know the numbers.
Moreover, this debate/divide it is getting very serious with propaganda being used on both sides, social media activists becoming increasingly connected, louder and more effective, with social media companies and big tech companies being drawn into this debate and starting to take sides. Lives are at risk, profits are at risk, with both political and economic power being used to apply leverage in favor of the pro-vaccine argument.
With that background, Google has now decided to enter this debate and help settle the argument once and for all. Not by providing funding for scientific studies which prove the amount of aluminum used is safe, or promoting scientific studies that prove vaccines do not increase the risks of autism, death and Alzheimer’s disease, but instead they have decided to remove (hide) from Google search results, websites that provide a platform for the anti-vaxxers and sites that provide information in the public interest which contains evidence or information about vaccine risks.
Google Core Updates Explained
Google for the last 15 years has been in a constant war against what they term web spam, which are websites that manipulate Google search results using ‘tricks’ that are against Google’s terms of service, and which distort the natural search results in favor of commercial entities who are profiting from that search traffic which they ‘stole’. Skilled manipulators have been able to decode the algorithm Google has developed and have taken over search positions they wouldn’t normally be given.
Until now the Google Updates have always been a black box, with Google not under any requirement to reveal their inner workings and fearful that such information would assist manipulators, Google has more secrecy around their secret search algorithm than Coca-Cola secret recipe. They do not give away any information and actively try to confuse the SEO community to what is going on behind the scenes. With that said, it is not impossible to prove the arguments and claims being made in this article.
We have exclusive software unique in its ability to decode Google’s ‘Updates’. we are able to categorically assert that this update is different, different to all other Google updates ever performed. All previous Google Updates have targeted so-called ‘manipulation’ or quality issues, with a traceable cause and effect.
Prior logic would be, Google search results are manipulated by X reason, and Google can fix this by applying penalties to websites which engage in X. Normally X would be something like ‘keyword stuffing’, ‘paid links’, over ‘optimized keywords’, ‘various link schemes’, duplicate content, ‘page load speed’, ‘mobile responsiveness’. etc. This would involve isolating sites with particular features that were not providing quality content, or a quality system for users. The difference with this update is that Google has now targeted sites that don’t have the ‘right argument’! Or content that Google classifies as misinformation.
Evidence for nvic.org an official site with a skeptical perspective about vaccines:
Evidence for GreenMedInfo, a site with skeptical vaccine perspective:
Should this be a public debate? Should the public even be aware that certain information is being actively censored by Google, or is it right that Google operates a black-box deciding and editing a narrative of the world to suit their own biases? Is that fair? Morally right, or wrong? Or even evil? Which agendas are being satisfied? Are profits being gained from such manipulation? Should Google quietly and secretly censor information that derives from honest but controversial disagreements? Can we agree that secret information censorship by one of the largest tech companies in the world, who are arbitrators of information dissemination, is a good use of their power, and that Google is making the world a better place by doing so?
Can you trust Google?
This is a controversial debate, while no one can argue that vaccines save millions of lives each year, and on balance, they are an amazing scientific discovery, but there are known risks in using them, which are controversially debated with arguments ranging over how risky they are. It is believed by the anti-vax group that the risks are much higher than claimed and autism, HIV, and other harm is being caused by the vaccine schedule. Because it has not been proven scientifically that there are no extra risks, the only way to settle this debate is to do the science, not compelling large tech companies to do the bidding of the vaccine companies. This cannot bode well for their reputation which is already on shaky ground, especially if in the future, scientific studies end up proving the risks are higher than currently accepted.