Politics

Google Uses Its Power to Silence Critics on the Net

It’s no secret that Google’s executives are uber-liberal.

During the Obama administration, execs had unfettered access to the White House, so much so that they became defacto members of the president’s cabinet offering advice on all sorts of policy decisions.

And now, just weeks after the ouster of employees critical of Google’s politically correct environment, news is coming out about the tech giant’s strong-arming of major media and research organizations.

An acclaimed researcher and writer, Barry Lynn, was recently fired from the New America Foundation think tank for daring to write a piece that praised the EU for holding Google accountable.

Turns out Google is a major financial supporter of NAF and threatened to yank support unless Lynn was ousted.

Worse, Google threatened Forbes magazine with essentially killing its search ranking if it didn’t comply with using Google’s social media tools.

It’s a story of a monopoly plain and simple.

When Microsoft got too big, the DOJ took Bill Gates to court.

Where’s the backlash from AG Sessions over Google?

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Here’s more from Hot Air…

Google uses its significant financial power and influence to squash critics. That’s the conclusion from two former critics both of whom were pressured after publishing stories critical of the company’s practices. Thursday, Barry Lynn wrote a piece for the Post describing the situation that led to his firing by the The New America Foundation think tank. Lynn, who has spent his career writing about monopolies, published a piece on the New Foundation site applauding a European decision to fine Google. Two days later his entire team was fired after pressure from the company:

This last June 27, my group published a statement praising the European Union for fining Google for violating antitrust law. Later that day I was told that Google — which provides substantial support to other programs at New America — said they wanted to sever all ties with the organization. Two days later I was told that the entire team of my Open Markets Program had to leave New America by September 1.

No think tank wants to appear beholden to the demands of its corporate donors. But in this instance, that’s exactly the case. I — and my entire team of journalists and researchers  at Open Markets — were let go because the leaders of my think tank chose not to stand up to Google’s threats

Over at Gizmodo, Kashmir Hill has a similar story. While working at Forbes, Hill wrote about Google’s attempt to pressure the company into using their Google Plus network:

The Google salespeople were encouraging Forbes to add Plus’s “+1″ social buttons to articles on the site, alongside the Facebook Like button and the Reddit share button. They said it was important to do because the Plus recommendations would be a factor in search results—a crucial source of traffic to publishers.

Hill confirmed the information with Google’s PR people and then published a story about what she had been told. She writes that Google immediately “flipped out.” They asked her to unpublish the story saying the meeting had been confidential. They also applied pressure on her superiors:

It escalated quickly from there. I was told by my higher-ups at Forbes that Google representatives called them saying that the article was problematic and had to come down. The implication was that it might have consequences for Forbes, a troubling possibility given how much traffic came through Google searches and Google News.

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