Google has been accused of censoring conservative sites for a long time, and now the Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged the Silicon Valley tech giant with federal antitrust law violations. This comes in the wake of whistleblower revelations by Project Veritas and many complaints by Google customers.
An Unusual Antitrust Case
When antitrust laws first were legislated in the late 19th century, their primary purpose was to target dominant market players who used dubious business practices against competitors and delivered subpar service to their customers. The case against Google is entirely different.
Here the allegations are that the company has targeted its customers based on political and ideological grounds, possibly interfering with U.S. elections. After Donald Trump won the election in 2016, Google co-founder Sergei Brin compared Trump supporters to fascists and asked the company what it can do to “ensure a better quality of governance and decision-making.”
CEO Sundar Pichai told an audience of employees that Google would work to combat “misinformation” shared by “low-information voters,” by which he meant the majority that had elected President Trump.
Many whistleblowers in Google have contacted Project Veritas to report how the company has actively meddled with the election by skewing search results. Its latest video footage release shows a Google engineer explaining how the company favors former Vice President Joe Biden over Trump by adjusting the algorithms.
According to the senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology Dr. Robert Epstein, Google can shift 10% of the voting public away from Trump through its manipulation techniques. As such, a handful of people in Silicon Valley can determine the outcome of the election and overturn the will of the people.
A Seminal Case
Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) have been among the most active champions for targeting the tech giant. Hawley told Fox News:
“Today’s lawsuit is the most important antitrust case in a generation. Google and its fellow Big Tech monopolists exercise unprecedented power over the lives of ordinary Americans, controlling everything from the news we read to the security of our most personal information. And Google, in particular, has gathered and maintained that power through illegal means.”
The case has sent shockwaves through Silicon Valley. Google is not the only company that will be affected. All major social media companies have currently been allowed to operate as utilities with no liability for what is published on their platforms. If the DOJ wins its battle against Google, it could set significant precedence for Twitter and Facebook.
The case will likely take years to litigate, but the result may be a fundamental transformation in how information infrastructure companies are permitted to operate in the United States. One possible outcome is something akin to an Internet Bill of Rights.
Ironically, the case’s fate may be determined by the election, with which the company is accused of tampering. If Biden wins, his DOJ may find no need to prosecute a company that vigorously supported him.
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