The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersiSteve Blog
Google Is Micro-Gaslighting Again
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

An anonymous commenter put together these 3 screenshots (which I’ve checked and are legit) of the auto-complete prompts you get on 3 big search engines when you type in “deaths from op”:

I don’t really get why Google does this kind of thing. One reason they do this is because they can and almost nobody ever criticizes them for it.

For example, back in early 2010, I pointed out that Google had gone out of its way to not suggest “Pat Buchanan” as the auto-complete for “Pat Bu”, suggesting “Pat Buttram,” who played Mr. Haney on “Green Acres” and a whole bunch of even more obscure people whose names started “Pat Bu” but not Pat Buchanan. It stayed like that for quite some time, and then it stopped.

But almost nobody anywhere else ever mentioned this.

I tend to doubt that these kind of micro-gaslights are part of some grand plan that comes down from Larry and Sergey. Maybe it’s part of Google’s culture that hard workers are rewarded by being allowed to screw over a few people they don’t like?

Google’s misuse of its power would seem like an interesting subject to research, but virtually nobody goes there. One reason might be that you have good reason to wonder what Google might do to you in revenge.

On the other hand, some of Google’s gaslighting of its auto-complete prompts is clearly Policy with a capital P.

For example, in 2012 I wrote a Taki’s Magazine column about “Google Gaydar:” how you could type in a celebrity’s name and see by the recommended prompts what the public searches for in regard to him:

Other stars who score a 0 on Google Gaydar include Bill Murray, Walter Matthau, Jeff Bridges, W. C. Fields, Mel Gibson, Fred MacMurray, Robert Duvall, and Woody Allen. This doesn’t mean that they are all 100 percent straight, just that none of their ten most common search terms — €”or even the ten most popular beginning with the letter “€œg”€ — €”are the word “€œgay.”€

In contrast, type in “€œKevin Spacey,”€ and the word “€œgay”€ is immediately proposed as the single most efficient suggestion to finish your search. So Spacey gets a 100.

Now, from the perspective of the #MeToo Era, it might seem like a good thing that in 2012 Google’s auto-complete was alerting mothers whose 14-year-old sons had excitedly announced that they had just won a scholarship to the Kevin Spacey Sleepover Acting Camp for Theatrical Boys. But in 2013 Google changed it’s auto-complete to never ever suggest “gay” as an auto-completion prompt. In 2018, typing in “Kevin Space ga” gets you the following suggestions:

Screenshot 2018-11-30 00.51.12

Duck Duck Go follows the same anti-gaydar policy as Google. In contrast, Microsoft’s Bing suggests:

Screenshot 2018-11-30 00.51.46

But at least Google is here being consistent and not trying to pull the wool over anybody’s eyes about what it’s up to. Clearly, they made a policy decision. I can’t find any evidence on Google that Google ever publicly announced their policy change, and the news media doesn’t seem all that enthusiastic about reporting on what goes on inside Google, perhaps out of fear of what Google could do to them.

Similarly, Google refuses to respond to, say, a search for “Jerry Seinfeld Je” with any kind of religion- or ethnicity-related prompt. In contrast, Bing is happy to suggest that “Jewish” might be what you are looking for. Likewise, Google will not offer “Mormon” as a way to complete “Mitt Romney M,” while Bing will.

However, Google will autocomplete “Is the Pope” with “Catholic.”

It would seem to be pretty reasonable to ask that Google publicly disclose how it is manipulating specific topics like this, but nobody ever seems to do this.

 
Hide 177 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    [reposted from previous thread]

    I changed my default search engine to DuckDuckGo years ago.

    Commenters occasionally say here at TUR that Google is somehow superior, but even if that’s so (which I doubt), isn’t the corruption plenty of reason to boycott? Guess not, in light of news the other day that Amazon continues to expand.

    Most people, even here in Exceptionalia, are lazy and dull. In a better society, the Establishment would be better reined in.

  2. which is why i use duck duck go

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  3. B.B. says:

    Robert Epstein is doing research on how big tech companies can manipulate their services towards political ends.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  4. Tyrion 2 says:

    I did a Google Trend comparison between the two and “deaths from open heart surgery” is a flatline so “deaths from opioids” should certainly autocomplete first.

    Google are very concerned with “inappropriate” autocomplete predictions as they get a lot of complaints as the market leader.

    You can read about it, at length, here:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.blog.google/products/search/how-google-autocomplete-works-search/amp/

    I actually suspect that the “deaths from opioids” result is phased out as part of some algorithm to stop racist predictions, in this case, against white people. It seems too tangential for an SJW direct action. Nonetheless it isn’t great that it is quite plausible that the global index of information might try to tie hide national health crises for SJW activist reasons.

  5. Roger says: • Website

    Somehow Google has convinced everyone that their search is not biased because it uses a trade secret algorithm. Eventually the public will figure out that the argument does not even make any sense. The algorithm is tuned by the work of thousands of engineers, and of course it is biased.

  6. The Sackler family are known to spread their ill-gotten wealth around in the arts world in order to buy respectability. I wonder if a similar thing is happening here. It’s incredible to think that one family is responsible for more deaths each year than the whole death toll from the Vietnam war, and yet there’s barely a peep from the media.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Trevor H.
    , @Wally
  7. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Tyrion 2

    Or maybe Google gets nice Christmas cards from the Sacklers.

    Your algorithmic speculation seems a tad forced.

    • Agree: peterike
    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
  8. Anon[190] • Disclaimer says:

    I’m familiar with information retrieval tech and worked for a small non-U.S. search engine that was acquired by a major American search engine (not Google) in the late 20th century. I’ve kept up with things as much as one can do from the outside since then.

    I do not buy the conspiracy angle here. I believe Google when they say that they are relying on automated algorithms.

    You cannot really compare Google with any other search engine. DDG is a guy in his pajamas coding it all by himself (and I respect that). Bing on the other hand has a good team of talented information retrieval engineers, but they are nowhere near as well staffed as Google, by an order of magnitude at least, and I don’t think they are as deep into AI as Google is. These two search engines are going to implement in the most obvious way. Google will do things in a more 3D chess manner. Google’s search patents reveal all kinds of crazy things that Google is thinking about that I’m sure Bing, having neither the traffic nor the excess staff of Google, couldn’t care less about.

    In addition, a lot of Google’s quirks derive from the fact that they are the big guys. Hackers and spammers and black hat SEOs target Google, looking for exploitable patterns. Nobody cares how they rank in Bing and DDG, so nobody targets them. Google thus has to plug the dike in all kinds of ways that the other search engines don’t have to worry about.

    Google is very evil, with its advertising price controls, automated stealing of data, preferences for its own services in search results over more popular competitors, and in many other ways. But I don’t think that the Google Suggestions are deliberately skewed in the way you’re suggesting.

    It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that some higher level component in their search software that is intended to combat black hat SEO is inadvertently skewing results in a way that seems to favor the left, in the same way that AI software tends to come to the conclusion that blacks commit a lot of crime and are not the best employees, although nobody programmed it to do that. And it is possible that when the skew is anti-right it is not caught as early as anti-left skews are caught, due to company implicit political biases.

    But my money would be that these apparently biased results are simply random quirks, with a sort of selection bias or “publication bias” on the part of bloggers added in. Here’s an article from Wired making the same charges, but from a leftist perspective:

    https://www.wired.com/story/google-autocomplete-vile-suggestions/

    Google Suggest was throwing out “Islamists are … terrorists,” “blacks are … not oppressed,” “hitler is … my hero,” “white supremacy … is good,” and so on.

  9. eah says:

  10. wren says:

    https://dailycaller.com/2018/11/29/google-censorship-conservative-media/

    Also, the US government knows how much fentanyl comes from China.

    I’m waiting for Trump to point this out some time on Twitter.

    It’s not like the Chinese never mentioned the opium war.

  11. Tyrion 2 says:
    @anonymous

    It is an explanation that makes more sense to me than that Google is trying to hide it while Vox is trying to bring attention to it.

    https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/11/29/18117906/opioid-epidemic-drug-overdose-deaths-2017-life-expectancy

    • Replies: @meh
  12. anon[190] • Disclaimer says:

    Semi-OT: NYT has something about Facebook hiring an oppo research firm to look into George Soros. Apparently he trashed Facebook at Davos and Sheryl Sandberg thinks he might be shorting their stock.

    Just goes to show that there probably isn’t some giant super conspiracy among the Jews/SJWs/Democrats/whatever – Soros and Facebook both seem pretty keen on open borders globalist nonsense, and yet here they are fighting like cats in a sack.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @Anonymous
  13. meh says:
    @Tyrion 2

    It is an explanation that makes more sense to me than that Google is trying to hide it while Vox is trying to bring attention to it.

    You are being remarkably obtuse.

    Google is for the masses; what they do or don’t do actually matters in terms of public perception.

    Vox is for the policy elite and will make no impact on the public consciousness; it isn’t meant for the masses.

    Note that elite or specialist media have been talking about the opioid crisis for years, and yet the topic has never made it out to the public consciousness or public discourse at large, nor has it had any reception in the political sphere beyond mere platitudes, which anyone who was not been paying attention to the topic would even understand.

    Amusingly, though, if you do a Ctrl F on article you link to, the name “Sackler” nowhere appears.

    The point is how the elites control the public discourse, by keeping certain topics obscure to the public at large, while the elites and their hired professionals and Mandarins talk amongst themselves; a discourse not meant for the larger public.

    But anyway, no one ever said that no one at all in the mass media was talking about the opioid crisis; this is just your implied strawman.

    The topic was Google; you are simply using a diversion, i.e., moving the goalposts to the media at large.

  14. Tyrion 2 says:
    @meh

    Vox is for the policy elite

    lol.

    • Replies: @meh
  15. Tiny Duck says:

    Maybe google is trying to fight white supremacy. Ever think of that?

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  16. Opioids, Opioids, Opioids, is all we’ve been hearing about the past decade in Ohio, at all media levels.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Marat
  17. meh says:
    @Tyrion 2

    lol.

    Well it is. As are similar older publications like the New Yorker, the Atlantic, etc. Just because it is new and online-only doesn’t mean it isn’t serious.

    You don’t have an argument and you know it. Articles written on Vox are not comparable to Google manipulating search results.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
    , @Anonymous
  18. eah says:

    link

    At the above link you can watch a short video (1:31) of an EU official (sorry, not sure who it is) saying that as a result of the Global Compact for Migration, it will be illegal to criticize migration — summary:

    While the agreement is not binding, it is intended that countries that sign it use it as a framework for enacting new legislation — one aspect of this new legislation is extending the definition of hate speech to include criticism of migration — “Criticism of migration will become a criminal offense.”

    Just to be clear: this is seen/presented as a feature, not a bug.

  19. snorlax says:
    @Tyrion 2

    A current-year hard-left US corp wouldn’t be the slightest bit bothered by “racist predictions … against white people.”

    I think this case probably is an algorithm, but intended to discourage searching for suicide methods.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
    , @Svigor
  20. Anonymous[419] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    AI software tends to come to the conclusion that blacks commit a lot of crime and are not the best employees, although nobody programmed it to do that.

    Do you have some references about this?

    • Replies: @Trevor H.
  21. Anonymous[419] • Disclaimer says:

    Why would Google want to suppress opioid deaths?

    • Replies: @Jack D
  22. CCR says:

    Does Apple do something similar? I typed in a word and transposed the letters so that it was a nonsense word and Apple made two suggestions, which were Trump and Rape.

  23. Anonymous[295] • Disclaimer says:
    @TelfoedJohn

    It’s incredible to think that one family is responsible for more deaths each year than the whole death toll from the Vietnam war, and yet there’s barely a peep from the media.

    If you’ve been following Ron Unz’s ‘American Pravda’ article series, you will quickly realize that there is nothing “incredible” about this at all. It’s just what the media do. It’s just business as usual here in the good ole USSA.

    • Agree: ben tillman
  24. Anonym says:

    This is why I use bing. An unexpected bonus is that the image search yields random porn for the lulz.

  25. IHTG says:

    Maybe it doesn’t show up for the same reason that “How can I score some…” wouldn’t show. Ie, they’re blanking out terms for drugs.

    Entering that into search does pop up “weed” (which is now of course legal in a number of states), but not any other drug.

  26. Tyrion 2 says:
    @meh

    It was founded for exactly the opposite reason and it has gone even more downmarket from there. Stop embarrassing yourself.

    Taken from Vox’s mission statement:

    Vox is a general interest news site for the 21st century. Its mission is simple: Explain the news.

    ‘Cos what the “policy elite” really want is the news patronisingly explained to them…

    • Replies: @anon
  27. Tyrion 2 says:
    @snorlax

    I tried it first.

    “I hate white pe” goes to “I hate white pepper” and never “people”.

    “Honkey” doesn’t show.

    “White people are” autocompletes to nothing.

    I suspect they have lists of neutral ethnic/racial words and lists of bad things and they block the two lists appearing together, mostly.

    • Replies: @snorlax
    , @Anonymous
  28. Pericles says:
    @anonymous

    I use DuckDuckGo for search and if that doesn’t help, then I try Google. Feels good, man.

  29. Just tried googling Steve Sai–and Steve’s name comes up. For all the noticing, apparently Google isn’t (at least not yet) getting petty about it.

  30. This makes me proud that I use Bing. It has a nice picture each day as its backdrop. Here is yesterday’s, a particularly beautiful one of the Frankfurt Christmas Market, which proves Bing is Christmas-friendly — and even German-friendly, Heaven forbid:

  31. jim jones says:

    I seem to remember that there was no Google Doodle for International Men’s Day but there was one for Women`s Day.

  32. utu says:
    @meh

    You are being remarkably obtuse.

    This was in his job description.

  33. Anonymous[270] • Disclaimer says:

    I’ve been using https://www.startpage.com/ as my main search engine for four years now. It serves my purposes >95% of the time. I only resort to Google no more than once every couple weeks. Startpage also allows you to visit sites anonymously and never ever tracks anything. Also no Gmail or Google Docs. Also run Ghostery to block Google Analytics on all sites (that, by the way, includes Unz.com).

  34. utu says:
    @Anon

    But my money would be that these apparently biased results are simply random quirks

    The random quirks are left random if their bias is on the right side of history. And when they are not they are tweaked. My money would be that there is a special dedicated cell in Google which deals with this issue.

  35. dearieme says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I do hope Bing isn’t doing target identification for anti-Xmas extremists.

  36. dearieme says:

    Since I am not interested in luvvies, Hollywood, and all that, I hardly ever comment on them. Kevin Spaceyga, however, is worth a remark. Because I was a great fan of the British original I thought I’d watch a couple of episodes of the American “House of Cards”. It was noticeable that of the whole cast he was the only one who could act.

    • Agree: donut
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    , @OFWHAP
  37. Sbrin says:

    With the exception of Google Maps, which is the only decent mapping software out there, I have not used a Google product in over a decade.

    If anyone can recommend a decent alternative for mapping I’m all in to ditch Google Maps.

  38. Chriscom says:

    “But I don’t think that the Google Suggestions are deliberately skewed in the way you’re suggesting.”

    Oh sweet summer child.

    I think it was Steve who recommended this, but do an image search on Google for American Scientists and let us know if you think that’s an accurate representation. Try the same with the phrase White Couples.

    These days you get similar returns on Bing btw.

    Yes I know these are not auto-suggestions, but fruit of the same tree.

    The Creepy Line, add it to your watch lists. Amazon Prime I think.

  39. anon[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @Tyrion 2

    I’m not taking a side in your spat, I just want to point out that it’d be foolish in the extreme to take Vox at its word there. All Vox does is tell people what they want to hear, and from that you can infer what kind of reader they’re after, and it ain’t Regular Joe.

    ‘Cos what the “policy elite” really want is the news patronisingly explained to them…

    I think it would be more precise to describe Vox as being aimed at the social class from which the policy elite is drawn, rather than at the policy elite itself. Even so, I’d be shocked if most of the policy elite weren’t regular readers. I doubt even 1% of them find it patronising. Remember: these people are 27-yr olds who literally know nothing.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    , @Tyrion 2
  40. Trevor H. says:
    @Roger

    More times than I can count, I have engaged on this topic with people who smugly declare that “Google searches are controlled by an algorithm” and hence cannot possibly be biased. After all, it’s a big computer not a person!

    And they appear to believe that this explanation is completely dispositive.

    You are considerably more optimistic than I am about the general intelligence and critical faculties of the American public.

  41. Trevor H. says:
    @TelfoedJohn

    The Sackler family are known to spread their ill-gotten wealth around in the arts world in order to buy respectability.

    And the Saatchi family, and the Lauders, Lehmans, Kravises, Schwarzmans, Taubmans, Rothschilsb and so on and so on.

    It’s what they do.

    • Replies: @Trevor H.
  42. Trevor H. says:
    @Trevor H.

    Incidentally, anyone keen on researching the wealthy and powerful members of the Tribe is well advised to use “philanthropy” as a primary keyword. Heck, even Sheldon Adelson is considered a philanthropist by Google. Wikipedia is not far behind.

    Bernie Madoff? Oh, he was just a misunderstood philanthropist.

  43. Because of this article, I bookmarked Duck Duck Go and will use it instead of Google from now on. BTW, did you ever Google “Google autocomplete policy?”

  44. Trevor H. says:
    @Anonymous

    Have you ever heard of the FBI Uniform Crime Report?

  45. Svigor says:

    Wake me up when the White Men are sorting out (((go ogle)) The Hard Way. Got a few Key Words I want to use.

  46. @propagandist hacker

    Me too.

    They have this excellent piece on their blog

    https://spreadprivacy.com/how-to-remove-google/

    Go thou, and do likewise.

  47. Svigor says:
    @snorlax

    Or it’s a digital form of opioids. “Go to sleep white folks, nothing to see here.”

    It’s how (((Big Media’s))) been handling America’s demographic change for decades.

  48. peterike says:
    @Tyrion 2

    I actually suspect that the “deaths from opioids” result is phased out as part of some algorithm to stop racist predictions, in this case, against white people

    No. If you spend time around leftist websites, you will find lots and lots of Leftists don’t see the opioid crisis as bad at all, because it mostly kills the wrong kind of white people (at least that’s the perception, I don’t know the numbers). Some openly cheer it and mock the “dumb hillbillies” that are dying by the thousands.

    Google doesn’t want to let you know about it because they’re happy it’s happening.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
    , @Mr McKenna
  49. @B.B.

    Mrs Clinton, back in 1998 rued the Internet’s lack of “gatekeepers”

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1491134/posts

    Interesting little beignet:

    “…So we’re going to have to deal with that. And I hope a lot of smart people are going to “

  50. Mr. Anon says:
    @anon

    Just goes to show that there probably isn’t some giant super conspiracy among the Jews/SJWs/Democrats/whatever – Soros and Facebook both seem pretty keen on open borders globalist nonsense, and yet here they are fighting like cats in a sack.

    Medieval nobles fought each other, often bitterly, often to the death. But they usually suspended their quarrels whenever the peasants got uppity. They could all agree to repress the commoners. Just because the elites aren’t a monolithic block in everything, doesn’t mean they don’t conspire against all the rest of us.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  51. I suspect that there is a broader part of the population that isn’t sure what words they are looking for to complete their search query; but, does anybody here not know the end to the question that they are going to ask the internet? It is occasionally amusing when I see suggested searches go off in a wildly different direction than I had intended, but I rarely follow the suggestions to their conclusion. I am sure Google has statistics that support their “micro-gaslighting”; however, marketing to the masses always feels counter-intuitive to my brain. Click-through ads and the like are mind-boggling, but it -appears to work on enough people to justify the ad-spend.

  52. Spud Boy says:

    Two comments:

    1. I use Bing because I hate Google and everything they stand for.

    2. If the auto-complete is incorrect, I just keep typing. It doesn’t make me change my intended search.

  53. Yandex.

    What is gaslighting anyway? The meaning seems to vary. Listing facts and data seems to be gaslighting.

  54. Google’s image recognition has been gutted. In 2014 it would recognize a face and find photos of that person across the internet. A right click would find the original of the fakes used by Russian trolls to suggest non existent attacks on civilians by the Ukrainian army. Now it can’t even match the same image.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  55. snorlax says:
    @Tyrion 2

    Looks like it’s drugs in this case.

    deaths from her ➔ deaths from herbalife/herpes/hernia surgery/herbal supplements
    deaths from mor ➔ (nothing)
    deaths from ox ➔ (nothing)
    deaths from perc ➔ deaths percy jackson
    deaths from cod ➔ (nothing)
    deaths from vic ➔ death from victoza/vick’s vaporub
    deaths from hydro ➔ deaths from hydropower/hydroxycut/hydrogen sulfide/hydrofluoric acid/hydroxyzine/hydrogen cyanide/hydrochloric acid
    deaths from coc ➔ deaths from coconuts
    deaths from metha ➔ deaths from methadone (lol)/methanol poisoning/methane
    deaths from cry ➔ deaths from cyrotherapy/cryptococcosis
    deaths from amp ➔ deaths from amputation
    deaths from ec ➔ deaths from ectopic pregnancy/e coli/e cigs/eclampsia/eczema/ect
    deaths from md ➔ (nothing)
    deaths from mari ➔ deaths from maria/marinol
    deaths from ls ➔ (nothing)
    deaths from lyse ➔ deaths from lysenkoism

    • Agree: Tyrion 2, Trevor H.
  56. @meh

    Vox is for the policy elite, eh?

    I doubt it, but having read some of their stuff, no one would ever say it is for the cognitive elite.

    But the the Venn diagram between the cognitive elite and the policy elite would show very little overlap.

    • LOL: Hibernian
  57. Alfa158 says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I find that Bing is more objective and I also like the daily photo, so I switched to them as my browser home page a couple of years ago.

    I have to say one of the things I like about Steve Sailer is his charming, old school White Guy naïveté:
    “the news media doesn’t seem all that enthusiastic about reporting on what goes on inside Google, perhaps out of fear of what Google could do to them.”
    Actually Steve, it’s because the news media think Google is doing a wonderful thing and wish they would do it harder and faster.

    • Agree: L Woods
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  58. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @snorlax

    How about “Sackler”?

  59. Our problem is Google has Plausible Irrelevance: it’s obvious they’re manipulating auto-completes in directions they favor, and since Google is vast and powerful that seems highly relevant to us dissidents. But it’s easy for Google to hide behind ‘if searchers get all the way to “Kevin Spacey g”, let them hunt and peck for a and y – what’s the big deal?’

  60. the says:

    Here’s a pretty slick case: for a while a search for the terms “Brian Littlefair” returned as the top hit:

    UFOs: Proven ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt’ | Dissident Voice
    dissidentvoice.org/2018/08/ufos-proven-beyond…
    Brian Littlefair / 08/23/2018

    And the offending author becomes internet-famous as a flying saucer nut.

    Brian Littlefair didn’t write that. The search term “Brian Littlefair” does not appear on that UFO web page at all. What did appear there, for a while, in the Latest Article column, was ‘The First Thing We Do,’

    https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/08/the-first-thing-we-do/

    That was presumably the offending article. Its content might be triggering to hasbara bots or JTRIG-type keyboard commandos or both. The trick of suppression could be effected by a bit of incremental traffic while both articles appeared on the same page.

    This was most pronounced on (Yahoo(oath)(Verizon)). It didn’t replicate exactly but the same general hits permuted. DuckDuckGo returned a hit on the UFO article too. By contrast Metager.de, searx.me, and yandex.ru gave you what you would expect.

  61. @anonymous

    Same here on the duckduckgo, Mr #340, but I’ll use google when I get to an impasse and really want to try hard to get some information.

    DuckDuckgo search escalates to Bing (MUCH BETTER on 2 things: images and finding addresses/phone numbers for local businesses), then, if need be, Google.

    BTW, I , uhhh, well, this friend of mine, yeah, sometimes types my blog name into Google to help it stay high in the rankings. Doing this on google, though I detest them, is akin to something everyone in the stock market does. With 90%, or what-have-you, of the searches, I … crap, my friend wants to work within the system, so to speak. That’s just like buying shares of some company because you know that others will buy on some news coming (the news alone may not actually be a good business reason to buy, but it’s the psychology of the masses).

  62. @Roger

    The algorithm is tuned by the work of thousands of engineers, …

    No, those people are absolutely NOT engineers, no matter WTF Sergey Brin calls them. There may be a few dozen engineers working for that place, but they’d be the guys calculating heat transfer loads off of the servers, or designing electrical power systems.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  63. @Alfa158

    AGREED! However, Steve’s probably got your point in mind too. If there is a proto-Tucker Carlson in a media operation, then he may fear the loss of business and de-linking by Google, though he does know Google is not doing wonderful things.

  64. Jack D says:
    @Redneck farmer

    With good reason. Life expectancy in the US is now falling, largely as a result of them (and suicide), despite the fact that we spend more on health care than anyone. We are prolonging the lives of the non-productive elderly at tremendous cost but killing healthy young people in what should be their prime productive years. You usually only see falling life expectancy in countries with serious decline, such as Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union.

    But, yes, it’s not exactly a secret, which makes it even more puzzling that Google is manipulating its results in this way. I don’t think it is just some by-product of the strange counter-intuitive workings of AI but is probably the result of human intervention, although I don’t know for what reason. PC thinking is even more counter-intuitive than that of AI bots. I’m still trying to figure out why “colored people” is bad but “people of color” is good.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  65. Ursala says:

    I love iSteve. Top unorthodox reporting found here.

  66. Here’s a few things I’ve noticed about Google’s auto-complete from my own anecdotal experience.

    1. It relies heavily not only on your search history but also on your search “currency,” i.e. it will preferentially auto-fill a word or phrase if that same word or phrase appears on another tab you have open on your computer at the time, even if you’ve never typed that word or phrase into the search box before.

    2. It is massively tied into television viewing patterns. Google knows what is on television, when and where. If you do a search about an item that was just featured in a commercial during an NFL game, you may get an auto-fill “hit” even before you’ve typed in anything you might think would be a relevant term.

    Google is not in business to do social engineering, it’s in business to make money. My impression is that Google’s auto-fill suggestions are the result of a bunch of nerds trying desperately to monetize search and bumping up against the hard, cold reality that it can’t really be done to any great extent, that the diminishing returns come sharp and quick, and that AI is nothing like it’s cracked up to be. To that end they will mine every scrap of available data they can get their hands on and apply their algorithms to it, but the end product is mostly cheesy and useless, like Facebook showing you ads for products you just bought (and consequently don’t need to buy again).

    Since this is the best that the brightest programmers with the most powerful computers can do, it tells you that the whole concept is flawed. Advertising doesn’t really work. AI doesn’t really work. But the world today shuts its eyes to these facts in order to keep alive its inward vision of a prosperous, progressing global marketplace. If the facts were fully accepted, the value of companies like Google would sink to niche levels and the internet for the masses would basically shut down. This will happen one day, but in the meantime they will blow that bubble up with as much hype as possible in order to justify their own existence.

  67. res says:
    @Tyrion 2

    I did the same comparison before I even started reading the comments. ; )

    Here it is for anyone who wants to save some time. Notice the spike this week. iSteve influence?

    This one is REALLY blatant given that “deaths from open heart surgery” returns: “Hmm, your search doesn’t have enough data to show here.” (sometimes a flatline just means one search happens much more than another, but still has data)

    Does anyone know anything about how Google actually implements this algorithm tweaking?
    Do they just remove results or actively provide innocuous replacements? Typing “deaths from ope” in Bing gives the Google response as the third option so seems inconclusive.
    How do they get complete coverage? Is it some kind of regular expression like “deaths from op*”, a similarity match to phrases, or …?

    Another interesting data point is that typing “deaths from opi” gives zero autocompletions. Surely if they were doing explicit replacements they could add something like “deaths from opinion surveys.”

    • Agree: Tyrion 2
    • Replies: @Jack D
  68. @Anon

    I don’t have the knowledge you seem to have about it, Mr. #190, though it sounds like you were in this around the time of Lycos and Alta Vista, etc. Lots has happened since then. I want to ask you if you think my first thought (upon reading Mr. Sailer’s post) has any merit. That is, do you think some of the searches, say the Buchanan one*, were the result of bots made to beat all hell out of the search engine on one very particular topic to make auto-complete, and more importantly, IMO, the top results appear as one wants?

    I could see some guy trying to make his name or business appear on top, maybe even Mr. Haney (haha, if he’s still alive) on the “Bu”-for “Buchanan” thing, but who would want to make the “open-heart surgery..” appear first, a team of computer savvy cardiologist?! It would also require lots of different manipulations besides just the one displayed by Steve. Of course, that’s what computers are damn good at.

    I tend to agree with Mr. Sailer’s opinion on this, but for me, all this discussion (if some good geeks come on here) is a good thing, as I’d like to learn more about SEO for my own benefit.

    … information retrieval engineers

    See, now that’s not engineering. These people don’t work out problems using the math and empirical data that describe the laws of nature. I don’t want to have to keep doing this, dammit.

    .

    * and I did read you back then, Steve, as I remember this well. I cannot believe that was 8 damn years ago. Time is figuratively flying!

    • Replies: @Anon
  69. res says:
    @snorlax

    Thanks. That is a good observation.

    You see something similar from “overdose …” though that word order is odd so it may not be used much. But the Google/Bing comparison of “overdose her” is instructive.

    “heroin o” gives quite different results in Google and Bing as well. Google only offers three completions.

  70. Jack D says:
    @Anonymous

    Arguably (and I’m not saying this is right) because whites are the hardest hit group, which contradicts the narrative of “white privilege”. An old joke headline (and I’ve seen actual examples of this many times in our MSM after natural disasters, wars, etc.) is ” World Ends – Minorities and Women Hit Hardest”.

    This is the lens thru which the Left views everything, so something that shows that in fact working class whites, especially men, are the ones who are in the most trouble in our society (but get the least help from our government and institutions) is not something that the Left is eager to highlight. This might force them to reconsider whether they have put their thumb on the scale too heavily in favor of other groups. It also undermines their nonsensical claim that they are only “helping” minorities and immigrants, which is a purely good thing, when in fact they are manipulating a zero sum game, so for every bit of “help” that they render, there is an equal amount of “harm” put on someone else’s head.

  71. GP100 says:

    I just tried Louis Farrakahn on Google. If you follow up with “Mu” it won’t give you muslim. If you follow with “Is” it won’t give you Islam, although I think the Nation of Islam is pretty important to the guy.

  72. Jack D says:
    @res

    Does anyone know anything about how Google actually implements this algorithm tweaking?

    I think the answer is no. Sometimes you can gain little glimpses from patents, but as a whole Google algorithms are a heavily guarded trade secret for many reasons. First of all because they don’t want to give search engine competitors (not that they have many left) an advantage – their search algorithm was their secret sauce in the 1st place. 2nd because people who are trying to game the search system for various nefarious economic and political reasons would LOVE to know how the algorithm works because then they could manipulate it – better for it to be a black box. And lastly because they don’t want you to tour the sausage factory and see how much “hand tuning” is going on (I suspect a lot, because bots are very “racist” when left to their own devices) and how much of that hand tuning is based on SJW considerations and the financial and petty personal interests of the Google execs. This would open them up to all kinds of 2nd guessing and criticism. So from their POV they are much better off keeping it all a complete mystery and telling you that it’s all “science” that you wouldn’t understand anyway.

    • Agree: Cortes
  73. Veracitor says:

    Want to see some narrowly-targeted Google censorship?

    Test autocomplete for “sbpd”. You will see something like:

    sbpdw brace
    sbpdl
    sbpdw brace for sale
    sbpdw brace review
    sbpdiscovery
    sbpdw install
    sbpdl twitter
    sbpdw review
    sbpdw buffer tube
    sbpdw vs maxim

    Autocomplete results #2 and #7 are for SBPDL which is a politically-incorrect website.

    Now add the “L” and look at the autocomplete for “sbpdl”:

    sbpdcl
    sbpdcl login
    sbpdcl bihar
    sbpdcl quick bill payment
    sbpdcl bill print
    sbpdcl app
    sbpdcl customer care number
    sbpdcl full form
    sbpdcl website
    sbpdcl bill receipt

    Huh, where did that “C” in the middle come from? What happened to sbpdl? WTF is “sbpd-C-l”?

    Now hit [enter] and look at the search results. Searching for “sbpdl” gets you a bunch of results for the utterly obscure (outside India) South Bihar Power Distribution Company Ltd. in India and no results for the well-known American website SBPDL. You do get a quirky prompt:

    Showing results for sbpdcl
    Search instead for sbpdl <–(shown in small letters)

    If you click the special link in the quirky prompt, then you get actual results for SBPDL.

    It seems likely that some Googler hand-coded the replacement of “sbpdl” with “sbpdcl”. Maybe one of Google’s many H1-B Indians is from Bihar.* Maybe one of Google’s many SJW’s hates SBPDL. But it would be hard to square a claim that some genius-level “neutral” “algorithm” did it with the fact that according to Google Trends, approximately no one in the USA is interested in the Indian electric utility by acronym nor even by name.

    *Or his cousin works for the South Bihar Power Blah-Blah, or something like that.

  74. Anonymous[350] • Disclaimer says:

    >I don’t really get why Google does this kind of thing.

    It’s pretty simple, Steve. Google is a jewish company promoting jewish interests, as are the Purdue and the Sacklers, so the former is reducing the discourse or the chances of backlash against the latter.

  75. Anonymous[527] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    Or it’s a paid piece to make it look like they aren’t in cahoots. I don’t really trust any of the players to give me the truth.

  76. @Tiny Duck

    Meanwhile, back in the real world

    “Western man towers over the rest of the world in ways so large as to be almost inexpressible. It’s Western exploration, science, and conquest that have revealed the world to itself.
    Other races feel like subjects of Western power long after colonialism, imperialism, and slavery have disappeared.
    The charge of racism puzzles whites who feel not hostility, but only baffled good will, because they don’t grasp what it really means: humiliation.
    The white man presents an image of superiority even when he isn’t conscious of it.
    And, superiority excites envy.
    Destroying white civilization is the inmost desire of the league of designated victims we call minorities.”
    Joseph Sobran, April 1997

  77. tambit says:

    Experienced big tech engineer…

    TL;DR: It’s likely the political bias from a group of product managers, who can plausibly claim it’s a public health issue.

    1) The idea that this is the Google “algorithm” is bogus. On large production systems like this, there is no single algorithm at play. Second, there are only two ways Google can fine tune their autocomplete like this: (a) Do a massive purge of training data with any examples with “death by opioids” or (b) have a hard-coded filtering layer that blocks certain autocomplete results based on rules. The first approach is infeasible, since it could reduce the quality of their algorithms in other areas and it would be difficult to audit.

    Realistically, you have an entire service, with dozens of people (and many more contractors) that deals strictly with removing banned words, across many languages. This gives a lot of power to individual product managers. Guessing the search indexing is heavily influenced by engineers and preventing SEO gaming; autocomplete is heavily influenced by product managers under the guise of avoiding bad headlines.

    (2) It’s likely up to individual managers on sub-teams to have their own filter rules based on business needs. If you try “death from opioids” on Google mobile, it will autocomplete. On desktop, it will not.

    (3) There is no good reason to be removing this result, since (a) it is a national health crisis and (b) they do not block comparable results. Added some autocomplete results.
    – deaths from mo ➝ deaths from molly
    – deaths from a ➝ deaths from alcohol
    – deaths from ai ➝ death from aids
    – deaths from g ➝ deaths from guns
    – deaths from w ➝ deaths from weed
    – deaths from vali ➝ deaths from valium
    – deaths from x ➝ deaths from xanax
    – deaths from meth➝ deaths from methadone
    – deaths from cra ➝ deaths from crack
    – deaths from ty ➝ deaths from tylenol

    What does not autocomplete? Heroin. Cocaine. Suicide. Opioids, and of course, Oxycontin.

    • Replies: @tambit
    , @Jack D
  78. KunioKun says:

    Here is a great article on how evil the Sackler family is. Getting doctors to chuck their public trust and credibility into the toilet to shill for Purdue Pharma was pioneered by these people for Valium.

    https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a12775932/sackler-family-oxycontin

    • Replies: @utu
    , @snorlax
  79. JLK says:

    I don’t really get why Google does this kind of thing. One reason they do this is because they can and almost nobody ever criticizes them for it.

    In the opioid case, it would be a reasonable presumption that Google is being paid to skew the results.

  80. It would seem to be pretty reasonable to ask that Google publicly disclose how it is manipulating specific topics like this, but nobody ever seems to do this.

    Steve admits he’s nobody!

  81. @Spud Boy

    1. I use Bing because I hate Google and everything they stand for.

    Isn’t there an umbrella search engine that will put your terms into all the other major ones?

    Bookfinder.com does this for book searches. It gives you Amazon, B&N, etc., for new, and American Book Exchange and others for used.

    Dogpile is still around. Does that do the job?

    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
    , @J.Ross
  82. tambit says:

    Big tech will typically try to obfuscate the issue by saying “it’s the algorithm” or “it’s complicated.” It’s not.

    The easiest, least cumbersome way to regulate the major search engines is make them provide an audit log of all filtering rules or hard overrides in their search results. Limit this to for profit services that have above a certain threshold in daily users or market share, so it does not hurt innovation in startups. The vast majority of changes would be understandable or inconsequential. But it gives both parties of government direct insight, particularly around local elections, where meddling would be impossible to detect.

    Further out, you can make them report any substantial bias they are introducing into the training data and give a basic explanation. In the same way lenders have to explain their lending models, search engines should have to explain how they are tweaking theirs. As search increasingly shifts to mobile, personalized, and voice-based, this becomes important as the only search result that matters is the first one that is returned.

    In a world where national elections are coming down to a few hundred thousand votes, it blows my mind Republicans have not been pushing for this.

  83. @Mr. Anon

    Haha good analogy, Mr. Anon. Zerohedge had a story on this little spat. However, these are no medieval nobles, but more like candidates for AntiChrist. It’ll be entertaining, I suppose, like Christopher Walken is as the angel Gabrial in Prophecy, but I’m stayin’ outta’ this one.

  84. Corvinus says:

    “It would seem to be pretty reasonable to ask that Google publicly disclose how it is manipulating specific topics like this, but nobody ever seems to do this.”

    You mean it would seem to be pretty reasonable to ask Google, DuckDuckGo AND Bing publicly disclose how it is manipulating specific topics like this, but nobody ever seems to do this.

    Probably because it is Coalition of the Fringe Group Cringeworthy.

  85. @alaska3636

    Yes, I’d rather not even look at the auto-complete, or do it on a bogged-down computer like mine in which it can’t catch up with me! The exception is when I want to look up a word spelling. I just let auto-complete do it for me.

    On your 2nd point:

    Click-through ads and the like are mind-boggling, but it -appears to work on enough people to justify the ad-spend.

    Not necessarily, Alaska. Who really knows if the ads do a damn thing? Google or whoever might honestly give you numbers as to click-throughs, but loads of them, at least for me, are mistakes and times that the little X for close is SO DAMN SMALL that I can’t be sure to close rather than click the ad. (That’s especially bad on a touch screen.)

    Then, the only way to know if your ad really was read at all, is if it leads to a sale or request of some sort being sent in. Google may tell you how many people are reading what you’ve got out there, but that’s just more lies.

  86. @Anon

    Do you think Google’s burying of Pat Buchanan’s name was a random quirk?

    How about the sudden end to “gay” auto-completes?

  87. @Intelligent Dasein

    Very good comment, I.D., especially the last paragraph re: advertising. Your first part reminded me of something that is fairly-well related, so I’ll write it here.

    Have you all noticed something with youtube, owned by Google? It now uses the IP number (or something else at the modem or router) to keep track of videos that you’ve been watching or searching for, rather than just cookies, or some other method based on just THE ONE DEVICE.

    Here’s the observation – My wife likes to watch a number of the same kinds of silly soap-opera-like and reality-show videos on her computer or phone when she is bored. Yes, I know … she is no dummy, but it’s whom they are. Anyway, it used to be I’d see music and political video suggestions based on what I’ve viewed and (I believe) what videos have been embedded in web pages (such as unz) that I’ve viewed.

    All of a sudden, about 3 months back, I started seeing all these suggestions on youtube on my computer for the dumb-ass soap-opera/reality-show videos that my wife watches. The suggestions area was filled with her crap. That happened like the flip of a switch. That’s probably literally the case (OK, a software setting), but also likely one of the “action items” decided on at a meeting by some Google Anything-But-Engineers just before that day. It’s pretty annoying – I don’t need the suggestions anyway, but now I can see what these people are up to.

    Just a word to the wise: If you watch something, cough, porn, cough cough, that you may not quite want others in the household to know about, you’d better go to Starbucks. The bathroom code is 1-1-1-1. Glad to be of help.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Joe Stalin
  88. Jack D says:
    @Anon

    We know that AI is “racist” and that Google is working hard to find a way to make it not racist (and yet still produce meaningful results), which is probably impossible. We also know that Google has plenty of human resources (although not an infinite #) to throw at such problems until an automated fix is found, just as Facebook now has thousands of people searching manually for Rooshian election interference in order to keep the dogs of Washington at bay. We can also guess that they are not eager to publicize to what extent they are tweaking or hand tuning algorithms or results – they would much rather you think that it is all done by “science”. Putting this together, it’s my guess that they are doing a fair amount of hand tuning, which is some spotty and uneven combination of combatting SEOs, de-racisting their AI bots, the leftist predilections of Google employees, the commands from on high of Google management, etc.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
  89. tambit says:
    @tambit

    Final observations about Silicon Valley big tech. People need to appreciate a few things:

    – Think of the short tenures that employees have at big tech companies. A conservative at Google or Facebook will only be there for two or three years. So they wonder, “Why rock the boat? In two years, I will be at Netflix or Amazon, or joining a startup, anyway.” The transitory nature of it makes employees who break from the orthodoxy stay silent, especially after Damore.

    – As with any company, everything is tacitly approved from the CEO and senior leadership. It’s unlikely they have their hands in augmenting search results directly. On the other hand, they know the biases of their employees, and look the other way. For example, a CEO may talk about how getting SF contractors to vet news articles means there is unintentional liberal bias. But what prevents them from having some of the contractors in say, Kansas or Ohio, for a more balanced sample? Because the CEO condones the bias.

    – If people are waiting for a smoking gun from Google, you will be out of luck. Because of their reach, they can quietly nudge people in a certain direction through repeated exposure. You may see an isolated incident and think “that’s weird.” But you’re not seeing the few thousand other ways they are doing it concurrently. More so, as things continue to shift to mobile and native apps, there will be no meaningful way to measure this. For example, voice search could be construed so it “misunderstands” some phrases with slightly higher probability. This prompts users to type it in manually, which many will not do. Good luck catching that.

  90. @Reg Cæsar

    Typing !bing, !google, !youtube, !amazon, !wikipedia and some others into duckduckgo before the search phrase, will redirect you to a search result from those sites, rather than duckduckgo results.

  91. utu says:
    @KunioKun

    I have an impression that in media coverage of the opioid crisis the role of heroine, its price and where does it come from is underplayed. Any connection to Afghanistan?

    • Replies: @Jack D
  92. @Sbrin

    Give Bing Maps a try. IMO it has a more straightforward interface if you are on a PC.

  93. Jack D says:
    @utu

    Most “heroin” nowadays is fentanyl or some other synthetic opiate and it comes from labs in China or from US prescription sources. It is so powerful that you don’t need to smuggle in large quantities – 1 kilo is enough to lethally overdose everyone in a city of half a million. Actual heroin (a declining product) comes from Mexico. Afghanistan would be way down on the list in the US nowadays.

    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
  94. Jack D says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    For many reasons, it is wise to use a VPN. It is only going to get wiser as the surveillance state cranks up further every day.

  95. snorlax says:
    @KunioKun

    I’m not at all defending the Sacklers; if I made the laws I’d subject the ones involved in the business, and the other responsible Purdue personnel, to one of the more humane-ish old fashioned forms of execution, perhaps blowing from a gun, and seize the wealth of the rest, but this notion of KMac’s fan club that their actions have escaped notice, and in particular escaped notice from liberals, is 180 degrees the opposite of the truth.

    In fact, the Sacklers are all that liberals want to talk about WRT the opioid crisis—it deflects blame from Mexican heroin, illegal alien drug pushers and Chinese fentanyl—hence the widely read New Yorker article, and the bestseller Dopesick, which also toes the left-wing party line* that it was all Sacklers and not Mexico/illegals/China, and which received glowing reviews in the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

    *Unlike dueling bestseller Dreamland, which assigns the Sacklers their share of blame but also tells the rest of the story.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  96. Jack D says:
    @tambit

    deaths from fe ➝ female circumcision… fear factor… ferguson riots…. fever…. fencing… ferris wheel. Fentanyl not on the list.

    This is clearly no coincidence although I don’t know what the agenda is.

  97. @dearieme

    The British House of Cards was much better than the US one:

  98. @alaska3636

    I suspect that there is a broader part of the population that isn’t sure what words they are looking for to complete their search query; but, does anybody here not know the end to the question that they are going to ask the internet?

    +1000.

    I was about to type something along the same lines… but my version had “fuck[ing]” and “retard[s|ed]” in it several times.

    Also – How To Turn Off Address Bar Search Predictions In Every Browser (from 2016).

  99. @CCR

    Is “Apple” a search engine? Where is it found? And what was your nonsense word that yields the two suggestions Trump and Rape?

  100. FKA Max says: • Website
    @Tyrion 2

    You are already aware of this, Tyrion 2, since you followed the discussion/debate over in the other comments thread, but this information might be interesting to other UR readers and commenters:

    Another question :

    i) It appears the 2018 total drug overdose death will be 80,000! That is immense, and is twice as much as auto deaths. Until three days ago, I had no idea the number was skyrocketing this much.

    But then why does it not show up in the CDC death table (2016 linked here, which was still a high enough number)? For younger age brackets, surely even the 2016 number was in the Top 10. Is it categorized as something else (like ‘Unintentional Injury’)?

    http://www.unz.com/runz/racial-politics-in-america-and-in-california/#comment-2635195

    Probably. Very good example of “collateral damage” War-/Newspeak https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspeak

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
    [...]
    Overdoses are injuries too
    [...]
    It is easy to find evidence that drug overdoses are unpopular subjects for study or intervention by injury professionals. Index Medicus reveals that to date Injury Prevention has published only one article with the word “overdose” or the phrase “drug poisoning” in its title or abstract. A search of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention flagship publication, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr, accessed 16 Jan 2007), uncovered only 53 citations using the word “overdose” since 1982. In contrast, a search for “lead poisoning” in MMWR returned 1531 references. Scanning the 53 articles mentioning overdose reveals that overdoses are not the focus of most of them. Instead, many describe outbreaks of unusual cases, such as lead poisoning among methamphetamine users.5 Topics such as endemic use of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and narcotic analgesics receive relatively little attention in the injury literature despite their large contribution to morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2610611/

    http://www.unz.com/runz/racial-politics-in-america-and-in-california/#comment-2635956

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
  101. prosa123 says:

    On the other hand, if you type “Google age” it autocompletes to ‘Google age discrimination.”

  102. Anon[376] • Disclaimer says:

    OT: Wikileaks is threatening to release more Hillary docs. I suspect if they’d had them earlier, they would have released them earlier. These look like a batch of new docs, then. They’re probably ones on Weiner’s laptop, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Wikileaks suddenly ended up with them after Sessions was given the boot. Some government leaker wanted to wait until Sessions was gone to make sure his butt was covered.

  103. OFWHAP says:
    @dearieme

    And it really shows with his absence in the most recent season. I think it’s also that Frank Underwood comes off as a likable guy at times while everyone else on the show are just plain nasty people.

  104. Doug says:

    Google’s *is* fairly transparent about their autocomplete policy. According to them, they censor “sex’, “hate”, “violence” and “harmful activities”. Most of the above examples probably fall under the “hate” grouping, which includes ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation.

    You also have to keep in mind that Google is a very algorithm driven company. More often than not someone’s making a high-level decision, but most of the individual level choices are made by some machine learning algo that’s essentially a black box. Some neural network linked a non-insignificant percentage of “jew” queries to downstream clickthroughs to the Daily Stormer. Whereas “mormon” queries don’t lead to hate sites. So the censor algo tries to tag everything with “jew” in the autocomplete.

    As for the opiod death thing, that’s pretty consistent with Google’s general censoring of any drug-related query. This would fall under the “harmful activities” category. You’ll notice that sites Drugs-Forums, Bluelight and Erowid, which openly discuss and advocate recreational drug use, no longer appear in most searches. Again, “death from opiates” is being tagged, not for nefarious political reasons, but because to an algorithm it looks like something someone might search for before getting high.

    https://www.blog.google/products/search/how-google-autocomplete-works-search/

    https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/7368877?hl=en

    • Replies: @Jack D
  105. Marat says:
    @Redneck farmer

    The topic makes its way into about 10-15% of medical professional journals and continuing ed as well.

    My suspicion is that any aspect of society this profoundly dysfunctional probably had the hand of the federal government in its creation.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  106. Marat says:

    Steve, You have readers at The Goolag. By the time I read this, “death from open heart surgery” was at the top of the heap returned for your search string, along with some other amusing obscure suggestions.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  107. moshe says:

    I’m old enough to remember the wild west web. It probably ended when Obama legally forced google to take down the movie ‘innocence of muslims’ from youtube until hillary could get to benghazi or something.

    But I loved it when back in the day the first search result for “Jew” was “Jew Watch”.

    Of course Larry and Sergei were among the Jews being “watched” (I assume Stalin and Sailer are too, those are some verbose fellas!) but despite the 2 minutes of outrage Google stuck to it’s guns.

    Bear in mind, a lot of kids ACTUALLY WERE innocently searching “Jew” and getting an interesting earful.

    But it wasn’t until this had been the top result for nonths and headlines in every paper for 3 days that Google gave in by placing a: “Here’s why you are seeing this result first. Also, no, we do not like Nazis”.

    I really liked the old internet but somewhere along the way, “the market” got in the way.

    I also happen to think that encouragement is both sweet and probably at least as effective as the opposite so I enjoy crediting google for letting jew watch hold top position (it had the most references to “jew” apparently) and for publicly fighting obama on thr innocence of muslims thing – another thing that was rather principled considering as how many people believed the Copt that the movie was financed by “a hundred rich jews” and herr Larry and Sergei were fighting to keep broadcasting it to the world.

    Oh, and if ur one of the local antisems suck a lemon :)

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  108. Anonymous[245] • Disclaimer says:
    @Tyrion 2

    That’s because you spelled white people wrong. It’s wypipo.

  109. AndrewR says:
    @Anon

    Lmao at the idiot SJW who thinks that “Islamist” is a synonym for “Muslim” and gets triggered upon finding out that Islamists aren’t universally revered.

  110. anon[332] • Disclaimer says:

    More fun…

    How many times have you heard the phrase “opioid epidemic” or “opioid crisis”?

  111. Anon[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    What you describe is called, in the search results context (although I’m not sure about the Google Suggest context), “Google bombing” or “Googlewashing.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_bomb

    I do think that Google has a way to manually preempt their normal algorithms for these situations, while they work to come up with automated ways to detect and prevent such mischief, since Google bombing produced bad PR and was embarassing for them. The problem was generally “fixed” too quickly to have been due to a fundamental algorithm modification.

    information retrieval engineers

    There are two degrees that most universities give, computer science and computer engineering. The latter is a more difficult major and involves classes in how computers work at the hardware level and more machine and assembly language study, but in practice the graduates just end up working as programmers, like the computer science guys. It’s known that CE guys tend to be smarter, so at the very beginning of your career it helps to have a CE degree rather than a CS degree. You get a slight salary boost, that snowballs over time, until you get too old and expensive and are laid off in place of an Indian.

  112. @Sbrin

    Here you go, Sergey (not very loyal to the company, are ya?) ;-}

    I had used yahoo maps, until that folded up (bought up by the Google?), but the bing one in my link seems just as good.

  113. Jack D says:
    @Doug

    You win the best answer of the thread award.

  114. Yesterday’s fun today! Vo-de-oh-do!

  115. @Tyrion 2

    Why would that surprise you?

    Carl Zimmer (who is discussed here frequently) tweeted that White Americans deserved to be afflicted with the ebola virus.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
  116. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    In a world where men are ‘women’, anything goes. Trankenstein Monster is the model for kids.

    Opioid Trade is the new Opium Trade. From Sassoons to Sacklers.

    But all of pop culture and PC seem drug-like as well. Opiates of the Masses.

    Get your highs in vice-vanity and virtue-vanity.

  117. Eagle Eye says:
    @snorlax

    deaths from lyse ➔ deaths from lysenkoism

    Got to hand it to Goolag – this one does make sense, in an Artificial Intelligence type of way.

  118. J.Ross says: • Website

    There used to be an activist project called Scroogle which would disrupt Google’s track-keeping of who searched for what, and by way of explanation posted screengrabs of Google altering its displayed search results (not suggesed terms), so that in one case a Vietnam vet magically became an antiwar anti-Vet hippie. If you clicked through and read the original page, everything would be clear. If you were a lazy student writing a paper in a hurry and just read the little summaries posted on the search result page, you would have a backward but seemingly legitimate understanding. And none of these errors ever broke right.

  119. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Reg Cæsar

    http://www.metacrawler.com/

    The term “crawler” has become the generic term for a search engine that searches search engines. I think AltaVista was one too.

  120. @Jack D

    “Actual heroin (a declining product)”

    Citation?

    Because every cop I talk to around here says its use has significantly increased over the last 10 years.

  121. @Achmed E. Newman

    Sorry, Starbucks no longer wants you watching porn because of “pressure groups”; guess it’s one more step to stopping Unz and Vdare down the road once the SPLC gets going.

    “Internet safety campaign group Enough is Enough have called on Starbucks to block the viewing on their Wi-Fi networks since 2016. The group relaunched an online petition calling for them to keep a promise they said they made more than two years ago to implement a blocking system.

    “The group say that open Wi-Fi hotspots—like those at Starbucks—can create “criminal safe havens for sexual predators to operate with anonymity.”

    https://www.newsweek.com/no-more-pornography-our-free-wifi-says-starbucks-ban-set-begin-next-year-1236688

  122. Anonymous[156] • Disclaimer says:
    @meh

    Your screaming that Google is putting its thumb on the scale, and for exact given nefarious reason, isn’t an argument either, just your suspicion based on prejudice.

    Google’s tweaked search results are often superficially illogical or seem to be because they are fluid as well as geographically dependent. It used to be any search for “Jewish” gave an idiotic “We’re concerned about these results” message even if the search was for “best Jewish daycare.”

    Ever since Steve first complained about Buttram it’s been pointed out that location and personal history, i.e. cookies and other identifiers also skew the results. Yet he believes Google should be able to read his mind, and show him whatever story about golfers taking the SAT on steroids he thinks should be #1 Worldwide News.

    It is trivial to modify the browser search extension — or just to use a different portal — in order to gather and compare search pages from multiple sources. But it appears the cognoscenti around here are lazy and need the world to be changed before they modify their own behavior for a supposedly better outcome. They don’t even realize that Duck Duck Go merely recycles Google searches with some added pretense of “anonymizing” them, which will get a laugh if you explain it to any online marketing professional. That’s probably too generous in light of the barely concealed salivating to control what everyone ELSE sees. Because Google was always intended as some munificent public utility staffed by meek librarians committed to informing you according to your best interests, yeah right.

    • Replies: @Peterike
  123. Anonymous[156] • Disclaimer says:
    @Philip Owen

    The bitmap searching has been close to useless after the decision to placate the lawyers from Getty Images, Shutterstock, et al.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  124. megabar says:

    Note that Google probably _should_ filter, by default, the suggestions. You wouldn’t want your kid stumbling onto hardcore porn just because it’s a common suggestion. Yes, I realize kids see everything these days — but that doesn’t mean we should surrender all attempts at decency.

    The real problem is that society is so divided that we can’t agree on what should be filtered anymore. I can’t imagine anyone getting worked up over tax rate suggestions on Google, which is what our politics used to be about. Homogeneous societies (in many things, such as race, culture, religion) have a lot of advantages.

  125. Anonymous[156] • Disclaimer says:
    @snorlax

    If Sackler thought he’d be the hero to the colored hordes by cooking up his white-gentile-seeking magical death formula Yaqub-like — per current state-of-the-art theory with Unz.com brain-trust — he sure was kidding himself. The hordes tend not to be too laudatory of rich elite Jews who spend money on gay paintings n’ that shizz.

  126. nobody ever seems to do this

    Steve Sailer, our modern day Odysseus eluding the Eye of Soros like a champ.

  127. Sometimes I feel like I live in another country. Haven’t used Google or Yahoo search functions in about 8 years. You would think other people would start to catch on that BigTech is the Iron Fist of PozFeed, but alas many sheeple remain.
    Only use duckduckgo, and more recently ixquick.com or startpage.com

    Google has over 85% of the search engine market share in India, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Australia, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, France & Canada which is a bit odd given than Italy & Australia are way more sane than Sweden, Belgium & Canada.

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/220534/googles-share-of-search-market-in-selected-countries/

    Sweden & Belgium are clearly in the palm of Google’s Globalists & Mme Lerner-Spectre is surely quite delighted.
    ttps://www.statista.com/statistics/621418/most-popular-search-engines-in-sweden/

    http://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-host-market-share/desktop/belgium

  128. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Google is not in business to do social engineering, it’s in business to make money.

    You reckon? I’m inclined to think that Google already has all the money it could ever want. So if you have more than enough money, what else is there? The obvious answer is power. Power is even more exciting and even sexier than money.

    If modern capitalism really were just about money we wouldn’t be facing the problems we’re facing now. But modern capitalism is much much more about power than money.

    So Google’s main priority is definitely more likely to be social engineering than making money.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
  129. @anonymous

    I don’t use Google nor do I shop on Amazon. That is what gets me about Instapundit; every other article, it seems, is how evil big tech is followed up by two links to Amazon for the latest item that you don’t need. Baffling, really.

  130. Anonymous[155] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    I’m still trying to figure out why “colored people” is bad but “people of color” is good.

    The thinking is that “colored people” implies that the default is white and then people can be modified by having a non-white color, while “people of color” implies that they are the default.

    Seriously. Don’t ask how I know,

  131. @Trevor H.

    Private foundations, baby. Dat where the (((money))) be at.

  132. @Anon

    “And it is possible that when the skew is anti-right it is not caught as early as anti-left skews are caught, due to company implicit political biases.”

    This all by itself could be sufficient to create a significant political bias. Imagine that you paid much more attention to cleaning the left side of your windshield than your right side. Without ever deliberately dirtying the right side, you would still end up with a clean left side and a dirty right side.

  133. MBlanc46 says:
    @anonymous

    I’ve done some comparisons. For most searches, DDG is just as good. For very recondite searches Google is better. But I almost always use DDG because I loathe the vermin at Google.

  134. Peterike says:
    @Anonymous

    “They don’t even realize that Duck Duck Go merely recycles Google searches with some added pretense of “anonymizing” them”

    Hey genius, DDG uses Yahoo, Bing, it’s own crawlers and multiple other sources. What it does NOT use is Google.

    Good thing you know so much.

  135. @Spud Boy

    1. I use Bing because I hate Google and everything they stand for.

    News items on the MSN Bing home page are consistently Left and anti-Trump.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  136. @peterike

    Indeed–and the notion that Google is trying to circumvent anti-white racism is, to put it kindly, risible.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
  137. @dfordoom

    The same sort of people are always telling us that Hollywood has only money in view when it produces movies and television shows. No one denies that they worship money, but yes–power is the greater aphrodisiac.

  138. Trevor H. says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Tallinn, huh? Nothing wrong with that place that couldn’t be fixed by shoehorning in a couple million Asians and Africans.

  139. Trevor H. says:
    @snorlax

    I daresay we have only scratched the surface of this phenomenon.

  140. “A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.”
    — Saul Bellow

  141. @Achmed E. Newman

    #Programmers≠Engineers
    #Programming≠Engineering

    This important point needs to become more widely emphasized and accepted.

    I used to work, for many years, for a corporation whose core were tens of thousands of engineers. Now I work in Sili Valley where nearly anyone you meet is a programmer calling himself an engineer. The difference in the culture, intellect, attitude, and predominant races (many engineers are still Americans; it’s increasingly difficult to find programmers who are).

    I really miss working with engineers.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  142. @David Davenport

    That’s because (sorry to break it to you, Spud Boy) everything Google stand for is an identity with everything Microsoft stand for excepting whether Microsoft or Google get money. Everything things else – everything – is an identity; exactly the same.

  143. @anon

    Vox is for people who think Ezra Klein is an intellectual. He asked Bezos for $10 million after Bezos bought the Post and Bezos told him to get lost.

  144. Tyrion 2 says:
    @anon

    Your (potentially justified) 0 degrees Kelvin opinion of the “policy elite” notwithstanding, it isn’t really up for debate that if the opioid death epidemic is featured in Vox then there isn’t some big conspiracy to hide/ignore it.

    An ad hoc explanation that it is actually proof of an anti-white conspiracy as it is hidden knowledge on Vox (so that those who read it can cackle?) says an awful lot about the bizarre world view of the person offering said explanation.

    Regardless, this whole thread is moot as Google censors drug related searches in general…

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  145. Tyrion 2 says:
    @Mr McKenna

    I’ve already given proof that they do that in this thread.

    Don’t take my word for it though. Type in: I hate white pe.

    It autocompletes to pepper! And nothing else…

    Rarely will you be immediately and irrefutably proven wrong on a point like this. I personally enjoy being in your position.

    • Replies: @snorlax
  146. Tyrion 2 says:
    @ben tillman

    I’ve never seen, and I still haven’t. I’ve just got your word on it. Those examples I have seen are always lifted out of context

    • Replies: @ben tillman
  147. snorlax says:
    @Tyrion 2

    They censor any sentence ‘I hate [word or phrase] people’:

    I hate Up with Pe ➔ I hate Up with Perfume/Periods/Pet/Personality

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
  148. Wally says:
    @TelfoedJohn

    Cut the uninformed crap, the Sacklers are not to blame.
    facts:
    Prescriptions for opioids have decreased greatly since 2013.
    The Sacklers Oxycontin formula was changed years ago making it very difficult to inject as was done previously.
    Those with prescriptions are generally NOT the ones overdosing, those that buy drugs on the street are.
    Yes, Oxycontin has a street value to those who sell their Rx, but that accounts for a small percentage vs. what is alleged in the tabloid press.
    And most opioid abusers are not actually using Oxycotin, but are using illicit opioid street drugs fentanyl & heroin which are then conflated with Oxycontin because there is now a huge ‘law enforcement’ witch hunt which profits from increased funding for the bogus claims of massive prescription drug abuse.
    Oxycontin is very beneficial to those with serious pain. Yes, such serious pain does exist.

    It’s always best to know the facts.

    • Replies: @dvorak
  149. Tyrion 2 says:
    @snorlax

    Honkey doesn’t come up. Redneck ones are positive. White men autocompletes to clothes. The examples are endless.

  150. @Anonymous

    I wondered what was driving it. That seems more realistic than political inclinations. money is money.

  151. Dutch says:
    @Anon

    You realize there are videos of them blantantly admitting their plans to do manipulate their services in the wake of Trumps election to actively oppose him, right? If you’re going to openly declare war on the President I don’t think you’re above changing a few search suggestions to be more SJW friendly. If for no other reason than to assemble allies in your fight.

    So thanks for all the insights on the functions of search algorithms but this is mostly about the dysfunction af broken people. Appeals to complexity on issues like these are silly. It’s inarguable that these changes were intentional. The algorithm didn’t reprogram itself, people did. So any dismissal that says ‘it’s because of this and not that’ reeks of culpable deniability at best and contradicts the established facts. I do believe Google is evil enough to do this. You do too. Google’s evil is one of the few things people on both sides of the political aisle all agree on. We have lots of proof. Why reach so far to invent excuses for them? The algorithm is built, by people, upon a huge pile of assumptions. It is not ever an accident when these assumptions manifest as biases in the algorithm given that the two are inseparable. That fact is mathematically inarguable and you should know that. This is also why when the AI emerges it too will be shockingly stupid. Watch and see. We can’t even create an auto correct system that works for shit. And AI is going to manage the interstate system in live time?! Hahahahaha! Tech nerds with god complexes is the whole theme of this show. Google is the star. How hard is that to see? Like everywhere?

  152. @Marat

    My suspicion is that any aspect of society this profoundly dysfunctional probably had the hand of the federal government in its creation.

    Yep, that’s almost always the case, if you look deep enough for root causes.

  153. @Marat

    Why readers at the Goolag itself, Marat? This might just meant that the many searches done in the same short time frame from iSteve readers caused an algorithm to keep it first (since most were probably not completing it themselves with other text to flag it as a non-successful auto-complete – my term, I don’t work for these bastards as ANY kind of NON-Engineer.

  154. @Achmed E. Newman

    Top that, Mr. Rational!

    C’mon guys! Whaddya’ need a refresher course? It’s all cookies nowadays!

    OK, just goofing, guys. You are right, Jack D, that Doug’s comment was very good. I’m not sure if he’s right, but it’s very good speculation.

  155. Andrew says:

    Great. I had switched to DuckDuckGo for privacy/tracking reasons on the advice of friends, but if they are so cravenly PC as to be with Evil Google™ on this, that it’s somehow verboten to talk about Kevin Spacey and homosexuality in the same conversation, then now I’ll have to reassess. When IS that long sought after search engine designed by aristocratic, hierarchical, Florence King-reading paleocons going to be built anyway?

  156. @Tyrion 2

    Like the earlier guy, I have zero f**ks to give about Vox (whatever that is) and Google and the underlying debate suit them.

    However, I am always a bit perturbed when anyone endeavors to make a point of how clever he is by being prolix yet incorrect. I remind (or teach) you there is no such animal as a “degree Kelvin.” Celsius and Fahrenheit scales use degrees; the Kelvin scale uses kelvins. You seem the sort to write about “knots per hour” too, to emphasise your maritime expertise.

    Carry on.

  157. Tyrion 2 says:
    @Autochthon

    Fair point. I just wanted to write something meaning extremely low. I was about to write Celsius and then remembered from high school Chemistry class that Kelvin was colder. It might have been Physics. Either way, I stopped both at 16 and was certainly not a model student before that. I’ll be Googling what “prolix” means after writing this.

  158. @Autochthon

    Fair enough, and I commend your being a good sport. I am often too mean and I don’t always mean to be, but I’ve a very sardonic sense of humour. Zero kelvins is absolute zero – a complete absence of movement. So far as we know only truly possible (if at all) in deep space. So I understand your intent to invoke the most extreme cold possible; it’s just (in this instance) not a matter of degrees. Have a great day.

  159. @Autochthon

    Fair enough, and I commend your being a good sport. I am often too mean and I don’t always mean to be, but I’ve a very sardonic sense of humour. Zero kelvins is absolute zero – a complete absence of movement. So far as we know only truly possible (if at all) in deep space. So I understand your intent to invoke the most extreme cold possible; it’s just (in this instance) not a matter of degrees. Have a great day.

  160. @Autochthon

    Are they even programmers. I prefer coders.

    Whatever happened to systems analysts? They weren’t engineers either but they did need to be intelligent.

  161. dvorak says:
    @Wally

    The Sacklers Oxycontin formula was changed years ago making it very difficult to inject as was done previously.

    Madoff is no longer scamming wealthy people.

    Rosa Luxemburg stopped her Communist civil war activities decades ago.

    Let’s stop talking about the Sacklers, Madoffs and Luxemburgs. Please.

    P.S. Israel stopped firing on the USS Liberty, it’s time to MoveOn.org.

  162. @Philip Owen

    How about “software developers”? That’s a pretty good term for the guys that design the whole arrangement of all the pieces and types of software that will amazingly work together. It takes a high level of intelligence, indeed … but it’s still not engineering nonetheless.

  163. @Philip Owen

    Another great distinction. I’d say there are about fifty coders working for each actual programmer at my particular employer, but I don’t reckon I am knowledgeable enough to assess the industry at large; I’ve been checked out of work and collecting a cheque (Galt-light, as it were) for many years.

  164. I’m belatedly thinking of it, but The Kakistocracy is one of the most insightful and eloquent blogs on the planet – seriously; its author makes Jonathan Swift and Fyodpr Dostoyevsky seem like punters at sarcasm and insigh about human nature. Because I am lazy about making bookmarks, I usually would just type “kakistocracy” into a search engine and it was the first result, or at least in the top three or so.

    Now I find I have to root around a good bit to come across it. I wonder what goes on there….

  165. I haven’t used google since my brother overdosed on No Doz, too many traumatic memories are brought up by searching.

  166. Anonymous[248] • Disclaimer says:
    @moshe

    Jew Watch was a ridiculous site that made anti-Semites look stupid.

  167. Tyrion 2 says:
    @FKA Max

    That’s very interesting. Still, I’m not a believer that opiates are the problem. I believe these are essentially slow suicides and that the problems are much more complex and somewhat explained by dissident right politics.

  168. @Tyrion 2

    There’s no question of context in this case. He straight-up said White Americans deserve to be afflicted with the ebola virus because of what they did to the Indians.

  169. Anonymous[149] • Disclaimer says:

    Here is another good one:

    Martin Luther King plag

  170. Cindy says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    “Google is not in business to do social engineering, it’s in business to make money.”

    It’s cute you think that.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments are moderated by iSteve, at whim.


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Steve Sailer Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The sources of America’s immigration problems—and a possible solution
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
Hundreds of POWs may have been left to die in Vietnam, abandoned by their government—and our media.