Of Course Google, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, et al., are Publishers

W. AUGUST MAYER

July 8, 2019 - San Francisco - PipeLineNews.org – As this author has stated on numerous occasions on these pages; in a previous life I worked within the hard copy publishing business - both magazine and newspaper, so I bring a bit of real world insight to this topic that might be missing from other commentators dealing with the associated issues…those being just where do the Internet Goliaths shake out regarding the Telecommunication’s Act of 1996, specifically Section 230 (c)(2) , which amends and redefines the definition of “publisher” as set forth originally in the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.) [note: also please refer to the FCC’s clearinghouse page for the 1996 Act]

“(1) TREATMENT OF PUBLISHER OR SPEAKER - No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider….”

What this means in simple language is that the ‘Net based Masters of the World are statutorily exempt from prosecution even if they “provide” information that is defamatory and/or libelous.

The measure was written, passed and signed into law fully 2 years BEFORE Google was even launched [1998] so it’s not hard to grasp that this exemption was carved-out [GOP Congress, Newt Gingrich Speaker of the House, thank you very much guys] in an ignorant and thoroughly blind matter, legislatively setting rules for a world that didn’t yet exist [!].

Aside from the obvious folly of such over-reaching by Congress, there remains what today is the money question, “should Google & Co be allowed to continue heavily manipulating the distribution of news information to serve a political outcome or purpose?”

Unfortunately we have been treated to a series of Congressional hearings recently in which Google and Facebook executives simply lied their asses off to Representatives who had no clue how to proceed, or even what questions to ask. This allowed Google’s Sundar Pichai and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to entirely skirt the relevant issues because those posing the questions were either bought off by the ‘Net giant’s massive lobbying operations, too ignorant to even understand the issues at hand, or both.

But a great deal of clarity has now been brought to the matter due almost solely attributable to the investigative journalism undertaken by Project Veritas in a sting operation featuring, Jen Gennai, Google’s Head of Responsible Innovation who makes it clear that Google is “a highly biased political machine,” and that her job is to serve a gate-keeper in service of:

“…preventing the next Trump situation…”

Two real issues are at hand here, first is the realization that Google-Alphabet is perhaps the most egregious example of a monopoly since the serf-like days of company towns where workers were housed in substandard hooches and paid in otherwise worthless script that was only redeemable in company stores where the price of merchandise was often wildly inflated [thus warranting anti-trust action] and second the manifest misunderstanding of what Google actually does.

At its core, Google & Co. are information aggregators, portals through which the globe’s public information is winnowed, based upon key word searches and supposedly trending stories. Aside from controlling content distribution, Facebook [whose model only appears to be different] and Google capture over 50% of net-based advertising, again an historically unprecedented concentration of power.

This is especially extraordinary upon the realization that the majority of gross ad expenditures now take place in the digital domain, with the print world chasing a constantly dwindling market-share.

So within this understanding these Internet giants are by definition monopolies and as such deserve to be treated like Standard Oil was in the late 19thcentury, at the very least broken into much smaller competing businesses.

But that addresses only the obvious, as it is the ability to bring about forced social transformation by these behemoths that deserves the most intense scrutiny.

So what about section 230? - consider it antique, totally inappropriate legislation passed by blind people.

By way of illustration allow me to make a few points…

In the print world, especially in the newspaper business, few organizations have the resources to afford having correspondents in every far-flung outpost in the world so they rely upon “pool news” generated by the larger enterprises as well that gathered by the wire services.

Though most are not aware of it, it is entirely possible to publish a daily newspaper without any reporters being on the payroll. These operations pay let’s say the New York Times and the Washington Post a licensing fee to run their stories, under the original byline, as if they were their own.

One might ask the question then, “how can these people be considered publishers since they merely regurgitate what others have already written and printed?”

The answer is easy; publishing to them really sublimates to news curation, where copy editors pick and choose what stories to run leaving a product that is original only to the degree that the content is customized to particular markets.

There is of course nothing conspiratorial or wrong about the process, it allows smaller communities to still have localized publications tailored to targeted demographics, hence though the model is derivative these are unarguably publishing operations AND they are entirely liable to the potential of defamation and libel lawsuits, after all they CHOSE what content to run and what copy hits the editing floor.

But the Googles of the world control the heartbeat of the Internet, again using a heavily curated aggregation model but one writ large considering that Google controls over 92% of the search engine market .

This is an especially malign business model because within this unsurpassed power is the ability, as previously alluded to, transform society using the twin tools of aggregation and highly selective and politicized curation of content.

A brief aside, as it is helpful here to take into account McLuhan’s observations regarding the societal effect of mass electronic media:

“It would take several volumes to even partially explore in depth the topic of McLuhan and the new electronic media so we tried to cut to the chase outlining the essential elements. Basically the nature of electronic communications is immersive, it’s kind of the soup in which we daily swim. It can’t really be escaped as we are usually within reach or earshot of a ‘Net accessible device, a mobile phone, tablet, computer or even a radio or television.

Information presented in this way tends to compress the content, much like a cubist painting, a Picasso for example which is nothing but the essential elements, all angular and razor sharp which have the ability to bypass our normal rational self and bind deeply with our psyche where they assume an elevated status.

When u take into account that the leftist/Islamist nexus [the “unholy alliance”] largely controls the Internet then one immediately can grasp how it has become the underlying element in the process of overturning traditional Western culture.” [source, interview, W. August Mayer, PipeLineNews.org LLC ]

Now if Google [motto “don’t be evil,” how tragic] were to function as the equivalent of the global library, where all legal content was available and could be searched out using various Boolean operators to give customers [you are NOT a user, your activity is a commodity] what they are looking for, then this most pernicious aspect of the necessarily broad indictment of the company could be dismissed.

But this, as Project Vertas has so abundantly proven, is not the case as not only is the search giant actively curating news to produce a particular political result [a mal-informed and generally inflamed public] but one whose purpose is to undermine then overthrow the Western civil order so that a gray totalitarianism can be imposed globally.

No we are not given to hyperbole in this situation, the threat is literal and possibly already irremediable.

Circling back to Ms. Gennai’s chilling intent - one party totalitarian rule - it must be understood that people such as her and her higher-ups like to clothe their collectivism within the language of Western political thought.

After all, what she really wants is “fairness,” actually in her specific parlance, “machine learning fairness.”

Now who could argue with the concept of “equality” “fairness” or being pro-democracy?

Those questions within this context are of course rhetorical, as few in the West will admit to desiring unfair treatment or using non-democratic means when it comes to politics. But it is here where the confusion ensues [and is deceptively employed] in that “fairness” “equality” and “democracy” mean very different things depending upon the context.

The Western model is of course one of republican democracy where governance indeed flows from the people, but in a system where there is a written constitution [or body of pre-existing common law] limiting the power of government and where the people do not vote directly on legislation [the Athenian model] but rather through representatives, so that “mobocracy” and “levelling” [terms employed by our Founders to warn against forced redistribution] may be avoided.

However, what Ms. Gennai really seeks is rooted in the idea of “socialist realism” wherein the terms fairness, equality and similar words become dog whistles allowing her and her peers to invoke a world of configured or engineered reality. Of course this artificial restratification of our society would be invoked by grand inquisitors such as herself, although she is acting - most likely in total ignorance of but in obvious accord with the ideologues who preceded her, names such as Marx, Lenin, Hitler and Stalin.

But though all of the above sounds, and should be frightening stuff, until you become the personal target of such highhandedness it’s hard to imagine what the experience will be like.

However as opposed to other news sources we at PipeLineNews.org LLC, have been on the receiving end of the tactics of these petty tyrants, albeit when the future outlines of Google’s invisible hand were still largely shrouded.

This organization was founded in 1999, yep just a year after Google hit the scene and as the Internet was really taking shape, though access was primarily via land-line telephone dial-up accounts with data transfer rates of less than 100kbps, using early browsers like Mosaic.

In the early to mid 2000s Google actually had a system to “certify” or designate certain websites as being in the news business. One had to file a formal application whereupon you were forced to jump through a set of increasingly difficult hurdles…

Question abounded - was your news content mixed with editorial? If so it was necessary to separate it out at a domain extension. Google also wanted to know how many writers you had, if you had a physical address provided contact information and a host of other meaningless requirements.

If my memory is correct I believe we were listed, then de-listed three times, the last and final time because a certain California based jihadist organization mounted a campaign which successfully got us labeled as an anti-Muslim “Islamophobic hate site.”

All of this was done via email in a process that was silly and pointless but at least semi-straightforward and transparent until perhaps a year and a half into the madness when all communication ceased and our articles never graced the pages of news.google.com again...in no way a genuine problem since we already had a substantial readership.

Web hosting services were similarly in play, in our case with Muslim pressure groups threatening lawsuits against the host and demanding proprietary web log data as well as personal contact information - demanding discovery absent a lawsuit.

We lost two hosting services during this crazy period, the mere threat of legal action by the Islamic legal jihad [lawfare] was sufficient. In one case we had to threaten a hosting service outside the continental United States with legal action because they had threatened to hand over our proprietary information to a particularly noxious Muslim Brotherhood affiliate.

The point here, if not already evident, is that even very early in the process whereby the ‘Net of yesterday congealed into the malevolent presence it now is it was quickly becoming apparent that such power itself is in itself corrupting, incontrovertible proof that no one company or a select few companies should be allowed to act as the gatekeeper to access web-based information.

Conclusion?

Google, et al., are the very definition of publishers, eliminate the Section 230 exemption, and break these bastards “into a thousand pieces and scatter the remains to the wind ,” paraphrasing Jack Kennedy’s sentiments regarding the CIA after the Bay of Pigs disaster.

©W. August Mayer, PipeLineNews.org LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law