Google and Microsoft OneEnabling the Chinese Communist Party to spread distorted conspiracy theories and lies.
This is a shocking finding of a recent Brookings Institution report. The respected Washington, DC-based think tank tracked how China “exploited search engine results on Xinjiang and COVID-19.” Brookings compiled daily data over a 120-day period on 12 terms related to Xinjiang and COVID-19 from five different sources: (1) Google searches; (2) Google News; (3) Bing Search; (4) Bing News; and (5) YouTube.”
Bing is Microsoft’s search engine and YouTube is owned by Google.
When it comes to Xinjiang, the northwestern Chinese province that is the epicenter of Beijing’s genocide against millions of innocent Uighur citizens, search engines showed a clear bias. Brookings noted that it “regularly returns state-backed content in news searches, with at least one Chinese state-backed news outlet appearing in the top 10 results in 88% of searches (106 searches out of 120 days).” But, the state media appeared one of the top 10 results in searches for ‘Xinjiang’ in 98% of searches (118 days out of 120 searches).”
So maybe don’t google it?
Still, think carefully about these figures: 88% of searches led to Chinese government propaganda as the top results – and not just in terms of tangential controversy but in relation to an active and devastating genocide. On YouTube, 98% of searches put governance promotion in its top results. This represents an extraordinary failure by these companies for what they claim is a top priority: ensuring that users can reliably access accurate information.
And these willing gatekeepers for accurate news information appear to be doing worse than their standard search engine moderator colleagues in the investigation of Chinese propaganda. Brookings noted that “both news searches (Google News and Bing News) and YouTube searches are more likely to be spread by Chinese state media than web searches.”
To make matters worse, these search engines and YouTube are also perpetuating CCP lies about the United States. For example, YouTube is returning promotional results for searches like “Fort Detrick”. With no evidence, China has spent the past two years claiming that Fort Detrick is the likely origin of COVID-19. This lie is already outrageous enough, but too bad considering that China, with all its health and social devastation, is the real origin of the virus.
The Brookings investigators also believe that their research potentially underestimates the prevalence and prominence of Chinese state media in search results, given the challenges of identifying this material republished in independent sources. , at least 19 different sources that are not officially affiliated. The Chinese government but regularly republishes Chinese state media material verbatim (for example, the Helsinki Times) appeared in the top search results. Including comments from only those 19 sources would increase the total number of Chinese state media incidents in search results by about 10%.”
On the other hand, major US tech companies are allowing Chinese propaganda cutouts to amplify Beijing’s lies.
Just as China seeks to manipulate American tech companies, it continues to plagiarize American interests. The effort includes an industrial espionage operation by Chinese intelligence officers and agents enabled by the Biden administration’s belief that wakefulness is more important than national security. This includes the theft of hundreds of billions of dollars of intellectual property every year. It also includes the open deceit of Chinese tech companies, who claim to only provide a cheap service, while their true service is espionage. Huawei has garnered a lot of attention in recent years, but consider the new Buzzfeed Reporting on TikTok – That Chinese administrators have repeatedly accessed user data of US TikTok users.
Irony is sick. While American tech firms are helping China lie to the world, Chinese companies are helping their Beijing masters spy on Americans. It can’t stand. Google has a particularly pathetic record when it comes to China, particularly through its “Dragonfly” contract for supporting Beijing’s censorship. It’s sad enough that Google employees were actually more upset at the idea of supporting US national security than increasing censorship and propaganda of the tyrannical, genocidal regime.
American companies must stop serving as useful stupid puppets to America’s most dangerous adversary. If the CEO is unable or unwilling to control President Xi Jinping’s campaign, Congress must act in law.