Why Are Tech Companies Biased?

I have written several articles on postings related to Big Tech, Social Media and Corporations. A list of links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on these Industries.

The subject of tech bias has been briefly mentioned in several of my articles. In this article we are going to discuss it in more depth. As I stated in my article “The Plot to Destroy America When and How Did It Happen?” Leftist Indoctrination begins at an early stage in the school systems, and it honed to a fine edge in college, where the majority of the professors are liberal leftists. Also because of large infusions of funding< China is having a say in classes that are being offered and also they are blocking any anti-China rhetoric. Even conservative guest speakers are being forced off the campuses during their speeches. Most tech company Ceo’s not only have college degrees, many have graduate level degrees as well. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are the exception to the rule. They did not graduate from college, though they did attend some college classes. While in college many students are exposed to antifa indoctrination techniques. It is a no wonder with all this hate America training that these college graduates hate America.

When these students graduate from college, the indoctrination continues with biased news services, newspapers and magazines, even movies and TV programming is liberal. With our cancel culture, even TV shows are being cancelled that show the police in a favorable manner. Employees are being fired in many companies if they speak favorably of President Trump. Social media sites and the Internet used to be havens for freedom of speech. Sites like Google are limiting some of your searches, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are blocking or erasing some postings that are critical of China. Because of all this censorship I set up my this blog. I purchased my own domain, and I pay for my software access, so I can guarantee that my word will get out. Just a year ago, I would never have considered doing this. Now I post at least one article a day for this blog.

Since companies are created by people, it is inevitable that their mission statement and business operation’s will reflect their beliefs. If the founders and ceos are biased, this bias will eventually be reflected in the company. They will hire not only skilled people, they will hire people that think the same way as they do. They want the company to be a reflection of them. This may be deliberate or inadvertent. In my 40 year career, I have worked in management for over 20 of those years, and I have been responsible for hiring 100’s of employees. I speak from experience, when you hire people you subconsciously look for people that reflect your moral values and share your beliefs. Because lets face it we are biased towards ourselves. We think of ourselves as good people. And even if we are not, we also believe we are ideal employees. There is an old Saying “Can’t see the forest for the trees”, that helps to illustrate this phenomenon.

Going beyond basic indoctrination, there is some scientific basis for bias. It is human nature to be biased. In fact, it is promulgated that we need bias to survive. Humans need biases, heuristics to be able to make decisions quickly. Processing information and reaching conclusions takes time and energy. So, if our ancestors had not been biased against strangers who looked threatening, you and I might never have been born. If people are not biased against ideas that just sound wrong, they would spend almost all their time pondering and rarely act. Bias is necessary for life, even though bias sometimes gets things wrong.

Is there academic evidence that tech companies have been politically biased? Yes. Science published a 2014 study that showed that conservatives on Facebook were more likely to see liberal-oriented items in their news feeds than liberals were to see conservative-oriented items. A study published in the Proceedings of the 3rd Annual ACM Web Science Conference showed for Yahoo, in a period spanning 2011–12, “that the more right-leaning a query it is, the more negative sentiments can be found in its search results.”

A study published in the Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing examined search results on Twitter. Regarding the 2016 presidential race between Secretary Hillary Clinton and then-candidate Donald Trump, the study found that most tweets were negative because Republicans tweeted about Clinton more than Democrats did, and Democrats tweeted about Trump more than Republicans did. But when people searched for tweets about candidates, Twitter’s ranking system affected the extent to which people found negative content. More specifically, Twitter’s “ranking system directed the search results for Hillary Clinton towards the perspective of her own party. For Donald Trump the situation is the opposite. . . . So, while the ranking system mitigated the opposite bias in the search results for Hillary Clinton, it enhanced it for Donald Trump.” Can political biases affect elections? While it is not known if an election can be affected by social media bias. There is a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that measured this potential. It found that “biased search rankings can shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20% or more.” This could tip a close election. There is a growing concern social media companies may be hurting competition and intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms.

There have been other studies support a different conclusion, that conservatives may be favored in Facebook and Google. As the sociologist Jen Schradie demonstrates in great detail in her new book, The Revolution That Wasn’t: How Digital Activism Favors Conservatives, Facebook and Google work better for top-down, well-funded, disciplined, directed movements. Those adjectives tend to describe conservative groups more than liberal or leftist groups in the United States. In our current media ecosystem, right-wing sources of news and propaganda spread much further and faster than liberal or neutral sources do, according to a rigorous quantitative study of communication-network patterns by Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, and Hal Roberts at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. Internet platforms are demonstrably not silencing conservative ideas. If anything, the opposite is true. No algorithm is neutral. Facebook and Google are biased, but in a way that has nothing to do with American political ideologies or parties. Instead, both of these global systems favor content that generates strong emotional reactions from users—clicks, shares, likes, and comments. There is a clear commercial reason for this design choice. It keeps users hooked, ready to click on more advertisements and thus generate more revenue for the platform. In short, Facebook is a remarkable tool for motivation. It’s a terrible platform for deliberation. Democratic citizenship demands both motivation of the like-minded and deliberation among those with different ideas and agendas. And Google is a terrible tool for discerning truth from falsity. Google is worse at discerning relevant information from trivia. It’s not a good source to achieve depth of understanding about a diverse and changing world.

As sometimes happens in my articles, the subject matter takes on a life of it’s own. I started researching and writing this article with the belief that it would lead to one conclusion, liberal bias for tech companies. While, there is anecdotal evidence that there is liberal bias. There is no definitive evidence to point in that direction. While it is true, people are biased and so to are companies, there does not seem to be single path leading towards liberal or conservative. It seems to go both ways. The programming language simply does not provide for consistent filtering of one belief or another. People by nature are also egotistical, I am guilty of this as well. We seem to think that everything is about them. So if some event happens that negatively affects an outcome we are depending on, it must be intentional. Because of the fact that we are all egotistical, we spend most of our time thinking about ourselves and not on ways to screw other people. This is not to say that there are not zealots out there that think differently. These are the people that make up the membership of groups like antifa and BLM. Despite the belief that these people make up a large portion of the population, it is false. Has anybody heard a squeaky wheel on a shopping cart in a grocery store. There can be a hundred carts in use throughout the store, but you can immediately find and point out the cart with that wheel. While this is a pretty basic example, it helps to show what happens in the media. Good news doesn’t sell, bad news does. Your average citizen, which by the way makes up over 90% of the population wants a family, house and a good job and to occasionally go on a trip. They don’t care about all the hype that goes on in the media. Because they are quiet, their voice is not typically heard until it comes time to vote. So the point I am trying to make after writing this article, that there simply is not enough definitive evidence to point to deliberate bias in the tech world. As much as I hate to admit it. Eventually, more evidence may come to light to change the outcome of this story. In which case, I will amend the article.

Well guess what, I haven’t even published the article yet and Tech companies provided concrete evidence, where just a few days I was unable to find any evidence of censoring. All I could find was Just anecdotal evidence of censoring. That was mighty nice of them to provide me with this evidence, don’t you think? Two days ago medical professionals held a press conference discussing medical advances in the treatment of covid-19. President Trumps son Trump Jr. posted copies of the video on Twitter and Facebook, he was promptly blocked for 12 hours on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook pulled all the videos, stating that the reason for pulling the video was that it provided dubious information, because it claimed that hydroxychloroquine was a cure for Covid-19. Even if this information was incorrect, these companies have no right to pull it from their sites , unless they want to change the regulations that govern their companies. They provide a host service not a censoring service. Right now these companies are being investigated by congress for ant-trust violations. The Ceo’s are testifying before Congress. If they loss, they could be broken up like Microsoft was in its antitrust case in 2000. The courts ruled that Microsoft had violated the Sherman Act, and was ordered to break up his company into two parts. He appealed it and the decision was reversed in 2001. The settlement however, imposed a strict set of restrictions on Microsoft, including the inability to force PC-makers to work exclusively with Microsoft. Microsoft was also required to share its APIs with software developers to allow them to make applications that worked with Windows. What the settlement didn’t do, however, was restrict Microsoft from expanding the features it included in its Windows operating system. Because of the distractions with his court case Bill Gates missed out on the window of opportunity for the cell phone market. We could have been using windows mobile instead of android, if history had gone a little differently.

Postings for Big Tech, Social Media and Corporations