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Tech Google search results hijacked by rehabs

Atelier3

Moderator: DC
Staff member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
2,655
You seem to have the common misconception that the left is some all-powerful force, despite the fact that right now conservatives hold literally all the levers of power in the US (the major world power) & UK government (where I'm from). If your location tag is correct then you should know that your country's government is a deeply conservative theocracy also. How conservatives can observe that and still judge the left to be currently more powerful is beyond me,

The conservatives may hold Government but in the Anglosphere at least, the Left (and increasingly the loopy Left) hold the Culture and significantly influence the discourse that establishes our social mores and norms. The Left dominates the education system, the media, and the arts organisations. They also dominate employment in the Civil Service / Public Service and increasingly hold the positions in quasi-governmental organisations that also influence the Culture. Things like human rights commissions with quasi-judicial status but which are unelected.
 

DeadManWalkin'

Bluelighter
Joined
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
3,451
Location
Saudi Arabia
You seem to be attempting to conceal your conservative bias. You have given it away more than once with the issues you've chosen to bring up and the way you're approaching this topic. Just come out and say it dude - you're actually censoring yourself here. Politically, you're right-wing, are you not?

I am very familiar with the Carlos Maza situation. I can't believe the disingenuous way that you're framing the issue. The guy was relentlessly bullied and harassed by Stephen Crowder, who has had the compilations of the racist & homophobic insults that he directed at Carlos Maza in multiple videos taken down, but I've seen the compilation and it was CLEARLY homophobic, racist & an obvious example of straight up harassment. After enduring it & complaining to Youtube and receiving no response, Carlos Maza eventually is forced to make a video addressing it, at which point Crowder is temporarily demonetized. Que a bunch of conservatives and Crowder himself crying about censorship. Sorry that I'm not getting up in arms about Youtube stopping Crowder from being racist & homophobic and continuing his long-standing harassment campaign. The fact that you frame that as "the whining of a gay guy" shows your clear & obvious conservative bias, which is why you're crying about cancel culture. Private companies don't let conservatives do shitty things like be racist, homophobic, discriminatory etc and all of a sudden the free-market non-government-intervention right wingers suddenly want companies to be held accountable.
Well, it could be said that you're clearly a left winger based on your posts.
I'm censoring myself? How come?
I don't believe to be a conservative.
I've seen the things the Crowder guy said and I don't really care about his form of conservatism or whatever it might be. It to be honest annoys me.
However, I don't believe it to be racist and what I've read of this situation is that Maza himself used those words and Crowder was just repeating them - may be in provocative manner, but even YouTube at first said that he did not break any rules.
The point here is not that I agree with these people, like lets say Alex Jones, but the point is that they're getting censored.
It's not that I agree with lets say, Alex Jones, but of course they're going to start with the insane guy nobody is going to defend. They have progressed from that to less radical users. It's inch by inch thing.
Also, free-market requires companies to intervene sometimes, specially in cases where companies have lobbied to get special privileges.
Amazon lobbing for 15 dollar minimal wage at the time they're replacing their own workers with robots is a good example.
And it's important how companies list themselves.
If they want not to be accountable for the content that's posted there they have to list themselves as a platform, where all speech is allowed.
When they go into censoring certain things they stop being a platform and should be listed in a different way, which puts them into legal responsibility.
 

JessFR

Sr. Moderator: AADD, H&R, TDS
Staff member
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
10,175
The worst thing by far is that I've frequently noticed that scientology front group narconon often comes up really early on drug related searches.

That's just dangerous...
 

CFC

Tech Support
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
14,834
Location
The Shire
In general Google's search results are rather garbage these days. No matter what you search for, you tend to get pages of results orientated towards trying to sell you some crap you don't want, rather than related to your actual search criteria. Even my Mum's noticed and switched to alternatives.
 

TheLoveBandit

Co-Owner
Joined
Feb 22, 2000
Messages
34,607
Location
Getting to the point ...
What you call virtue signaling I call meaningless empty platitudes to capitalize on cultural trends. If the most popular political movement among consumers at the moment was a shift towards traditional conservatism then they would adopt the aesthetics of that instead. It is no different than hiring a celebrity to endorse a product - just taking advantage of a cultural trend to make more money. It doesn't belie some truly leftist agenda - corporations are obviously going to be pro-business since they ARE business, so they are obviously not going to be leftist, and that's if they are anything but apolitical entities.

In a theoretical world you may be right. In application of our real world environment, the bias of the owners, the leaders, and the employees will bleed through and effect the behaviour of the company and organization. We've seen this with 'journalism' that has long abandoned seeking out the truth, and desire for facts are merely support points for the opinion they wish to publish as fact. But specific to big tech (think FB, Twitter, Youtube-Google) this bleed through is visible, real and not imagined.

I don't think what is happening with the search results is active censorship, I think it's just rehab facilities paying google and/or manipulating search metrics to get a favorable position in the search results. Since the rehabs likely pay Google a sizable sum and Bluelight doesn't then the rehabs get to page 1 whilst Bluelight is pushed down. It's simply money again. You can find all sorts of reprehensible shit on Google and you will only have trouble if you're searching for something illegal or something that competes with a search term targeted by advertisers. Since it isn't censorship (the legit search results are there, just buried by rehabs) it's not inherently political.

I'll address this below.

You seem to have the common misconception that the left is some all-powerful force, despite the fact that right now conservatives hold literally all the levers of power in the US (the major world power) & UK government (where I'm from). If your location tag is correct then you should know that your country's government is a deeply conservative theocracy also. How conservatives can observe that and still judge the left to be currently more powerful is beyond me,


Conspiracy theorists abound, and they garner their duly warranted skepticism and dismissal. It's easy to imagine an all powerful shadow cabal pulling strings, especially when they go against your individual interests. However, I don't subscribe to these. Instead, I look at an organization like any of these big tech firms and observe what they allow, what they block, and if there is a recognizable pattern. Left, right, or apolitical, there will be a recurring pattern. This is most easily pointed to with the active suppression most recently by these media giants of the Hunter Biden laptop situation. Accusations, innuendos, and flat out verbal attacks can be volleyed by one side or the other on most mediums; and unbased scandals have ridden headlines for the past several years. The direct action to suppress this instance speaks volumes to both the power to squelch and control discourse that these companies have, as well as the assumed authority to do so by which they acted.

You've sidestepped to speak of gov'ts acting with bias. For America, it (the gov't) does tend to move in line with whichever party holds power; but that is expected to even out over time as power shifts hands and reflects the pendulum of societal wants and voter expression. To state that a gov't (I believe you are point to America specifically) is inherently and consistently of a particular mindset is inaccurate. A look back at our history, the major decisions that have shifted our culture at different points, tells you the proirorities have changed over time. Sometimes more conservative, sometimes more progressive, but never consistent in it's behaviour or decisions as a ruling entity other than to perhaps ensure it's existence.
 

TheLoveBandit

Co-Owner
Joined
Feb 22, 2000
Messages
34,607
Location
Getting to the point ...
Censorship implies someone taking an active role in manipulating/suppressing information. What you are describing is just how the google algorithm works - the most clicked results getting higher in the results - since it's a logical way of ordering the search results, rather than them just being presented randomly. The only time it doesn't work based on that algorithm is when advertisers pay for their results to be near the top regardless and I'd hardly call that censorship. The only time big tech will take part in "cancel culture" is if it affects their bottom line - advertisers don't want to be associated with controversies, so tech companies simply play it safe.

Google does censor results. They even do it on your country, because law makes them to do so. They do it different in every country

To the subject of censorship, look no further than China and the restrictions they placed on Google (and anyone else) if that company is to be active within that country's populace. A simple, and personal example, is one company I worked for made construction equipment. Some of it was sold in China. In order to carry our telematics package (like On-Star for those that know it = cellular device pings back from machine to service center with location and service needs), we had to have the data servers IN China with their gov't having full access to ALL data and the geo-locations couldn't be shared outside the country. Technology IS censored by gov'ts (China is not the only one), but I think we've agreed upon that.

Next is if the companies censor based upon their own practices. Without a doubt this is the case. Every platform determines what content it will allow or block (consider dark web sites where porn or murder are allowed VS public platforms). So inherently every organization sets standards and enforces them in one way or another (even we have our BLUA). The next question is who sets those standards and enforces them? Even if you try to point to algorythms, those have to be programmed and monitored and tuned by persons. In all cases it comes down to individuals with their own inherent biases, and in the case of companies like Google those acting employees were hired by biased owners and managers such that ALL are aligned in their idea of what is acceptable. What is allowed and what gets censored is in escapable.

Add in the factor of money being the prime driver for companies and you have business decisions that can be taken as personal or political bias implementations. The roots may be impartial, giving more visibility to companies who advertise. However, there isn't much of a leap to such companies feeling they have a moral and social obligation to use their might to guide what they believe is corrective actions in society. THAT is the trap we've seen many businesses fall into over recent years. Case in point, the BLM activism in major sports organizations. The public has watched sports for decades for the entertainment value, not for the social commentary. That sports leaders, and equally Hollywood celebrities, feel they have a spotlight and should use it to voice what they feel must be addressed is not only off-putting for a good portion of the viewers that pay to see them; but it manifests as being THE view to be stated in unison without challenge when, in fact, not ALL agree with that view. Opposing voices get drowned out, shamed into silence = is that not censorship?

Tech can do it more quickly, effectively, with algorithms. But many big businesses today have moved from 'doing their job' to 'trying to be heard on social issues'. They aren't good at it. They may have big voices, high visibility, but we don't go to an actor to understand carbon emissions, we don't go to a sporting event to be told how to act with our neighbors (though, sports CAN be a great EXAMPLE of how to get along regardless of race, to value what one contributes rather than ones race, color, creed). Corporations are in business to make money, and yet more and more they act in ways that may feel morally required when in fact it undermines the foundation of what the public relied upon them for.

1. Do you think that tech companies have an ideological motivation that goes beyond their profit motive? i.e. do they have a political bend that is unrelated to them trying to make money?

2. Do you believe that Google manually has employees check every page that they index on their website and decides if it's to be censored or included?

1. I've addressed that just above. Money is the reason for existence for these companies. However, once they have enough money and they grow large enough, they are questioning if they should use their might to address social or political issues. Some aren't even questioning it, but just doing it.

2. Specific instance, but in a general sense NO they don't have employees checking every page. Google, like youtube and FB and twitter, have millions of users and a report function to flag employee attention and review. Don't pay for an employee to do something your customers will do for free. These companies DO, however, have employees who then receive the flagged data and determine if it should be removed or not = hence the increasing amount of content flagged on these platforms as misleading or partially false, or simply removed altogether. These decisions ARE being made, by humans who work for companies who set standards of acceptance.
 

HeadphonesandLSD

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 10, 2011
Messages
1,501

This is the only search engine worth using now. You can setup your own instance of it in a cheap server and have your own personal search engine. It can grab results from all major search engines or you can configure it to pull just the results you want. There are several public instances available if you don't want to set up your own. Just keep in mind that public instances may be under heavy load or fail to pull results from certain engines like google because they impose limits on how many queries can be made from the same IP.

You can find some public instances here: https://searx.space/

DuckDuckGo and Bing are better than google if you don't feel like going through the trouble of using SearX. Just be aware that both sell your user data just like google and will probably become worse over time. For now they aren't engaging in as much censorship and result manipulation as google is.
 

Pinkbeam

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
281
Location
MO
Way to much to read. All I know is my google search results are all rehab websites, also. I was just bitching about this about a week ago.
 

Zephyn

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
182
Definitely a thing. Now you need to put something like "site:bluelight.ru" and even then you won't get all the results
 

Kara Kava

Bluelighter
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
459
I use duckduck go and I find more rehab adverts then before but still get directed to bluelight(usually)if asking a specific drug question.
Like someone mentioned earlier, could be regional
 
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