Much has been written and discussed about the mega-corporation Google’s internal culture of social activism. It is well known to be an ideologically driven company, bent on establishing a culture of “diversity and inclusiveness” within its walls.
The concern for all of us must be whether this ideology extends beyond those walls. Unlike companies like Starbucks, Chick-fil-a, Hobby Lobby and Target, which have reflected the beliefs of their management in policies they enforce, companies that deal in the information we consume have a crucial, additional responsibility to their customers.
Our knowledge of the world is critical in allowing us to make informed decisions and reach accurate conclusions. These purveyors of perception have a unique responsibility to keep their preferences and pre-determinations out of the information they dispense.
Otherwise, they are simply propaganda machines. The corruption of the information we consume every day is an existential threat to our freedom. It is so dangerous because the gold standard for controlling any populace is controlling the information they consume.
This is not an issue about which ideology is correct or better. It is an issue of honesty and humility. As soon as people who are utterly convinced of a certain world view are given control of the flow of information, we have an immense problem.
It seems impossible to overstate the danger of Internet search engines and social media sites taking sides. Sadly, it has become undeniable that these supremely powerful institutions of information and ideas have developed an agenda.
And they are actively promoting that agenda. They have become weapons of coercion and confusion.
The conundrum is how to get out the word that what we “learn” online is slanted. After all, we already have to deal with prejudiced news stories and celebrity condemnations based upon an equally biased and privileged perspective. Sadly, most people don’t even realize this.
Is the goal of news and information outlets to tell us what is happening, then to provide varying perspectives on the issues, or is their goal more nefarious? How can we know what to believe?
Well, we used to think that looking it up on the Internet was the way to clear things up. Not anymore.
This ideological usurpation of information systems has become the biggest threat to human freedom. Our acquisition of knowledge is being purposely distorted by smug, condescending, elitist activists.
We are becoming engulfed in a world of lies, cleverly packaged as brilliant analysis and broad consensus.
Orwell was right. It’s long past 1984. This threat is imminent and pervasive. There’s no time to waste.
In the meantime, your best defense is to consider the source. Be skeptical. Don’t be deceived. And be especially wary if the bulk of what you see just reinforces your own beliefs. You may not have learned anything from your efforts. You may just be playing the useful tool.