The First Amendment in the Bill of Rights affirms that all people have a right to freedom of speech. This means that the government cannot suppress or ban someone for their political ideology or their belief. However, a private organization could do such a thing; for example, a church or private school can ban profanity on their grounds. There is a free speech gray area relating to what public/private partnerships can and should do about it; this is a problem with our crony capitalist system.
By James Sweet III | United States
In an update from March of 2018, Google announced to the world that they would ban cryptocurrency advertisements on their platforms, effective June. With the 1st of June being in the past, Google has begun to enforce their ban on advertisements from “Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice)”.
Google isn’t the only company to ban cryptocurrency ads, with Facebook doing so earlier in the year. Facebook had intentions to develop new technology for the company based off of the blockchain, leading many to wonder if Google is attempting to do the same and their advertisement ban is just a way to knock out the competition. A spokesperson for Google stated, “Like many new technologies, we have individuals in various teams exploring the potential use of blockchain, but it’s too early for us to speculate about any possible uses or plans”.
There is seem proper reasoning behind the advertisement ban by these tech-giants, as research shows that 80% of ICO’s are fraudulent. Business Insider has also reported that more “pump and dump” scams have appeared in the crypto-currency community.
While talking to The Independent, Phillip Nunn, CEO of Manchester-based investment firm Blackmore Group, said, “I understand that Facebook and Google are under a lot of pressure to regulate what their users are reading, but they are still advertising gambling websites and other unethical practices”.
I suspect the ban has been implemented to fit in with potential plans to introduce their own cryptocurrency to the market in the near future and therefore removing other crypto adverts allows them to do it on their own terms.
What do you think? Is Google trying to protect their users from fraudulent ICO’s that are stealing their money, or are they planning for something bigger in the future?
By Ryan Johnston | USA
Google, the worlds largest search engine, is under fire for allegedly discriminating against conservative newsgroups in its recently introduced “fact checker”, as it is almost exclusively available for conservative news providers.
The Daily Caller, one of the sites affected by this new offering, wrote in an article, “When searching for a media outlet that leans right, like The Daily Caller (TheDC), Google gives users details on the sidebar, including what topics the site typically writes about, as well as a section titled Reviewed Claims.”
This is shown below, where “disputed claims” are listed for sites such as The Daily Caller and Breitbart but not Huffington Post or CNN.
Such a trend is proving to be dangerous, as the tech industry is consistently propagating their viewpoints in subliminal and unreported ways. This is seen now in Google’s “fact checker”, which is just the latest example of censorship, adding to Twitter’s blacklist, and Patreon’s censorship.
This brings about a new era of censorship, and thus a new era of contentious debate regarding whether or not we allow these companies to censor content ensues. I would contend that we need to be cautious in our approach.
Although it is important the 1st amendment is protected for the fringe groups on social media it is equally important we protect the opinions of the equity-holders and individuals representing companies like Google and Twitter.
We cannot use it as an excuse for government intervention, for if we do we would be just as bad as the left. If we truly want to bring about a change we must voice our opinions and we, inevitably, will be heard.