A Google engineer who spoke out to accuse the company of pushing its political bias into search and news results was put on administrative leave on Wednesday hours after speaking out.
Greg Coppola spoke to Project Veritas to share his views and said that while he ‘respects’ his manager, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, his comments on bias are inaccurate.
He claims to be based in New York and says he has worked for Google since 2014. On Thursday, he launched a GoFundMe page asking for donations because he’d been put on leave.
‘I am on administrative leave from Google and will probably be fired for an interview expressing concern that big tech is taking sides in elections.
‘If raised, I will use this money to spend four months publishing content about issues in politics and technology,’ he said.
In his interview, Coppola said that there were a ‘small number’ of people whose jobs were dedicated to promoting certain news sites over others and that the bias is left-leaning, favoring CNN and The New York Times.
Greg Coppola launched a GoFundMe account on Thursday claiming he would ‘probably’ be fired. He is asking for money and says he will use to to publish more on the issue
‘A small number of people do work on making sure that certain new sites are promoted. And in fact, I think it would only take a couple out of an organization of 100,000, you know, to make sure that the product is a certain way,’ he said.
Coppola added: ‘I think it’s, you know, ridiculous to say that there’s no bias.
‘I think everyone who supports anything other than the Democrats, anyone who’s pro-Trump or in any way deviates from what CNN and the New York Times are pushing, notices how bad it is,’ he said.
‘I’m very concerned to see big tech and big media merge basically with a political party, with the Democrat party. I know how algorithms are.
‘We are seeing tech use its power to manipulate people…. it’s time to decide – do we run the tech or does the tech run us?’
‘They don’t write themselves. We write them to do what we want them to do,’ he said.
‘I look at search and I look at Google News and I see what it’s doing and I see Google executives go to Congress and say that it’s not manipulated. It’s not political. And I’m just so sure that’s not true,’ he said.
‘We are seeing tech use its power to manipulate people…. it’s time to decide – do we run the tech or does the tech run us?
‘Are we going to just let the biggest tech companies decide who wins every election from now on?’ he said.
Though he works on Google Assistant – which he insists truly does not have a bias – he said he ‘just knows’ how the algorithms work.
For the last 10 years, he said, the company operated on a fairly unbiased basis however that has changed recently.
‘I started in 2014. 2014 was an amazing time to be at Google. We didn’t talk about politics. No one talked about politics.
‘You know, it was just a chance to work with the best computer scientists in the world, the best facilities, the best computers and free food.
‘I think as the election started to ramp up, the angle that the Democrats and the media took was that anyone who liked Donald Trump was a racist…
‘And that got picked up everywhere. I mean, every tech company, everybody in New York, everybody in the field of computer science basically believed that.
Coppola said CEO Sundar Pichai’s claims before congress that Google is not biased was ‘ridiculous’
‘I think we had a long period, of ten years, let’s say, where we had search and social media that didn’t have a political bias and we kind of got used to the idea that the top search results at Google is probably the answer.’
He said what was worrying, given the company’s history for being unbiased, was that now people had come to trust what it pushes to the top of its search results as the most likely to be true.
‘And Robert Epstein who testified before Congress last week, um, looked into it and showed that, you know, the vast majority of people think that if something is higher rated on Google Search than another story, that it would be more important and more correct.
Coppola claims to have started working for Google as an engineer in 2014.
‘And you know, we haven’t had time to absorb the fact that tech might have an agenda.
‘I mean, it’s something that we’re only starting to talk about now,’ he said.
Coppola’s credentials could not be immediately verified by DailyMail.com.
He claims to have started working for Google as an engineer in 2014.
His LinkedIn page says he worked before that for Business Objects, in Vancouver.
He studied in the UK in London and Edinburgh, it says.
Google has come under intense scrutiny in recent months over its algorithms and how they select what people see.
CEO Sundar Pichai has been questioned by members of Congress over the company’s systems and insisted that despite what critics say, it does not promote left-leaning, Democratic news over that of more Conservative outlets or merely outlets it does not rate.
In December, he painstakingly testified before Congress that the algorithms were driven by the popularity of things on the internet and not engineers or employees’s personal beliefs.
The company is under a magnifying glass, along with other tech giants, and is facing an antitrust investigation which will examine whether they have too much power.