A senior Google executive has been caught on an undercover video appearing to suggest the government shouldn’t break up the tech giant because it will make it difficult to stop ‘the next Trump situation’.
Secret footage released by Project Veritas shows Google’s Head of Responsible Innovation, Jen Gennai blasting Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s push to break up tech giants.
‘Elizabeth Warren is saying we should break up Google,’ Gennai can be heard saying.
‘And like, I love her but she’s very misguided, like that will not make it better it will make it worse, because all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation, it’s like a small company cannot do that.’
After the publication of the footage, Gennai said she had used some ‘imprecise language’ during a ‘casual chat’ and said she had been invited to the meeting at a San Francisco restaurant by people claiming to be from a ‘mentoring program for young women of color’.
But the clip, which is part of Project Veritas investigation into Silicon Valley provided fodder to conservatives who have long accused Google of using its search results to shape people’s political views.
Google’s Head of Responsible Innovation, Jen Gennai was filmed in an encounter at a restaurant in San Francisco
In the footage she appears to suggest Google is developing algorithms to prevent Donald Trump being reelected in 2020
In the footage she appears to suggest Google was training its algorithms to prevent a repeat of the 2016 election.
‘We all got screwed over in 2016, again it wasn’t just us, it was, the people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over, like, everybody got screwed over so we’re rapidly been like, what happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again,’ she says in the covert film.
‘We’re also training our algorithms, like, if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?’
An insider also reportedly told Project Veritas that Google ‘is bent on never letting somebody like Donald Trump come to power again.’
The insider claims the tech giant uses Machine Learning Fairness to promote its ‘algorithmic unfairness’ and steer the political stories people read.
Gennai denied Google had manipulated search results and said he had received abusive messages since the secret footage was published
They also alleged that YouTube, which is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, demotes content from conservative influencers like Dave Rubin and Tim Pool.
In a post on Medium on Monday, Gennai claimed the Project Veritas journalists shot the footage without her consent and had spliced the film to ‘distort my words and the actions of my employer’.
She also said she had received several ‘threatening calls, voicemails, text messages and emails’ since the film was posted online.
‘I was having a casual chat with someone at a restaurant and used some imprecise language. Project Veritas got me. Well done,’ she said.
She denied that Google was taking any measures to change the result of the 2020 election and dismissed the claims as ‘absolute, unadulterated nonsense’.
Trump has repeatedly claimed Google ‘rigged’ its search engine results to show bad news stories about him.
‘I think that Google really taking advantage of a lot of people,’ he said. ‘It’s not fair to large portions of the population.’
Invoking Facebook and Twitter, he said, ‘We have literally thousands and thousands of complaints coming in. And you just can’t do that.’
Google uses a complex algorithm to decide which search results a user is presented with, though its exact workings are a closely guarded secret
Google has categorically denied that politics play any role in the complex algorithms that determine what users are shown when they search a term.
Google uses a complex algorithm to decide what results users are presented with, although its exact workings remain a closely guarded corporate secret.
The firm has revealed that a user’s search history will affect the results, so it is possible that any given user’s reading habits will determine which news outlets they see information from in the future.
Elizabeth Warren, who is part of the field of Democratic candidates in the race to run for President in 2020, has made the breakup of tech giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook one of her flagship policies.
Warren described her plans for tech companies in an essay published on Medium that made the case for promoting competition.
‘Today’s big tech companies have too much power — too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy,’ she wrote. ‘They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.’