Opinion

The Ministry of –Truth– Google

Last Friday as seen in the Daily Caller, Google added a new feature to their well known search engine.

This feature helps users fact check news stories or claims to help combat “fake news,” by presenting the user with a first result article summarized with the claim, who made this claim and the verdict. The fact-checking for Google is almost exclusively done by Snopes and PolitiFact.

Sounds great right? Well you could be wrong.

Under the guise of convenience and ease; this can have disastrous effects on public knowledge of fact or fiction since Google (with the monopoly on internet search queries) has the power to sway public opinion.

How could this have disastrous effects?

This feature tells you what to think rather than presenting information for you to make your own informed decision, and gives editorializing privilege to a few organizations which decide what news stories or claims are legitimate.

What makes this even worse is that the major media organizations that are fact-checking for Google don’t exactly have a great track record in this field. For example, both PolitiFact and Snopes were caught omitting key details to protect John Kerry’s State Department, resulting in PolitiFact retracting ‘Mostly True’ verdict that the U.S. Removed ‘100 Percent’ of Syria’s Chemical Weapons.

Another example of Snopes skewing the truth to slap any label they want on a story can be found directly on their website and is their most recent political fact-check.

In this fact-check they present:

The Claim:
HUD director Ben Carson found more than $500 billion in accounting errors at the federal agency.

Rating:
Mostly False

They explain their reasoning for the verdict in their ‘Origin’ section.

“The referenced audit was actually initiated by HUD’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), who originally issued an independent auditor’s report on 15 November 2016 (over two months before Dr. Carson was confirmed as the new HUD secretary).”

“The total dollar figure noted in the report — roughly $520 billion”

Snopes gave this claim ‘HUD director Ben Carson found more than $500 billion in accounting errors at the federal agency’ a ‘Mostly False’ rating because the audit was initiated before Ben Carson was confirmed as HUD secretary and that the errors totalled roughly $520 billion and not $500 billion.

Clearly this claim is spot on true as Ben Carson (even in Snopes ‘Origin’ section) genuinely found over $500 billion in accounting errors at HUD regardless of who initiated the audit.

Keep in mind this is Snopes’ most recent political fact-check and this is one of two major Google fact-checkers.

Now looking at the Google fact-check that got everyone buzzing over the new feature. When users searched ‘Hillary sold uranium to Russia’ using Google, they were confronted with a Snopes fact-check and this snippet:

“Claim: Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s approval of a deal to transfer control of 20% of U.S. uranium deposits to a Russian company was a quid pro quo exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation.”

“Claimed by: Internet”

“Fact check by Snopes.com: false”

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Snopes’ own ‘Origin’ section of this article proves there is already a false claim by Snopes. In Snopes’ own words:

“May 2015 saw the publication of a book called Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, an exposé of alleged Clinton Foundation corruption written by Peter Schweizer, a former Hoover Institution fellow and editor-at-large at the right-wing media company Breitbart.

A chapter in the book suggests that the Clinton family and Russia each may have benefited from a “pay-for-play” scheme while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, involving the transfer of U.S. uranium reserves to the new Russian owners of an international mining operation in exchange for $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation.”

Snopes themselves directly blame Peter Schweizer for this claim; yet attempt to further de-legitimatize the claim by stating “Claimed by: Internet”.

Snopes declared this to be flat-out ‘False’, yet nearly TWO YEARS AGO this was shown to be ‘True’ by two New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporters, Jo Becker and Mike McIntire; who did their own digging on Peter Schweizer’s claims and published a front-page 3,000-word article confirming it. Which is summarized in short here.

– Bill and Hillary Clinton had helped a Canadian financier named Frank Giustra and a small Canadian company obtain a lucrative uranium mining concession from the dictator in Kazakhstan;

– The same Canadian company, renamed Uranium One, bought uranium concessions in the United States;

– The Russian government came calling and sought to buy that Canadian company for a price that would mean big profits for the Canadian investors;

– For the Russians to buy that Canadian company, it would require the approval of the Obama administration, including Hillary’s State Department, because uranium is a strategically important commodity;

– Nine shareholders in Uranium One just happened to provide more than $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation in the run-up to State Department approval;

– Some of the donations, including those from the Chairman of Uranium One, Ian Teler, were kept secret, even though the Clintons promised to disclose all donations;

– Hillary’s State Department approved the deal;

– The Russian government now owns 20 percent of U.S. uranium assets.

But after all of that, would you still trust The Ministry of -Truth- Google to give you accurate information and not mislead you? I mean their track record can only speak for itself.

Archives in order of reference in article.

Archived Daily Caller ~ April 10, 2017

Archived Free Beacon ~ April 10, 2017

Archived Daily Caller ~ April 10, 2017

Archived Snopes ~ April 10, 2017

Archived New York Times ~ April 10, 2017

Archived Breitbart ~ April 10, 2017

Archived Snopes ~ April 10, 2017

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