‘Algorithms don’t write themselves’: Google whistleblower on Big Tech merging with politics
A senior Google software engineer has dismissed the idea that Big Tech can be politically neutral and called out his company as “very biased,” joining Project Veritas’ growing stable of whistleblowers.
“I’m very concerned to see Big Tech and Big Media merge basically with a political party, with the Democratic party,” Greg Coppola, a Googler since 2014 who works on the AI Google Assistant, told the conservative muckraking outlet.
Are we going to continue to think for ourselves or are we going to just let the biggest tech companies decide who wins every election from now on?
While he doesn’t have a specific “smoking gun” proving bias, decades of programming experience (he’s been coding since age 10, he said) inform his growing certainty about Google’s political slant. Algorithms “don’t write themselves – we write them to do what we want them to do,” he pointed out, explaining that even AI machine learning is “just a tool that we control.”
Coppola pointed to Google News as an example – a news aggregator that draws from “just a handful of sites, and all those sites are vitriolically against President Trump, which I really consider to be interference in the American election.”
Google only began meddling in politics starting with the 2016 election, the engineer claimed, explaining that “the angle that the Democrats and the media took was that anyone who liked Donald Trump was a racist, even a Nazi, and that got picked up everywhere” – even Google. And even then, “most people’s jobs are not political and don’t involve politics.” But it only takes a few bad apples to spoil democracy for everyone.
Ultimately, the “ambiguity” is the problem, Coppola said. Google’s search results have been trusted as the best for over a decade, and the reality and depth of what he claims is political meddling is only now filtering into the general consciousness.
I really don’t buy the idea that big tech is politically neutral, and I think we need to start incorporating that into whatever strategy we use to have a democracy going forward.
While Coppola said he enjoys working for Google and stopped short of accusing his bosses of lying under oath (though he did go so far as to deny their congressional testimony was true), he was apparently willing to risk being fired in order to speak to the outlet. Veritas is actively soliciting stories from Google employees following a bombshell hidden-camera report that appeared to show Google exec Jen Gennai discussing how the company was preparing to “prevent the next Trump situation” and another employee explaining how Google’s “machine learning fairness” algorithm attempts to “correct” reality’s biases by skewing search results.