Google’s moral imperatives

What are they?

Airbnb canceled the accounts of people Nazis attending the recent rally in Charlotte. Twitter and Facebook regularly shut down the accounts of the more odious haters. Will Google do less? They scan users’ email to identify people interested in, say, Ford trucks; surely they can scan to spot white supremacists.

Current law might not let them publish contact information and probable employers (though they might be able to share information with selected NGOs); but it does seem like Google would feel obliged at least to close the accounts of people whose email or blogging clearly shows they are white supremacists, racists, misogynists, homophobes, Islamophobes, or transphobes. Twitter can do that, and does. Fascists, white supremacists, and Nazis shouldn’t be allowed to legitimize their hate with a gmail address or Blogger account. Isn’t Google, famously not evil, obliged to use at a minimum all legal means to resist evil?

Until we know more clearly what Google sees as their moral obligations, it might be better to look elsewhere for web searches and email.

UPDATE 19 August 2017: ProPublica, Working with Google to ‘Document Hate,’ Threatens Conservative Bloggers. The perenial challange of satire is to stay ahead of reality.

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