YouTube bans 6 channels for hate speech, white supremacists Stefan Molyneux, David Duke, and Richard Spencer among them

“We have strict policies prohibiting hate speech on YouTube.”

Trump tweets crazy lies about NBC and Google Ads demonetizing far-right sites (they didn't)

President Brain Worms Donald Trump is in the midst of quite a tweety-tantrum this morning. Now he's falsely saying that NBC News and Google Ads have conspired to deny revenue to far-right websites. Read the rest

Google cracks down on The Federalist & ZeroHedge for violating race-related content policies, may permanently suspend access to Google Ads revenue

UPDATE: Google is now saying NBC News got it wrong, here's Google's update below. Business Insider has a new story covering the update here.

NBC News reports that Google has threatened to ban two extreme-right websites from the Google advertising platform because they publish race-related disinformation. The two sites, ZeroHedge and The Federalist, would no longer be able to generate revenue from any ads served by Google Ads if their accounts end up being suspended by Google. Read the rest

Facebook, Google, Twitter execs summoned for House election security hearing

The House of Representatives Intelligence Committee says executives from Facebook, Alphabet/Google, and Twitter have been summoned to appear Thursday at a virtual hearing on foreign influence and election security. Read the rest

Arizona AG sues Google over claims Android user location data was collected even when digital tracking off

• Mark Brnovich (R) sued Google on Wednesday, alleging violation of user privacy.

Arizona's state Attorney General is suing Google over claims the company collected Android users' location data even when users turned digital tracking off. Read the rest

Google is about to be hit with multiple antitrust cases in the U.S., reports WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that federal and state regulators in the U.S. are preparing to file antitrust lawsuits against Google, saying the company abused its dominance of online search and advertising to crush competition and maximize profit. Read the rest

NBC: Google winds down diversity initatives to appease conservatives

Days after it was reported that James Damore's lawsuit against Google was quietly settled, NBC News reports that Google has ended or sharply curtailed diversity programs to "avoid being perceived as anti-conservative".

April Glazer:

Internal diversity and inclusion training programs have been scaled back or cut entirely, four Google employees and two people who recently left the company told NBC News in interviews. In addition, they said, the team responsible for those programs has been reduced in size, and positions previously held by full-time employees have been outsourced ... Seven current and former employees from across a range of teams and roles at the company said separately that they all believed the reason behind cutting Sojourn and taking employees off diversity projects to move them elsewhere at Google was to shield the company from backlash from conservatives.

I was going to remark that this was a big bet on Trump's reelection from a big holder of proprietary data indicating the preferences and intentions of American voters, but that's not really justified. The servile, supplicative attitude toward conservatives is the default to which American corporations always return1. What are they afraid of, all told? What, specifically, is the bad thing that happens to Google as a result of diversity training?

1. Compare to how a Hollywood studio will acknowledge a mistake, explain the mistake accurately, promise not to make the mistake again, then cast Tom Cruise as Ghandi, etc., exposing the entire mistake management process as an unusually contemptuous and short-term PR exercise. Read the rest

How to get a refund on an app you don't like

If you purchased a smart phone app that doesn't meet your expectations, Popular Science has a guide for how to get your money back. The first thing to try is contacting Google or Apple and explaining why you want your money back. The last resort is complaining on Twitter. One thing not to do is give the app a one star review before you try to get your money back, or you will lose any leverage you might have.

Similarly, the terms and conditions on iTunes and the Google Play Store also include refund requests, although in the case of Apple’s store terms are rather opaque. You have to log in to the Report a Problem portal, find the app you have an issue with, request a refund selecting what you feel is a valid and appropriate reason, briefly explain why, and hope it gets approved by the inner-bureaucracy.

Google’s policies are a bit clearer, although hedged with ifs and maybes. Within 48 hours of purchasing an app you can request a refund from Google by logging into your Play Store account, going to Order History, selecting Request a Refund on the app you want to return, and explaining why. If you miss that 48-hour window, you have to contact the developers directly.

Photo by Rami Al-zayat on Unsplash Read the rest

Apple and Google are working on coronavirus contact-tracing technology for iOS and Android

Google and Apple are working on a joint effort to introduce opt-in Bluetooth-based COVID-19 contact tracing APIs in mid-May for iOS and Android. Read the rest

Google's COVID-19 "community mobility" surveillance reports

Google has a whole set of graphs showing us the decline in folks moving around.

Glad to know they're keeping an eye out for us!

Google's COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports Read the rest

Trump campaign buys '$1M+ a day' YouTube election day masthead ads: Reports

In the days leading up to the U.S. presidential election and on Election Day, YouTube's homepage will reportedly be advertising only one candidate: Donald Trump. Read the rest

Trump WH urges Supreme Court to kill Alphabet's appeal vs Oracle on same day Trump attends Larry Ellison's re-election fundraiser

Sure, this absolutely passes the corruption smell test. Everything is fine. Trump and his klepto-regime are (of course) supporting Oracle's Larry Ellison in his Supreme Court fight with Google. The same day the same Larry Ellison hosted a massive fundraiser for Trump in California.

From reporting by Malathi Nayak at Bloomberg News:

The Trump administration urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject an appeal by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, boosting Oracle Corp.’s bid to collect more than $8 billion in royalties for Google’s use of copyrighted programming code in the Android operating system.

The administration weighed in on the high-stakes case on the same day that President Donald Trump attended a re-election campaign fundraiser in California hosted by Oracle’s co-founder, billionaire Larry Ellison.

Ellison hosted a golf outing and photos with Trump. The event cost a minimum of $100,000 per couple to attend, with a higher ticket price of $250,000 for those who wanted to participate in a policy roundtable with the president, the Palm Springs Desert Sun reported.

read more:

Trump Backs Supporter Larry Ellison in Court Fight With Google [ Malathi Nayak, February 19, 2020] Read the rest

Google hit with new federal investigation over pregnant employee who claims discrimination

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has opened an investigation into a former Google employee’s pregnancy discrimination case, CNBC reports. Read the rest

Google users in UK will soon lose EU data protection: Report

Post-Brexit, Google plans to move UK user accounts out of the control of European Union privacy regulators, and will place them under U.S. jurisdiction instead, where privacy protections are weaker, reports Joseph Menn at Reuters. Read the rest

Oops: Some 'Google Photos' videos in 'Google Takeout' backups were exported to strangers last November

If you use Google Photos, and you used the Google Takeout data download/backup service, you may want to pay attention closely to this warning sent by email today from Google to users. Read the rest

Man creates fake traffic jam on Google Maps by carting around 99 cellphones

Simon Weckert loaded a hand-cart with cellphones and pulled them slowly through Berlin. This fooled Google Maps into registering severe congestion, marking the streets bright red in the service, and rerouting traffic to avoid the area.

99 smartphones are transported in a handcart to generate virtual traffic jam in Google Maps.Through this activity, it is possible to turn a green street red which has an impact in the physical world by navigating cars on another route to avoid being stuck in traffic.

Reminder: public disclosure of a zero-day vulnerability is rarely the first time it was exploited. Read the rest

Congress to Google's Sundar Pichai: Deal with climate change disinfo on YouTube

Congress is urging Google to take long-overdue action to stamp out ‘dangerous climate misinformation’ on YouTube. Read the rest

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