As the editor of the Daily Squib from day one, our first major article that went mega global was in 2008 during the famous Obama Vs Hillary Clinton presidential contest. That article entitled ‘Ku Klux Klan Endorses Obama’ was meant to portray a simmering in race relations, it was meant to portray a new beginning as even the racist KKK could indeed endorse a black man for president of the United States. That article was meant to portray hope in a new America where African Americans could be accepted a lot better than before.
Today, we are in the year 2017, a rainy Tuesday the 11th in London, and it was much to my astonishment that I got a message from Google that one of our articles not only displayed ‘Hate Speech’ but derogatory terms and was sexually explicit. Wondering what on earth could be so offending, the answer was unbelievable. Here was an article that has been on the Google books for nearly ten years, and they are finding fault with it now?
The ‘Ku Klux Klan endorses Obama’ article was so huge at the the time that the Daily Squib had to be transferred to three servers to cope with the load. The story flew across America, and was all over radio stations, local tv networks, and even made it to Obama rallies where protesters held up placards proclaiming ‘Obama endorsed by KKK’.
The ‘Ku Klux Klan Endorses Obama’ article was even mentioned in our Wikipedia page, as it was cited by many respected news organisations including the Sunday Times.
Today is a sad day regarding the basic tenets of human expression, freedom of speech and satire. It is terribly sad to see that a company I thought championed intelligence, like Google, cannot understand simple satire, and has punished the Daily Squib needlessly for something that is an obvious misunderstanding. To take ten years to tell us that one of our key articles is a violation of your terms is in fact not only disingenuous, but wholly suspect in its nature, and malicious to boot.
This nefarious action can only be viewed as anti-satire and anti-free speech. Today is a very sad day…because it means that by threatening our livelihood, Google has the freedom to censor anything it wants at any time. This is not only a gross over reach in enforcing freedom of speech but is a profound injustice to decent human relations, self expression, art and satire.
This act by Google today is another nail in the coffin of internet freedom, not only because they have completely misunderstood the premise of the satirical article but they have threatened us with monetary punishment unless we take down the article.
We now live in a terrible dystopian Orwellian nightmare internet world where satirical content is constantly threatened unless it is deemed kosher and fruitless, thus not making it real satire in the first place. We live in a world today where we are ruled by overseeing stasi forces that answer to no one, make up rules as they wish, have no qualms in utilising unjust methods to shut down free independent speech.
quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Well done to you Google, you have taken your pound of flesh, you have exorcised the internet of one piece of satire which you completely misunderstood, and labelled incorrectly. Well done, we hope you are happy with yourselves, with your octopus grip over every facet of our lives, our every thought, our every movement.
Remember ‘do not be evil’..was that not your motto once, which you have since quietly scrapped?
One can only hope that one day something comes along to restore the internet to how it was before, to sweep away the pestilence and to cleanse the halls of the fermenting totalitarian corporate controlled detritus that is the internet today.
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