The Google: In the News

August 25, 2019

DarkCyber noted this story: “Fact Check: Trump Falsely Claims Google Manipulated Millions of 2016 Votes.” President Trump sent a message via Twitter. (One assumes that the account had not been compromised):

“Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought! @JudicialWatch.

The write up makes the case that the President was incorrect. The article goes to great lengths to put the likely source of President Trump’s information in context. That’s good.

Nevertheless, DarkCyber was thinking about Google’s past behavior. One example was the International Business Times reports, “Who Is Andy Rubin? Android Creator, Ex-Google Exec Runs a ‘Sex Ring’.” The startling accusation came out in Rubin’s soon-to-be ex-wife’s divorce petition. (There are also allegations around the prenup and financial opacity, which may actually be more relevant to the case, but I digress.) Despite the efforts of Rubin’s legal counsel, a California state judge unsealed part of the complaint in April.

I will spare our gentle readers the details, but it is worth noting Rubin faced charges of sexual harassment while still at Google. It appears things went downhill from there. Writer Kalyan Kumar reports:

“Rubin left Google in 2014 after 9 years of service. His exit followed the uproar over an employee’s complaint to Google Management against Rubin. Google paid him $90 million as a settlement during separation. Google’s handling of the harassment case had drawn criticism as it appeared the company was protecting Rubin despite allegations of sexual misconduct.

We noted:

“After leaving Google, Rubin founded the Essential company, which sought to launch an alternative to Android and iPhone. But that failed to tickle the market. In 2017, he took a break from Essential, after Google ordered a probe into his relationship with the subordinate. A spate of media reports also kept him under pressure.”

For Rubin’s part, his lawyer insists the claims are all bunk, and that could certainly be the case.

Add to the Rubin story Peter Thiel’s assertion that some of Google’s activities could be interpreted as treasonous.

What’s with the criticism of the Google?

  • False data about Google’s “manipulations” in the form a tweet from the president of the United States
  • A Google executive accused of improper behavior gets a big payday
  • A Silicon Valley luminary suggesting Google does not have the interests of the US at the top of its priorities.

And Facebook thought it had a PR problem.

Stephen E Arnold, August 20, 2019

Cynthia Murrell, July 10, 2019


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