Google Experiences a Kangaroo Punch

June 6, 2022

When I was in Australia giving a talk, I did see red kangaroo. The critters did not seem to pack much of a punch, but there were quite a few of them on the road to Canberra. I knew that some in Australia use the kangaroo as a symbol in some sporting venues. I asked about the punch. The roo uses its forelegs to hold a humanoid or other creature. Then the hind legs slash away at the victim’s under belly. Those skilled in the art of kangaroo behavior point out that the animals don’t box. They disembowel. Who knew?

Google may have an opportunity to learn about roo behavior. “Google Told to Pay Australian Politician $515,000 for Defamation” reports:

Judge Steven Rares said the videos, which were posted by political commentator Jordan Shanks amounted to a “relentless, racist, vilificatory, abusive and defamatory campaign” against Barilaro. The videos questioned the former legislator’s integrity, including labelling him “corrupt” without evidence, and called him racist names that were “nothing less than hate speech”, the judge said. He found that Alphabet Inc’s Google, which owns content-sharing website YouTube, earned thousands of dollars by hosting the two videos but failed to apply its own policies to prevent hate speech, cyber bullying and harassment. The videos were viewed nearly 800,000 times between them since being posted in late 2020.

A half million US is more like a paper cut, if that.

The Vice report “Google Will Pay Massive Damages for Hosting YouTuber’s ‘Racist’ Anti-Italian ‘Abuse’” uses the word “massive” which is a bit overblown. That story includes this statement:

“Google cannot hide behind the use of its Californian head office or American understandings of the English language as being the same as in Australia,” Rares [an Australian Federal Court Justice] said. “It operates a very large business in Australia, has Australian staff and lawyers and could not suggest that it was somehow ignorant of how hurtful and bullying the ‘bruz’ video was in its use of the slurs and venomous hate speech that Mr Shanks directed avowedly, deliberately at Mr Barilaro, for criticising Mr Shanks’ earlier racist behaviour.

Interesting, particularly the reference to understanding, a notion popular among some artificial intelligence professionals at the Google .

One kangaroo scrape makes not difference. As I saw firsthand in Australia, there are lots of kangaroos. What if these use their hind quarters in a coordinated dust up with the Google. But Australia is a mere country. Google is the Alphabet with Chrome trim and a fascinating management method.

Stephen  E Arnold, June 6, 2022


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