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Establishment ‘Conservative’ Orgs Join Hands with Google to Protect Tech Monopolies

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Beltway legacy conservative think tanks and organizations have now joined hands with search behemoth Google to protect the monopolies of massive Silicon Valley tech companies, according to a report from Wired quoting leaked audio from an internal company meeting.

In light of recent criticism of big tech companies from right-of-center and conservative circles, it seems Google is seeking to make inroads with right-leaning Americans by appealing to establishment conservative publications such as National Review, and the neoconservative think tank American Enterprise Institute.

In Wired’s leaked audio, Google’s US Director of Public Policy, Adam Kovacevich, spoke of the company’s desire to improve its public image on the American political right.

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I think one of the directives we’ve gotten very clearly from Sundar [Pichai, Google’s CEO], his leadership is to build deeper relationships with conservatives. I think we’ve recognized that the company is generally seen as liberal by policymakers.

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Despite frequently claiming to be “unbiased,” Google has indeed acquired a reputation for staunch corporate leftism in many conservative circles. Employees of the company were revealed as advocates for deplatforming content creators and publishers deemed inconvenient to the political left in the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential election.

Kovacevich would go on to describe the company’s successful PR efforts in regards to the American Enterprise Institute, when speaking about an effort to counter a New York Times article that suggested breaking up Google.

Just to give you an example, last weekend The New York Times Magazine cover story was all about breaking up Google. Among the people who wrote op-eds and blog posts rebutting that Times piece were two conservative think-tank officials who we work with closely—one from the American Enterprise Institute and one from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who both attended [the reception].”

Kovacevich went on to recognize that many of the company’s liberal and progressive employees were unhappy that Google had been an official sponsor of CPAC- rationalizing the sponsorship by describing it as an essential element of Google’s influence operations targeting conservatives.

Google’s attempt to woo conservatives also seems to have been effective enough to get an article from a Google-funded think tank published by National Review, pushing back against calls on the right to recognize Google as a monopoly liable to anti-trust enforcement.

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Twitter Posts Job Posting for Developing Paid Subscription Service; Will Platform Become Pay-to-Use?

Will it lead to the downfall of the platform?

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Shares for Twitter’s stock surged more than 8% on Wednesday as the company posted an online job listing for a developer who would work on a new system designed as a pay-to-use platform.

The job listing advertises the opening for a project team termed “Gryphon.” The company describes the team as creating a “subscription platform” that “can be reused by other teams in the future.”

In a statement to CNN on the job listing, Twitter underplayed the announcement, stating that it was only a job listing, not a product announcement.

We’re conducting this survey to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of Tweetdeck. We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people’s Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we’re exploring several ways to make Tweetdeck even more valuable for professionals.

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CEO Jack Dorsey has resisted shareholder demands to reorganize Twitter to prioritize profitability, most recently fending off a buyout attempt staged by oligarch Paul Singer challenging his leadership of the company. Dorsey kept his position of power over the company after reaching an agreement with profit-hungry shareholders, and the new development of paid subscription software could signal he intends to further satisfy them.

The company’s major investors will likely be pleased by any sign the company intends to convert its service into a pay-to-use model, evolving away from the tradition business model of micro-targeted ads towards its user base. However, a change to a subscription model could prove to be a threat to Twitter’s appeal, especially when newer free speech platforms are gunning for the platform’s user base and the company caves to the demands of censorious liberal journalists in suspending a variety of public figures deemed inconvenient to the neoliberal societal model.

Ultimately, the greed and thirst for power of the privileged elites of Silicon Valley could possibly bring about an end to their era of domination over online political speech, heralding a renaissance of the internet.

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