Thu 18 November 2021:
During News Corporation’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, Fox News Chief Rupert Murdoch continued his attacks on Google and Facebook, accusing the tech giants of attempting to silence conservative views and pushing for “significant reform.”
He told shareholders that a “quick Google News” revealed a pattern of selectivity or censorship.
“Both of these issues highlight the fundamental need for algorithmic transparency,” Murdoch said. “The idea falsely promoted by the platforms that algorithms are somehow objective and solely scientific is complete nonsense. Algorithms are subjective and they can be manipulated by people to kill competition and damage other people, publishers and businesses.
“What we have seen in the past few weeks about the practices at Facebook and Google surely reinforces the need for significant reform.”
His remarks come only weeks after Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified in front of the UK parliament, advocating for immediate regulation to rein in the company’s management and limit the harm it causes to society.
Murdoch accused Facebook staff of attempting to suppress conservative viewpoints, and pointed to “a similar pattern of selectivity” in Google’s search results. Conservative figures like Dan Bongino and Ben Shapiro, meanwhile, consistently rank among the most popular on the network, according to data from Facebook-owned analytics firm CrowdTangle.
Furthermore, the media mogul cited a complaint filed by ten state attorneys general last year accusing Google of monopolizing the digital ad industry and reportedly collaborating with Facebook to influence online auctions where advertisers purchase and sell ad space.
“Let us be very clear about the consequences of that digital ad market manipulation,” said Murdoch. “Obviously, publishers have been materially damaged, but companies have also been overcharged for their advertising, and consumers have thus paid too much for products.”
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