More Election Interference? Google Drops Elections-Focused Announcement in Europe

March 22nd, 2024 4:33 PM

Google doubled down on its election-related censorship operations just after MRC released a special report on Google’s election interference efforts over the past 16 years. 

MRC Free Speech America released a report finding 41 examples of Google’s election interference efforts between 2008 and 2024. And yet, Google is going full speed ahead with its election efforts in Europe. Google announced its efforts to control information through partnerships with so-called fact-checkers and media literacy organizations in a blog post on Thursday. 

“Today, we’re excited to announce a €1.5 million contribution to the European Fact-Checking Standards Network (EFCSN), a newly created association representing European fact checking organizations, to launch Elections24Check,” wrote Google. The Elections24Check project, according to Google, is “working together to fact check the European Parliamentary Elections” through a database of articles “fact-checking,” “debunking” and “prebunking” claims made by European political candidates. 

The database “will offer an early detection system of online misinformation for the entire continent,” claimed Carlos Hernández-Echevarría, Chair of the EFCSN Governance Body. He added that it will cover the EU and neighboring countries, emphasizing that “misinformation travels widely across borders especially around the upcoming elections.” Cracking down on alleged “misinformation” is a euphemism that leftists have used worldwide to silence their political opposition online.

Google once again emphasized its so-called pre-bunking and media literacy efforts, which it claims “teaches audiences how to spot common manipulation techniques, so they can better recognize mis- and disinformation online.” Google added that “[t]he campaign, which kicks off this spring, will focus on techniques used to advance disinformation including decontextualization, scapegoating and discrediting … .” 

A Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Rob Roos told MRC Free Speech America that this push to censor and control so-called “misinformation” is not coming out of nowhere. “With the Digital Services Act, the European Union is forcing big social media platforms to ‘fight misinformation’ online,” he said. “But who decides what is misinformation and what isn't? In a democracy, it is essential that ideas can be discussed freely.”

Roos, who also serves as Vice President of the think tank founded by Margaret Thatcher, the New Direction Foundation, aptly added that in many cases, anti-free speech laws are only a piece of the equation. “Even without the DSA, most Big Tech companies have proved to be eager to engage in censorship and in tampering with the algorithm to decrease the reach of conservatives,” the MEP said. “This is blatant corporate election interference, and this interference poses the true danger to democracy.”

Although these so-called fact checkers have every right to express what they claim to be true, Google has long elevated fact checks that are often biased against conservative ideas. The company openly admitted this in a December 2019 blog post. “Google has highlighted fact checks in Search and News for almost three years as a way to help people make more informed judgments about the content they encounter online,” the company wrote. “Fact checks from authoritative sources are highlighted on Google Search and are labeled in Google News.”

This comes just after Google pumped the brakes on its AI chatbot Gemini’s willingness to answer election-related questions. “Out of an abundance of caution on such an important topic, we have begun to roll out restrictions on the types of election-related queries for which Gemini will return responses,” Google told CNBC on March 12.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.