Jan. 10, 2019
- As if this were not “creepy” enough, there is another process going on that is far less transparent: “listing” — the order in which information appears on Google. The “list effect” on our cognitive functioning, Epstein explains, is that we believe that the items appearing at the top of a set of search results — whether the category is dog food or political candidates — are the most relevant, valuable or true. Google and Facebook are able, thus, to prioritize the information we receive, while pretending to be neutral platforms, rather than content producers exercising editorial control. It is this pretense that exempts them from being subject to the laws governing publishers.
- “If they have this kind of power, then democracy is an illusion… There have to be in place numerous safeguards to make sure not only that they don’t exercise these powers, but that they can’texercise these powers. The Internet belongs to all of us. It does not belong to Google or Facebook.” — Dr. Robert Epstein, American psychology professor; “The Creepy Line”.
- “Today, we essentially have a totalitarian force in the world, and that is these large tech companies. But guess what? They didn’t use storm troopers…. We all opted in… We volunteered for this arrangement. And we live in a world today in which these tech giants have a level of control and an ability to manipulate us that Stalin, Mao, Hitler and Mussolini could only have dreamed of.” — Peter Schweitzer, producer of “The Creepy Line”.
A new documentary, revealing the way in which the major technology companies Google and Facebook manipulate consumers through the collection of users’ data, sheds light on current controversies surrounding privacy and political bias. Called “The Creepy Line,” the film argues that even the most intelligent people among us are serving as unwitting pawns in a power grab, enabled by mathematical algorithms, without our being aware of it.
The title of the 80-minute movie is taken from a phrase used by the former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, who in a 2010 interview said:
“There’s what I call the ‘creepy line,’ and the Google policy about a lot of these things is to get right up to the ‘creepy line’ but not cross it.”