Google Caves to the Intolerant Left, Betraying Its Own Ideals

Believers in internet freedom and all the potential of the digital revolution should be deeply disheartened by Google’s spineless decision last week to abandon its artificial intelligence advisory council.

The reason Google dropped the idea? The inclusion on the council
of The Heritage Foundation’s president, Kay Coles James.

James would have been a
conservative voice on the council to offer balance and a different perspective
than is usually heard in the left-leaning world of digital enterprises.

The presence of even one conservative was too much for the
intolerant minions of Google, who rose up in protest, wrote slanderous
petitions against her, and forced their management into retreat, just like they
previously forced Google to abandon plans to work with the Pentagon.

Yet, James is exactly the kind of person who would have so much to contribute. Who in the male-dominated, techie world of Silicon Valley could match her insight and experience? Her perspective as a black, conservative, female intellectual and leader is distinctive, compassionate, and so rich that few people could match it.

James wrote in an op-ed this week in The Washington Post:

Being attacked is not new for me. As a black, conservative, pro-life, evangelical woman, I have spent most of my life being called names and being denounced for my beliefs.

In 1961, at age 12, II was one of two dozen black children who integrated an all-white junior high school in Richmond, Va. White parents jeered me outside the school, and inside, their kids stuck me with pins, shoved me in the halls, and pushed me down the stairs.

So, when a group of Google employees resorted to calling names and making false accusations because they didn’t want a conservative voice advising the company, the hostility was reminiscent of what I felt back then—that same intolerance for someone who was different from them.

In a world of intellectual
honesty and good intentions, Google’s choice of James would have been
brilliant.

In fact, having a multifaceted group with many points of view on
the powerful, fast-moving technology of artificial intelligence is in itself a
terrific idea.

Many of the problems currently presented by the ever-increasing
speed of digital innovation and social media might have been mitigated by
thoughtful, forward-looking analysis and discussion. What a shame this was not
to be.

Unfortunately, there’s much to be concerned about in the digital sphere.

Internet freedom has long been
U.S. government policy. Millions of U.S. dollars are devoted annually to
creating circumvention technologies to enable citizens of China, Cuba, North
Korea and Iran access to uncensored information and ideas on the internet.

Yet, the Freedom House—whose annual report, “Freedom on the Net,” studies internet freedom globally—says the internet “is growing less free around the world, and democracy itself is withering under its influence.”

The 2018 report, issued Nov. 1, reported a decline in internet
freedom for the eighth consecutive year.

Here in America, we have
reached an impasse as the left seeks to dominate digital platforms, just like
it dominates most of the media and academic institutions, brutally shutting
down debate.

Tech titans like Google, Facebook and Twitter end up undermining
the very ideals on which they were founded when they cave to pressure from
left-wing ideologues who cannot abide diversity of opinion.