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Why the World Needs a Google Detox

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • Google whistleblower Zach Vorhies has released 950 pages of Google documents that paint a comprehensive picture of how Google is manipulating public opinion and the political landscape
  • Changes at Google first became noticeable in 2016, after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. Vorhies later discovered evidence suggesting Google was playing a role in the effort to remove President Trump from office
  • Machine Learning Fairness is a Google project that replaces “unfair” search results — even when the “unfairness” is accurately reflecting worldly reality — with more “fair and balanced” search results, thereby artificially altering what people perceive as “reality”
  • Google tools such as autofill search recommendations can be used to sway public opinion on political (and other topics), which can have significant political consequences
  • Research shows biased search rankings can shift voting preferences of undecided voters by 20% or more, and that people will be completely unaware of having been manipulated

In this interview, Google whistleblower Zach Vorhies, who worked as a senior software engineer at Google and YouTube for over eight years, shares his inside knowledge of this global monopoly, revealing why Google is not a reliable source of information anymore.

Google's monopoly over search is matched by a continued reassurance that it is an unbiased search platform.  Google is actively suppressing and censoring information, proving it is anything but unbiased.

While some of the information revealed is related to politics, you can read about my views about the two-party U.S. federal government here.

The point of sharing this information is that Google is manipulating search results to reflect its views, and to influence our social behavior while denying this is happening.

The Wall Street Journal just published a thorough investigation covering these same points.

Vorhies recently released about 950 pages of internal Google documents that paint a comprehensive picture of what's really going on. You can find all of those documents on the Project Veritas website.1

What Happened to 'Don't Be Evil'?

Like NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden before him, Vorhies is a courageous patriot who is trying to do the right thing by warning everyone about how Google is now manipulating and censoring the global storehouse of internet-based information.

"Everything started out with Google really great," Vorhies says. "They had this mission statement of organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful. They also had this idea of 'Don't be evil.' It was built right into their initial public offering (IPO) statements.

I thought at the time, 'This is great. This is exactly the kind of company that the world needs. We need to organize all the world's information and make it universally accessible. We need to let the algorithms decide what goes to the top and let the users decide what's most useful for them and then make sure that other people are able to find that information.'

Google stayed true to those principles all the way up until 2016, until Donald Trump won the election. For some reason, they decided they were going to throw all these mission statements away and go after the president of the United States, censor the internet and distort the news so that people's searches could be redirected towards antipresidential sentiment.

This eventually morphed into not just censorship of the president, but censorship of information related to health … I realized [that] if this was allowed to continue, then this agenda of Big Pharma would be able to become … 'the truth' …

Once I found out that Google was censoring a lot of information, I started looking at the information it was censoring with a new degree of 'They wouldn't be censoring it unless it was true,' sort of thing.

It's a strange heuristic to use to figure out what's true in the world, but you've just got to figure out what they're censoring. You kind of understand that they're censoring it because it's not Big Tech-friendly. It's not friendly to the established players."

Some 'Fake News' Isn't so Fake After All 

Shortly after Trump won the presidential election, you started hearing more and more about the scourge of "fake news." Google, like Facebook and others, decided they had to protect users from fake news. The problem is, who determines what's fake and what's not?

Using Google's internal search engine, Vorhies set out to determine what Google's definition of fake news was. He found several examples in a presentation. However, in it were actual, verifiably real news events. "I went, 'Wait a minute. Is this about fake news or is this about controlling the narrative for like political purposes?'" Vorhies says.

He began collecting these documents because he knew they were explosive enough that Google would remove them if word ever got out about them. In his continued search for real news presented as fake, he started unearthing other disturbing projects.

"The main project responsible for Google censorship is a thing called 'Machine Learning Fairness' (ML Fairness). As you imagine, they're not going to call their censorship regime something bad. They're going to call it something like 'fairness.'

So, if you're against that, you're against fairness. It's a euphemism. I discovered there was this umbrella project, 'ML Fairness,' and there were these subcomponents like 'Project Purple Rain,' which is a 24-hour response team that is monitoring the internet."

How Machine Learning Fairness Twists Perception of Reality

Just what is ML Fairness and how does it work? Vorhies explains:

"Let's say that this circle right here represents the entire spectrum of all possible artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. ML Fairness is a small part of that type of AI. It's a relatively new type of AI. What machine learning does is it simulates brain neurons and how they fire.

If you remember how a brain neuron fires, it takes in as input signals from other neurons and then mixes those signals together and decides whether it wants to fire or not, based on the signals that it receives.

Well, these artificial neurons do something similar. They have a collection of inputs, depending on the internal rule set. It will fire depending on the inputs it gets … And then that output is used as input for further downstream processing.

If you have this collection of millions of simulated neurons … you can start to create very complex behavior that's able to solve problems, like chess or the game Go … It can classify hate speech. That's the part that's interesting to me — how this thing could be used to classify information across the internet.

ML Fairness is a type of AI that takes information on the internet, classifies it and then ranks it. And then the Google engine will figure out whether the information is fair or not. And if it is 'fair,' it goes to the top. If it's not fair, then it gets pushed to the bottom. That's what ML Fairness is in a nutshell."

What this manipulation ultimately ends up doing is presenting a twisted and false view of the world. What you're seeing in your search results is what the AI algorithm decided is most fair — not what's actually happening in the real world.

This is how you now end up getting automated search suggestions such as "men can have periods" and "men can have babies," even though these are biological impossibilities. However, the algorithm deems the idea that only women can menstruate and bear children as "unfair" and basically "sexist," and thus it's pushing these ridiculous search suggestions to the top.

This obnoxious discrepancy is clear when using search terms like "men can …" The manipulation of reality will not be as transparent when using health or political search words, when you cannot be absolutely sure, ahead of time, about what the absolute truth is.

Did Google Conspire to Commit Treason?

Vorhies saw these changes starting to take place in early 2017. Next, Google announced it was going to start assigning an "authoritativeness score" to all news content. "I was able to see this ranking on internal documents," Vorhies says. High rankings were given to outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

"These outlets, in my opinion, have been producing propaganda," Vorhies says. "They led to us into war with Iraq with the weapons of mass destruction hoax. They've lied to us [about] Vietnam. They have a history of supporting every war and military encouragement around the world that has [led to] the destruction of millions of lives."

In June 2017, chief executive officer of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, announced that this was how they were going to filter news content across the YouTube platforms. As Vorhies expected, this led to a clamp down on anything that goes against the mainstream narrative.

"Around that time, I had the fortune of catching [another] seditious activity by Google. What I caught them doing was deleting words out of the translation dictionary from Arabic to English, in order to make a Trump tweet sound crazy.2,3"

President Trump had recently come back from a visit to Saudi Arabia when, on May 31, 2017, he tweeted: "Despite the negative constant press, covfefe." Originally, people were able to translate "covfefe" to "We will stand up." Taken together, you could see President Trump's tweet basically said, "Despite the negative constant press, we will stand up."

"People got really excited about that," Vorhies says. "Well, The New York Times decided that they were going to write an entire article saying, 'Actually, this word is nonsense. And everyone who thinks there's a decode is just wrong.'

The same day that this article came out, I believe it was June 1, 2017, a senior executive person at Google … of one of the AI divisions, wrote up a design document saying, 'We translated this world from Arabic to English. But according to The New York Times, that's not right. That's actually nonsense, so let's get rid of the word.' And so, they got rid of the word.

The team that was responsible for getting rid of this word called themselves the 'Derrida Team.' Why is that significant? Because there was a French philosopher by the name of Jacques Derrida, who advocated for the destruction of Western culture through the manipulation and censorship of language.

What a coincidence that this team responsible for censoring words would have the same name as this very significant philosopher who is considered the father of post-modernism.

About six days later, I saw the newspapers were making a push for invoking the 25th Amendment to remove a sitting president from office due to mental incapacitation. One of the reasons that they cited was how Trump was tweeting nonsense.

Now, wait a minute, that was made nonsense by this manipulation of the dictionary! I realized these people have gone too far. There's obviously a collusion here. I have to bring this to attention no matter what.

This isn't because I'm necessarily a Trump supporter — I didn't vote for him — this is simply because they can't be doing this to a sitting president of the United States. That just can't happen. It's treason.

If this is going to happen, then I've got to let the public [and] law enforcement know about it. Because if I don't, then I'm part of a conspiracy of silence … It was at that point that I decided I could no longer sit in silence. I took my cache of documents and I started to prepare for a disclosure event."

YouTube Censorship Has Had Lethal Consequences

In 2018, the real-world ramifications of censorship hit home when an Iranian YouTube creator who had recently been demonetized marched into YouTube headquarters and opened fire on employees and then shot herself.4

"Her name was Nasim [Najafi Aghdam]. She had a video that went viral in Iran … She was creating really bizarre videos that were just — I don't know — I watched them and I actually strangely loved them. I couldn't stop watching them. They were so weird.

She decided that she was going to quit her job and become a full-time content creator, like millions of others … YouTube was the platform to do that. Everyone was getting a lot of subscribers and were trying to generate money, get monetized on the platform …

They would get a cut of the ads that were running when people interact with the ads or view them … What YouTube did is they made a blanket ban. Anyone under 10,000 subscribers got censored. By censorship, I mean demonetized. They lost all of the funding that they could get for their videos. They can still post videos, they just [cannot] get any money [from Google Ads] for it.

And so, this person had just lost her job. She felt she was being oppressed by YouTube. She drove all the way from San Diego, came to the YouTube headquarters on 901 Cherry Avenue … came into the lunch area patio, took out a handgun and started firing …

She shot a couple of people. Ran out of ammo, reloaded and shot some more and then [shot] herself in the chest and [bled] to death … Obviously, this person was mentally deranged but, also, she was triggered by Google's censorship. Now I've got this very personal story about how censorship has affected my safety.

You would think that maybe YouTube would [rethink] its censorship, but no. They didn't … Every day I would come into work and I would think, 'You know, with this increase in censorship, is someone [else] going to come in with a gun?'"

Google Attempts to Destroy Vorhies by 'Lawfare'

Vorhies resigned from Google June 28, 2019, and was immediately put under investigation, as the company had logs showing the many documents he'd been searching for and reading through. Vorhies tells the story of what happened next:

"When I went to Project Veritas, I went under anonymity. We only released two pages of the 950 that they had [been given]. My hope was that Google would leave me alone … But they decided they weren't going to do that.

They decided they were going to attempt to financially destroy me by engaging in lawfare, which is warfare via the legal system. Within a few weeks of me disclosing ML Fairness to Project Veritas, they sent me threatening letters, demanding access to all my data outside of work …

I wrote them back a letter admitting I had retained files, telling them I had given them to law enforcement ... The NDA, the nondisclosure agreement I signed is nonenforceable in cases where the company is committing criminal activity. Sedition is criminal activity, which means that the NDA is null and void.

I can submit evidence of Google's criminal activity to the government and to the media when the company is engaging in unlawful activity. That's what I did. Also, I signed the NDA in good faith, believing that Google's word of organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful and 'Don't be evil,' were truthful statements …

I met an attorney who was representing Kevin Cernekee, another Google engineer who attempted to blow the whistle in the most legitimate way possible, which was to notify the Federal Labor Relations Authority in California. Kevin gave these papers to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Google responded by ambushing him with HR, seizing his laptop, seeing all the documents that he had downloaded, and then firing him and creating a legal theory that he had hacked into Google to get documents so that he could reconstruct Google's legal strategy and maybe even sell it.

They applied criminal charges against him. They made him defend himself in court for his collection of evidence that he had sent to the NLRB. He's [spent] $100,000 dollars of his own money defending himself [against] Google, so I knew what was in store for me.

[Cernekee's] lawyer was like, 'Yeah. This is the first step in a very painful process that's going to drive on for years. They're going to make it very expensive. Their goal is to destroy you.' Well, in that case, I'm not going to fight in the legal law. I'm going to fight in the court of public opinion.

I decided at that point to come out to Project Veritas and disclose who I was so that I could get eyes [on me], and I said, 'If Google's going to take me down, then I'm going to leverage that so that everyone else can see what they do and what they're really about. And then we can make Google's censorship program part of the national discussion.'

I disclosed everything. I released it to the public, all 950 pages … August 17, 2019 … [I've] tried to become a cultural force so that we can hold Google to account of what they're doing, because their censorship is wrong.

It's wrong for America. It's anti-American. Their election meddling is something that needs to be looked at, needs to be watched, because they've meddled with the elections in the past. They're meddling in the elections now.

They were able to deactivate Tulsi Gabbard's ad account directly following the Democratic debates. They've meddled in the Ireland elections. They've meddled in the Brazil elections.

We know this because there was a Supreme Court ruling that released the evidence showing they had a secret agreement with one of the politicians to generate dirt and boost it up on the current president of Brazil."

How Autofill Can Shift Political Opinion

Vorhies goes on to explain and describe how Google tools such as autofill search recommendations can be used to sway public opinion on political (and other topics), which can have significant political consequences.

Autofill is what happens when you start typing a search query into a search engine and algorithms kick in to offer suggestions to complete your search. We've been led to believe that whatever the autofill recommendations are is what most people are in fact searching for — Google has stated that the suggestions given are generated by a collection of user data — but that's not true, at least not anymore.

"This story about the autofill first got disclosed by Dr. Robert Epstein, who is a Harvard-trained psychologist and former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today," Vorhies explains.

"What he said was that Google had flipped a bunch of votes for Hillary using this autosuggest feature. I've investigated this claim. I've verified it to be true … It turns out that a lot of the popular searches were being suppressed.

For example, you typed in 'Clinton body count.' It's a popular search term. This brings up all the people who have died in the decades that were associated with Hillary Clinton.

Well, this search result has been deleted off the search suggestion. What's happened instead is that a bunch of negative search terms have been inserted that went against the current president of the United States, Donald Trump.

So, when you're typing in search queries for Trump, it's autocompleting and suggesting, 'Do you mean that he's a liar? That he's a crook?' … And then you do the same for Hillary Clinton and it has all these positive terms … They were doing this on the political stuff.

The most significant thing about this feature is the fact that you don't expect to have this part of your online experience to be hatched for political reasons. You think that this is legitimately what other people are searching for.

As a result, you don't have your filters on. Your brain puts on these filters when it starts to evaluate politically charged information. When you read a newspaper article, you may be thinking to yourself, 'This may be true, this may not.' You're skeptical.

But when you're typing into a search, you don't think that because you don't think that's rigged, so whatever bias is inherent in that search result slips through and goes directly into your subconscious. This is what Epstein was explaining."

The Search Engine Manipulation Effect

Epstein developed a "black box test" (a method of software testing) to measure just how influential a tool like autofill can be. Remarkably, his test demonstrated that "Google's 'autocomplete' search suggestions can turn a 50/50 split among undecided voters into a 90/10 split"5,6 — all without anyone being aware of the manipulation. 

Similarly, when Epstein looked at the power of search engine manipulation to shift preferences and perceptions, he found that:7

"(1) biased search rankings can shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20% or more, (2) the shift can be much higher in some demographic groups, and (3) such rankings can be masked so that people show no awareness of the manipulation."

The good news is, there are ways to lower this manipulation effect, but to do so, people have to be aware that biased ranking is taking place. In his 2017 paper, "Suppressing the Search Engine Manipulation Effect," Epstein writes:8 

"A recent series of experiments demonstrated that introducing ranking bias to election-related search engine results can have a strong and undetectable influence on the preferences of undecided voters.

This phenomenon, called the search engine manipulation effect (SEME), exerts influence largely through order effects that are enhanced in a digital context.

We present data from three new experiments involving 3,600 subjects in 39 countries in which we replicate SEME and test design interventions for suppressing the effect. In the replication, voting preferences shifted by 39.0%, a number almost identical to the shift found in a previously published experiment (37.1%).

Alerting users to the ranking bias reduced the shift to 22.1%, and more detailed alerts reduced it to 13.8%. Users' browsing behaviors were also significantly altered by the alerts, with more clicks and time going to lower-ranked search results.

Although bias alerts were effective in suppressing SEME, we found that SEME could be completely eliminated only by alternating search results — in effect, with an equal-time rule.

We propose a browser extension capable of deploying bias alerts in real-time and speculate that SEME might be impacting a wide range of decision-making, not just voting, in which case search engines might need to be strictly regulated."

As pointed out by Vorhies, "We've got to watch out for Google, because … they're going to try to rig the 2020 elections." Based on Epstein's results, Google certainly appears to have the power to do so. The only way to prevent it may be an information campaign that exposes this hidden agenda, thereby helping to suppress this search engine manipulation effect.

Do a Google Detox

How can you prevent getting sucked into the false-reality vortex that is Google? Vorhies offers a number of suggestions for how to minimize Google's influence over your life:

  1. Stop using Google search. Options include DuckDuckGo9 and Startpage10
  2. Stop using Gmail. ProtonMail,11 which provides end-to-end encryption and less spam, is an excellent option
  3. Switch from an android phone (powered by Google) to an iPhone. While not perfect, iPhone is slightly better of the two

There are alternatives for most if not all Google products, and by using these other companies, we can help them grow so that Google becomes less and less relevant.

"Use iPhone, use DuckDuckGo and use Protonmail. Those three things will get most of Google out of your life," Vorhies says. "I've been a lot happier because of that. I know [Google is] able to read everything that I write when I'm on Gmail or I'm using one of their services. I've had people who want to interview me on YouTube, and then their YouTube pages get destroyed."

Also, stop using Google docs (Digital Trends has published an article suggesting a number of alternatives12) and if you're a high school student, do not convert the Google accounts you created as a student into personal accounts.

Both the Chrome and Firefox browsers have also been compromised by Google, so consider switching if you're on either of those. Brave is my personal favorite, but the Opera browser is another alternative.13 Vorhies is also a fan of Brave.

"The guy who created this browser, Brave … added features to eliminate all the ads. Now my MacBook runs like new. I've got a 2012 MacBook. I thought I had to upgrade it in order to make it run fast.

[Using] Brave instead, my computer operates five times faster when it [has] a lot of browser tabs open. It's phenomenal. Not only do I get to Google detox, but I get a better experience by not using Google. It's a no-brainer. People should just use it. And all of the plug-ins I use, like LastPass, which contains all of my passwords, they all install."

Support Vorhies' 'Disclosure Tour'

In the interview, Vorhies recounts a long harrowing incident in which Google instructed local police to perform a mental wellness check on him, which escalated into a full-blown evacuation of the entire street due to a fake bomb threat, confabulated in an effort to get him out of his apartment. To get the full scoop on that story, please listen to the interview above.

He also discusses how Google's censorship of things like holistic health and clean energy developments is actually evidence that a better future is ahead. The drug and oil industries are starting to lose their grip as safer, less expensive and more effective alternatives are gaining ground. Censorship is a last-ditch effort to hold on to a crumbling paradigm.

As Vorhies mentioned earlier, his primary focus right now is to raise awareness about Google and to create a cultural force for change. You can help by sharing this article and video, and by following Vorhies on Twitter. His handle is PerpetualManiac (Twitter.com/PerpetualManiac).

"If you click the follow button, you'll be part of a collection of patriots who are looking to ensure the survival of the republic, to ensure sovereignty and to bring Google to account for the censorship they're doing. People are helping me raise awareness by retweeting the things I'm saying. Because honestly, I'm fighting giants," Vorhies says.

"If [Google is] going to take me down, then I'm just going to go down fighting. I'm going to leverage everything they do to further the great awakening that's happening right now in the United States and across the world.

I'm doing that because, ultimately, I'm in service to a higher power … I believe this magnificent creative force in the universe wants people to be free. It's up to us to ensure that the freedoms we enjoy are handed down to our children … our grandchildren and our collective future."