Twenty Minute Topic Episode 41: Don’t Google It!

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Marcus Stead

HAVE YOU noticed the way in which online adverts are targeted at you based on private conversations you’ve had with other members of your family in your living room? Do your household smart devices know far more about you than you think?

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins discuss the enormous influence a small number of technology companies now have over our lives, from what information we receive, and which consumer products we buy.

Journalist Peter Hitchens recently conducted an interview with a popular and widely-viewed YouTube channel. He discovered that while YouTube hadn’t taken down the video, somebody, somewhere had messed around with the algorithms to make it much more difficult to find.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, has long held a policy of censoring pornography and extremist material, but in recent times, this has been extended to removing the content of people like documentary maker Michael Moore, who dared to challenge the orthodoxy on the man-made climate change agenda.

YouTube and Twitter censors have powers equivalent to, and arguably greater than the courts. Anybody can find themselves subject to a kangaroo court run by Twitter or YouTube staff, and there is nothing they can do about it.

Should we be concerned about the sheer level of influence these tech giants have, and should we be much more cautious as to what information we freely give them about our lives, or lifestyles and our shopping habits?

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

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