For those wanting the real thing, the Justice Dept complaint is here (thanks to r721 below):
“Other states are still considering their own cases related to Google’s search practices, and a large group of states is considering a case challenging Google’s power in the digital advertising market, The Wall Street Journal has reported. In the ad-technology market, Google owns industry-leading tools at every link in the complex chain between online publishers and advertisers.
The Justice Department also continues to investigate Google’s ad-tech practices.” 
Google uses a Vickery Auction, in other words the top bid pays what the second bidder bid so while I agree with your greater point, this is not based in reality as stated.
> It’s important to note that our move to a single unified first price auction only impacts display and video inventory sold via Ad Manager. This change will have no impact on auctions for ads on Google Search, AdSense for Search, YouTube, and other Google properties, and advertisers using Google Ads or Display & Video 360 do not need to take any action.
The auction is performed in the browser? No wonder the web feels pokey these days.
I thought at first this must be due to the privacy requirements around cookies, only the browser can coordinate the different parties because none of them will be sent all the cookies needed to run a complete auction themselves. But it seems like it's really more some kind of hack around a limited (for business reasons) Google API.
>> Several current and former YouTube employees, who would speak only on the condition of anonymity because they had signed confidentiality agreements, said company leaders were obsessed with increasing engagement during those years.
>> One problem, according to several of the current and former YouTube employees, is that the A.I. tended to pigeonhole users into specific niches, recommending videos that were similar to ones they had already watched.
There are real human beings working on those systems. That's how everyone would know if Google does as it says
But the higher access you get, higher the penalties of sharing company secrets go.
Snowdens come into the picture every once in a while, but most average programmer Joes wouldn’t risk being internationally manhunted for whistleblowing questionable business practices.
So I do not think your argument is valid.
If google was actually futzing about with the auctions like that, we’d probably find out eventually.
Pinkerton sub-contracted this person.
Conversely, a corporate whistleblower at the level we're discussing is in for a payday from media/book deals, etc.
That being said, someone that is in that situation, if the stakes are high enough, might be dissuaded just knowing that such things happen.
Would you (reader) want to bet your life against a conference room full of people with $1M+ worth of stock options you're about to negatively impact? Where a bad outcome for you only requires their silence?
There are many people in the world who value morals over money. There are a few who value morals over lots of money. But that's not a bet I'd take.
If emotion drives engagement, then this should apply to positive emotions as well. All emotional posts, positive or negative, will be treated equally by the algorithm according to your logic. Hence it follows, that facebook hasn't explicitly designed it's algorithms to spread only misinformation and disinformation, acc to your logic.
I would like to see some proof that would back up your statement.
1. It doesn’t matter what the valence of the emotions are - positive or negative valence feedback loops will spread misinformation and disinformation. Positive emotion is not correlated with truth.
2. If you haven’t heard about this idea before, here is a starting point: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/05/opinion/digital-technolog...
I assumed from your previous comment(below) that you are correlating negative emotion with misinformation and disinformation. If that's not what you meant, then I guess I misunderstood what you meant by your previous comment
>> Facebook has designed its algorithms for spreading misinformation and disinformation, because emotion drives engagement
The easiest positive emotion to cause are at the result of puppies and wholesome/faith-in-humanity-restored posts, neither are generally related to actual truthful news.
I don't think this assumption is necessarily true for random misinformation (think common myths), but propaganda is usually designed to be emotionally charged, from PR to state propaganda.
So bad it arguably qualifies as misinformation in itself. If an algorithim spreads any information and cannot classify it (if you have a general purpose algorithim which can know all truth apriori what are you doing here instead of creating a singularity!). Then /design/ which implies intent and effectiveness. Otherwise if I burn a Trump Voodoo doll I will have designed something with the "intent" to kill the President. Even if Fox News would be very offended by it nobody sane would take it as a serious assassination attempt.
As to intent - at some point in the distant past before it became clear what it’s effects were, you could argue that Facebook wasn’t designed to spread misinformation.
Once you know what a thing does and how it works, if you keep operating it, it is by design.
Even at organizations orders of magnitude smaller than Facebook, it's pretty easy to have a few systems that are large enough you can only keep so many in your head at a time.
You'd probably need a few dozen of the right people together to begin to understand the complexity of their systems.
But yes, the rest they expect us to take on faith. Or trust some boilerplate in their ToS (written by their lawyers, to absolve them of liability).
There is an implicit assumption, that the code that you push is actually the same one that is being run on the VM, in your statement. This brings me back to the point I was trying to make in the parent comment.
Yes they may be evil and doing all this bad stuff, but we pretty much know all the evil stuff they are doing publicly.
Does "a developer" know Facebook's long-term goals, its interim strategies, or details of its relationships with operations like Cambridge Analytica?
If I’m trying to buy a car off a showroom floor, and the salesman says “you better take this price, I got 4 more people lined up to buy it,” does it matter if those 4 others are not genuinely interested or even real at all? It’s a bit slimey if a sales tactic, but if you say “I’ll pay nothing more than X,” you’ve lost the negotiating position. If you tell google “I’ll pay $3cpc for this phrase”, well now they should be shopping that phrase with all its might.
At the end of it, google has a primary interest in keeping its adtech optimized in a bang-for-buck sense for consumers vs it’s earnings. If they get carried away with charging too much, customers will start just walking away without a purchase. Just like the car salesman.
And which Publishers will receive their share of the scraps.
Despite DuckDuckGo being robustly profitable since 2014, we have been priced out of this auction because we choose to not maximize our profits by exploiting our users. In practical terms, this means our commitment to privacy and a cleaner search experience translates into less money per search. This means we must bid less relative to other, profit-maximizing companies.
I hate poverty, injustice, and bigotry. I cannot stir up strong feelings about an advertising company.
On the other hand I am a terrible advertising target, not wholly impervious to advertising but actively resistant, in part having seen under the bonnet of the sector and found little but a morass of grubby lies and folks with broken moral compasses. I intentionally interpret advertising as noise, not signal.
(corollary: attempts to disguise advertising are an irritant and a cognitive burden, so I allocate advertorials, content marketing, and drip-email compaigns to the Brand Damage circle of hell)
I use them for search as my default, and I would have used them for ads. I still might if they put a link there.
Apparently you have to sign up for some Microsoft ad platform, and then select DDG as one of the places to show your ads.
Hopefully someday DDG will have its own index.
1. Search Facebook login
2. Click first link
This user probably clicks a lot of ads.
I don't know what this means.
But Google doesn't sell data. They let you buy ads against people that match your data or requirements, and that's a pretty fundamental difference.
But not sure what OP meant by that
That argument would either hinge on the cost of advertising being passed along to consumers. Very hard to prove. Or the higher cost decreasing the total amount of advertising, somehow harming consumers. Dubious when ad-free products are generally considered premium and desirable
I don’t believe this is true. The law doesn’t set that criteria, but rather it’s a standard of interpretation known as the Chicago School. This was established far after, but is not law.
There’s a lot of debate on whether or not we should continue to maintain the standard.
Antitrust legislation was originally established to prevent monopoly power from giving a company influence that could challenge that of government and harm democracy.
Almost as if what harms the ad industry is good for consumers ...
Also, "direct harm to consumers" is about the lowest bar you can set. It would be way more responsible to take some preventative action, before the harm to consumers occurs.
As someone who used to operate a domain parking service, I've seen evidence numerous times of google taking away publisher earnings because of alleged clickfraud, but then not refunding advertisers for those same clicks.
I know of three advertisers who were appearing in AdSense ads on a publisher page back in 2009 that Google refused to pay out because of "click fraud", and none of these advertisers received refunds or any indication that they were defrauded. Google took the money that was supposed to go to the publisher, kept it, and didn't refund the advertisers. They probably never do. I ended up paying $800 out of my pocket to compensate my users for the lost revenue.
I have also worked with hundreds of advertisers in the SEO space, and I have never, ever, seen someone say they had ad money refunded because of click fraud, yet I've seen plenty of publisher earnings held back because of supposed click fraud. Google's fight against click fraud is really just a fight against paying out to publishers, full stop.
Google also used to do this crazy shit (don't know if they still do as I'm not in that space anymore) where they would change the TOS at midnight and then retroactively block the past month's earnings on hundreds of accounts that are violating the seconds-old TOS. Pretty sure that is illegal as well.
If you think about it, Google has zero incentive to stop real click-fraud, especially if their chosen course of action is to just keep the money and not have to pay publishers or refund advertisers. This space needs regulation, and it's needed it for over a decade.
I will happily forward what I have if someone knows how to get in touch with investigators.
It's also not sufficient even if they do that. Many advertisers will run a time-sensitive campaign -- free traffic 3 weeks later in those scenarios is worthless. I actually doubt google does this because if they did it would be most easily implemented as an account credit.
They just keep the money and hope no one ever holds them accountable for anything.
That's what happened in this scenario. $800 / a month worth of earnings on a publisher account got wiped out minutes before the new pay period started.
When combating fraud, communicating the result of fraud decisions gives fraudsters information they can use to evade fraud protections. The faster the feedback loop for fraudsters, the faster they can find the gaps. Give feedback too quickly, and you'll never keep up in the cat-and-mouse game.
Having said that, I have also heard similar case where someone was banned for fraud when he wasn’t doing anything of the sort, and he had no way to dispute it. This was over a half-a-decade ago.
They also don't fill our inventory. I wish we had alternative ways to find advertisers.
I have yet to see studies confirming that the money that advertisers spend is made good on google marketplace or fb marketplace etc. Sure they may see 50% of it working, but what about the rest of it?
Because they're not charged at all in the first place? No charge, so nothing to refund.
Here's Google's response: https://blog.google/outreach-initiatives/public-policy/respo...
110. There are barriers to entry in these advertising markets that protect Google’s
advertising monopolies. Most critically, search advertising of any kind requires a search engine
with sufficient scale to make advertising an efficient proposition for businesses. Specialized
search engines require significant investment, including the cost of populating and indexing
relevant data, distribution, developing and maintaining a search algorithm, and attracting users.
Search advertising of any kind also requires (1) a user interface through which advertisers can
buy ads, (2) software to facilitate the sales process, and (3) a sales and technical support staff.
The same barriers to entry that apply to general search services also protect Google’s general
search text advertising monopoly.
Declaring search advertising an illegal monopoly would not only open up the possibility for structural changes (requiring them to license the search advertising to other search engines, giving aggregators the ability to buy search advertising on google.com) but also exposes them potentially to large payments to advertisers who have been harmed in the past.
> search advertising of any kind requires a search engine with sufficient scale to make advertising an efficient proposition for businesses.
So does creating OSs. Let me make a similar statement on OSs: "selling OS of any kind requires certain scale with sufficient number of apps, for manufacturers to bundle your OS and app developers need the scale of OS to make it worthwhile for them to create apps".
Remember Windows Phone Catch 22. They created an OS which was reviewed well, seemed like a fresh take on UIs. But apps didn't come or came late, often buggy and not fixed in time. In the end it was never able to compete on apps.
> Specialized search engines require significant investment, including the cost of populating and indexing relevant data, distribution, developing and maintaining a search algorithm, and attracting users.
Didn't Siri and Alexa do exactly this to entrench their position in market. In fact voice search engines(assistants) often come as non changeable defaults.
In case of Siri it comes by default on more than a billion Apple devices.
The only way we exclude these from our discussion is if we go by a very narrow definition of search, these are here to stay and will possibly dominate search behaviour.
I'm not disagreeing with you per se. Simply pointing out that legal stuff like this is a chess match. It's also unlikely the accused would go too far to tip their hand in terms of their defense.
It does require scale to build an OS, have appealing devices that ship with the OS and have apps that developers write because they can make money. How the OS is monetized makes no difference.
Look at Kindle as an example. Kindle has an ad subsidized model along with no ads one. Would Amazon even make the model work if they weren't big and didn't have other stuff to sell through it?
Look at game consoles, the cost of device and OS is subsidized by the cut Sony and MS receive from games. Would this model even work if they had no money or games to sell?
I will again circle back to Siri to make my point again. Apple is rumoured to be working on a search engine, this along with alrwsdy default Siri as a voice search engine. How do you think Apple is paying for all the cost of building and running this? Revenue they earn by selling devices. Can someone even compete to them using the same model if they don't have an OS or hardware to sell? Definitely no.
If we accept these analogies then a lot of tech companies are susceptible to analogous accusations.
Haiku is written by volunteers (and before them BeOS challenged Microsoft due to exclusivity contracts required of OEMs).
TempleOS was written by a single person.
There are literally dozens of operating systems baked into all kinds of things that have small or volunteer dev teams. QNX, VxWorks, IOS (the Cisco one), the multitude of Unixes and BSDs, boutique/experimental ones like SkyOS or ReactOS.
Would anyone buy Playstation OS apart from a console? I don't know if there's a market for that (how is SteamOS going?). There might not be consumer demand, but a B2B offering could result in a sustained business.
Companies used to provide an OS to sell hardware. Linux mostly consolidated that market, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for more (macOS, remarkably, is still rocking 35 years later).
I don't know what point you are trying to raise with playstation OS.
MacOS is developed by a 2 trillion dollar enterprise.
The point is not that OS can't be built without scale but rather that for a consumer OS ecosystem of applications and other resources and hardware choices are concerns that are really tough to solve without scale and thus the market consolidated to only a few popular players.
"Though Google and Apple have been tight-lipped on how much their deal is worth, the lawsuit projects that it accounts for between 15% and 20% of Apple’s annual profits.
That means Google pays as much as $11 billion, or roughly one-third of Alphabet’s annual profits, to Apple for pole position on the iPhone. In return, Apple-originated search traffic adds up to half of Google search volume, the government says. Google declined to comment on that statistic, and representatives said they weren’t aware of the “Code Red” language included in the lawsuit." 
Thats a lot of revenue and if they clouded, this case may have legs.
That doesn't seem plausible. It seems like it ought to be more like 10-20% of search volume going by market share. Unless Apple users are for some reason doing more searches than Android and Windows users.
I could see how maybe ad revenue from Apple users is disproportional to their market share because they're generally wealthier.
The comparison is a little murky because both stats include everything: watches, speakers, etc. But at least 900 million iphones were active.
And also clicking on the ads, no?
Google can offer an amount greater that any other search engine would find profitable. If I remember correctly, Google earn around double per 1000 searches than Bing does. Other English based indexes tend to use Bing ads and earn even less per 1000 searches.
I suspect the amount Google offers is an amount that is deliberately at a level that Bing would not be able to match.
Apple has the option to go to Bing and the user has the option to change the default search engine.
The feedback works like this:
1. Google is dominant and can outbid competitors.
2. Many (most?) users will not change default search provider so long as it is basically functional.
3. Google's competitors will only attract a minority of customers that realize they can change and decide to.
4. Google stays dominant and competition is stifled and with it any improvements.
As a user of alternate search engines, I am hurt because if 2 did not occur and people that did not care were distributed evenly then my search provider would have more revenue and would presumably hire more engineers to improve the service. Another competitor cannot capture that revenue from 2 simply because Google can always outbid them because of their dominance.
Of course, there are some number of people who would switch to Google if the default was Bing, but is it significantly different than the people switching now?
But Google is not the only dominant player, MS, Facebook, Amazon even Apple have the resources to make their own search engine and can pay others so that their search engine is the default one.
In this case MS can pay Apple to make Bing as the default.
Specifically: I want to use Yandex as an Australian.
Owning a share in coca cola doesn't give you a right to the secret formula.
Mandating a commonly accessible crawl, with cached versions of the pages, would help new entrants a lot.
Also, there're large network effects with ad networks. It seems unlikely that many marketing managers are going to take the time to do targeted keyword queries on your search engine with 1/1,000,000 the traffic of Google.
I'll also add plenty of sites don't block any engine but confer special privileges to google bot which depending on the site and their size are almost the same thing.
Edit: And I'll add to limit confusion Reddit hides the sitemap and denies access there's is not an outright ban -- it just makes it a lot harder.
They are part of the story of why Google is degrading, not why they're doing well.
So unless you have a google domain your sol, it's also just generally frowned upon. We have our own UA WhizeBot with an email contact so you can let us know if our crawler is doing anything you'd rather it not.
There have been a few legal cases that protect scraping publicly available information on the web but we'd rather follow robots.txt to avoid the potential for shenanigans in any case.
'Faking' the UA is much more likely to annoy site owners and end up with a permanent block.
You also have bots that seem to be credential stuffing, bots that seem to be content scrapping (stuff with same typos shows up elsewhere after their visits, really obvious on new / fresh articles, bots that seem to be exploring for copyright claims, rando bots (maybe comment sentiment analysis for stock trading) etc.
Google is much more welcome by comparison.
Generally I wouldn't qualify a lot of those as search engine web crawlers but more web scrapers looking to re-use data, not just surface it.
Like I said in another comment, if you’re someone that just wants to surface Amazon results they love you. It’s the people that want to take advantage of amazon data in some other way they’re trying to stop.
While I don't know if I'd say "hostility" I would say passive aggressive to other crawlers.
I've definitely seen my share of robots.txt that give special permission to Googlebot, but maybe my corner of the web was unusually aggressive toward crawlers.
We have an API, in case of interest.
Ask anybody in much of the Midwest where they will choose to buy groceries and they will answer Walmart.
This kind of reasoning is not an argument against the philosophy behind antitrust regulations. Rather, it is emblematic of the situation that monopolies create for themselves, by using their economies of scale to create pricing that cannot reasonably be expected to lose any competition over customers.
The same economies of scale benefit consumers and the economy as a whole as long as the business behaves in a manner consistent with the shared values of society. As soon as they decide to behave differently, though, society is at the mercy of a monopoly because they have consumed the entire market.
The case hinges on the no-compete, tying, and default placement agreements. If Google didn't pay anyone to be the default search engine, didn't require Android Phone makers to pre-install Google apps and make Google the default search in order to get access to Google services and the store, etc then there's no problem.
The complaint also says that one of the reasons Google's results are better is the network and scale effects that come from owning 80-90% of search. A competitor has a very difficult time no matter how good their algorithm because you need insights you can only get when people use your service at scale. I don't personally know if that is true but that's part of the complaint.
The proposed antitrust violation is likely the combination: using their dominant position to outspend any other players when paying for default placement to ensure they're the only one with the scale to have the best search results. That forms a self-reinforcing cycle: users who do choose pick you because you have the best results and you use that fact to fund no-compete and default placement agreements to ensure you have unmatched scale which further reinforces your ability to deliver the best results.
Again: I don't know if this is true or a valid argument, but it seems to be what the complaint claims.
For example, let's say I could be curious about DuckDuckGo if I had to choose a default search engine when I got an Apple device instead of Google being the default, then that could be revenue to DuckDuckGo for them to improve their search engine.
Not really sure what the DOJ expect Apple or Google to do in this situation, it seems to me that 2 companies entered a mutually benefiting contract. You can't argue that Google "colluded" with Apple, there's a lot of throwing punches between each other (all the privacy oriented moves Apple is doing are hurting Google's business) and again Apple could be making its own search engine anytime they wanted, they already replaced Google Maps with their own thing.
If the only two players (Google and Apple) both use Google Search by default, then Google has effectively captured 100% of the mobile ad market. (And since Google is paying Apple et al for that default state, it is indeed a market.)
The court could require device makers (including Google itself) to prompt users to select their search engine provider, or potentially ban Google from buying search engine defaults from other companies (Apple, Mozilla, etc.) as an anticompetitive practice.
Sure, they could sell it to someone else, but without the biggest player bidding up the price, it'd probably sell for a fraction of what it does today -- which could be devastating to Mozilla, given that almost all of their funding comes from the search deal. What would that do to competition in the browser space?
Using Firefox as a reason not to break up some of Google's hold on search seems extremely short-sighted. Besides, Edge using Chrome changed the whole browser market dynamic as more and more people are using it. Once Microsoft reaches a somewhat decent percentage of install we will be back at a two (three?) player situation.
Yahoo has been Bing for years, and DuckDuckGo pulls from Bing and Yandex - the latter being mostly for searches in Russian.
I completely disagree with this part, but you're totally right on people continuing to use it.
Search is highly dependent on the query. At first DDG's results seemed bad to me, but after a while I think I've changed how I write my searches. It's hard to explain, but I guess I'm putting more thought into understanding what it is that I hope to find.
Now, Google's results seem to just be a listing of whoever did the best SEO targeting on the subject, and ultimately that means worse results for me. It's less about what I'm looking for and more about what Google has to show me... and Google always has something relevant to show me. When DDG doesn't, I'm forced to re-consider my query and try again, ultimately reaching a better destination.
However, "change the way you search" is niche at best. Google is satisfying because it's so easy to use, that you almost don't even have to write a query. It's like an automatic "I'm feeling lucky" based on it's knowledge of you and your location and time of day, etc...
1. It allows alt search engine or alt browser to succeed. So what? The alt search engines and browsers are worse than the google ones. It doesn't benefit any actual people to have them rise up.
2. Google screwed my friend one time. Every single company (and person) on earth is guilty of this. One swallow does not a summer make.
3. Google is restricting this tech I like, or google is sometimes wrong about their bans. See (2)
And so on. I haven't seen anything compelling in this thread, just a whole lot of hyperventilating.
And to your point. No, search is not a wall of ads. But if you feel that way, literally change your search engine. It's easier than typing this comment you just posted.
The events of celebritynetworth.com are a good example of why they've not been behaving as a good citizen (there is a thread about that on this forum).
A good number of people have took up your suggestion and changed their search engine, DDG's traffic count continues to rise. The reality is that many users will use whatever is put in front of them, i.e. how many people use the URL bar of their browser for searches, or use a search toolbar for a specific URL? Google knows this well, hence their paying to be the default search engine choice and paying an amount that no other engine can match.
Google's knows they are the best in class when it comes to general search, but to be sure they have been aggressive in ensuring that no one else gets a look in.
The UK's CMA report estimates that an entrant to the market would require around £20 billion of capital to be a credible alternative, as in, a proper crawling search engine, not a meta search engine like DuckDuckGo. That's before paying the likes of Apple billions of dollars simply so that people will use "what is there".
Having such a dominant position comes with responsibility, which is not solely Google's. The social networks along with Google are essentially the gateways to the web and how they present that information is important- and essentially only one point of view. Having room for more competition, choices, algorithms surely is a good thing.
This seems reasonable. What's your suggestion on how to make this better ?
(the query must have been "quill js" or "quill editor" cant remember -- it's an example of the infamous 'google® tax' - an obviously keyword-targeted ad)
It is a search for "express-http-proxy" "logging" but at leat I got maybe one relevant result and a bunch of wildly unrelated ones, despite doublequotes.
As for most of the rest of the first 10, null would have been a valid, more correct and generally better result!
I actually wasted several minutes on one of them right away since I haven't still gotten into the habit of verifying every single Google result to se that it actually is what I asked for and not whatever filler Google decided to use this time. Not that it should be necessary, - they had this sorted back before 2010!
Seriously: why can't Google or DDG get this right anymore?
You didn't buy their product, but Google helped them get your gaze briefly.
What is search but a list of adverts associated with your keywords?
As a result, this complaint being brought is considered legally weak, and it gives Google's legal team a huge advantage in fighting it. If the decision to accelerate the case, at the cost of its strength, causes the complaint to fail, it'll probably be the last antitrust case against Google we'll see for some time.
It's be foolish to just the merits of the case merely on that now.
Did sound an awful lot like they thought the suit was ill-timed and half-baked, though. I might have been misled by editorial content in the reporting.
Note I say *the administration and not any particular candidate. I think both parties could (not to say they necessarily would) use this as mostly a political ploy to appeal to their bases without changing anything too drastic and walk away saying "we tried, blame the other side for the outcome" should they want to.
is this really useful to Google?
In Oracle vs Google, yes Oracle stands to make some good coin from Google's "theft" of Java APIs.
But how would Google benefit? Which of it's APIs would it use to unleash hell on its competitors?
Sounds to me like the current administration wants anti-trust to fail and going Leroy Jenkins on it right now is ensuring that a potential Biden administration has no hope of getting a strong case together. And if the current administration gets another term, they can push out a toothless settlement and claim "victory".
Democrats for a generation have been tough talkers about corporate power when speaking to the public, but doves when in private (or at fundraisers). Pinning them down is smart politics.
Here's a novel idea, how about we judge Bill Barr on his overriding multiple DOJ personnel in the weeks before an election instead of what intent you want to ascribe to a Biden admin. If the intent was to actually put pressure on the Biden admin, he had another 3 months to continue to build the case and then announce between the election and inauguration.
Simply because a complaint was filed does not mean that investigation doesn't continue. It's not as if the complaint cannot be amended or new complaints cannot be made.
But your question begging aside regarding this being a "weak case", if Barr felt (justly or unjustly) that the case wouldn't have been brought by a Biden administration then this may have been the best opportunity to make the complaint. It's not unreasonable to think that a Biden administration might be more sympathetic to Google. After all, Google was a prominent advising figure during the Obama administration and Harris is a San Francisco politician with Google relationships. Maybe that's a cynical view of the Biden administration or maybe it's not sufficiently cynical in evaluating Barr's motives. Such is politics and I don't really trust any of them.
> Simply because a complaint was filed does not mean that investigation doesn't continue.
While true, it does mean that you think you can make the case, which not many people think that they can, including a bunch of career prosecutors. I haven't seen a single outside analyst that has said this is a good case. Let's check in on what the market thinks of this case: GOOG: up 1.39% today as of time of this comment.
> that the case wouldn't have been brought by a Biden administration then this may have been the best opportunity to make the complaint.
Why? Why not November 4, or December 3, or January 14? Why now, 2 weeks before an election. It reeks of political motivation. Even if that wasn't the intent, it has the appearance of that intent which could have easily been avoided by simply waiting until after the election day.
There are more types of political motivation than just vote seeking, and the timing is certainly political. If there's any time to get Biden and/or Harris on the record regarding whether they will continue to pursue the complaint is now. There will be no motivation for them to do so after the election no matter who wins.
Huh? How does doing this now, when the Trump campaign sucks up all the oxygen in the room going to lead to someone asking the Biden campaign about this.
99% of the people will literally not care what Biden has to say about this case, or what an independent DOJ under a Biden admin chooses to do with this in 3 months from now. It's only value is the current news cycle and hence vote seeking.
If they lose the case and Trump is re-elected, Barr can lick his wounds and try again in a year or so with a stronger case.
If they lose the case and Biden cleans house, he can blame the Biden administration for dropping the ball.
Google v Oracle is 10 years old.
...in the USA.
But right now? Just before an election? Hand it off to career DoJ people and let them bring it some time next year.
The GOP pushing a rushed (and therefore, weak) case now smells of a designed-to-fail effort that will only strengthen Google's position by poisoning the well against effective anti-trust efforts in the future.
It may also be partisan. Facebook has received considerably less attention from Washington as it has become more cooperative with Republican demands that conservative-oriented fabricated news remain on the platform. Google has made no such commitments and might be in the GOP's sights as a result. While the DOJ is playing to lose, defending the case will cost Google money and this could be a lever to encourage them to follow Facebook's lead and give preferential treatment to conservative fake news.
Secondly, try to find evidence supporting the wild claims going around about either Biden. You’ll note that these claims tend to be very long on supposition but short on evidence and the people promoting them hace significant conflicts of interest. Just as when most of the same people said Clinton was more corrupt than Trump, they’re banking on you reading the headline but not critically examining the story.
Just because evidence that contradicts your world view doesn't exist within you filter bubble of preferred information sources doesn't necessarily mean that evidence doesn't exist period.
There is at least circumstantial evidence in this case. I have noticed that the tactic used to defend biden has become to place insurmountable burden of proof on anyone who claims wrong doing while giving the bidens every benefit of the doubt. Which is gaslighting.
That is akin to saying "there is no evidence OJ killed his wife. The bloody glove found at his home has all the hallmarks of being planted by russian intelligence".
Here's Fox saying the same thing, quoting a Federal Law Enforcement Official:
Here's a signed MacBook Repair quote from 4/2019, signed by Hunter Biden: https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/hunter%20bi...
And here's the NYPost article itself, excerpts included:
`Biden wrote that Ye had sweetened the terms of an earlier, three-year consulting contract with CEFC that was to pay him $10 million annually “for introductions alone.”`
`"Consulting fees is one piece of our income stream but the reason this proposal by the chairman was so much more interesting to me and my family is that we would also be partners inn [sic] the equity and profits of the JV’s [joint venture’s] investments."`
`The documents obtained by The Post also include an “Attorney Engagement Letter” executed in September 2017 in which one of Ye’s top lieutenants, former Hong Kong government official Chi Ping Patrick Ho, agreed to pay Biden a $1 million retainer for “Counsel to matters related to US law and advice pertaining to the hiring and legal analysis of any US Law Firm or Lawyer.`
This family is so corrupt it's not even funny. That's not even including the Burisma scandal, which was disgusting in its own right.
This matters because you're taking a single very specific claim as proof an entire story. The DNI made a very specific denial that Hunter Biden's laptop is not part of a Russian disinformation campaign — we don't know what level of certainty the analysts have that this was actually Biden's laptop, that the data on it wasn't modified after it left Biden's control, that he wasn't fine parsing this being a disinformation campaign run by anyone other than the Russian government, or that the emails presented in the NY Post story are authentic and complete.
Continuing the trend, there's a conservative media figure citing unnamed officials with uncorroborated claims. We don't know how well informed they are, what conflicts of interest they have, etc. but we do know that their chain of command has a number of people who have significant personal investment in a particular election result. This is why anything involving politically sensitive claims really needs to be done as openly as possible since history is full of examples of various ways officials have mislead the public.
Similarly, you are presenting as proof a JPEG on a conservative blog showing two signatures which aren't close matches and have none of the provenance you'd need to demonstrate that similarities aren't due to one of them being a forgery based on the public record. Even if the receipt was authentic, that tells you he dropped a Mac off, which could be part of but is not on its own sufficient to say that the data came from that Mac.
I mention all of this because it's how the process works: you're convinced that Biden is corrupt because the sources you read presented some nice juicy headlines and just enough plausible details to underpin all of those conclusions. If you remember Guccifer 2.0, one of the best ways to make a forgery seem more realistic is to put it in with legitimate but innocuous documents. The decision to sit on this story until close before an election but not release the data or an independent forensic report is exactly what you'd do in this case.
My suggestion that you look for the evidence is to put an upper bound on how confidently you should present that narrative as fact — for example, doesn't it seem interesting that this conversation about laptops is still missing any evidence that a meeting or conversation happened or that it involved anything more than a businessman wangling a handshake with a prominent global figure? It's certainly possible that Hunter Biden did something dodgy but I personally would wait to call his father corrupt without strong or, really, any evidence of that. Similarly, the NY Post story repeated the long-debunked claim about VP Biden having tried to get a prosecutor fired for investigating Burisma — that certainly doesn't mean that the rest of the story is completely wrong but it does call into question how much a wise reader should trust the story without further corroboration.
I linked to professional staffers on Twitter from Politico and Fox. They're not random contributors, they're journalists and they're quoting specific government officials.
At any rate, I know, neither journalists nor government officials have a very good reputation these days, but you asked for evidence, and I provided that, along with photo evidence of Hunter's signature on the laptop repair ticket, which matches the Paternity suit signature filed by Hunter's baby mama in Arkansas last year. It's the same RHB (Robert Hunter Biden) signature. I don't know what to tell you. Look again.
The laptop had incriminating photos of Hunter smoking crack. Those photos were published. Where else would they have come from? Also, the dates on the emails match up with Secret Service travel logs from 2014: https://www.theepochtimes.com/secret-service-travel-logs-mat...
I'm convinced Biden is corrupt, because power corrupts. That's an almost universal law of human nature. And Biden had power for 47 years. You cannot be a part of that scene for that long without corruption rubbing off on you. After a while, you start to think you're invincible. Especially if the media covers for you. Conservatives don't have that benefit. They're always under far more scrutiny than liberals, because over 90% of journalists are liberal and they don't cover Democrats the same way. They spent 3 years on a fake Russian scandal against Trump. Spent $50 million+ and wasted the nation's time based on some DNC paid for propaganda hit piece by a washed up ex-MI6 agent. And the media spent 3 years breathlessly covering every "bombshell" report only to come up with nothing.
Again, there is signatures, emails, photos, and witnesses on the Biden story and you had a made up tabloid story that dominated news coverage on Trump for THREE YEARS.
This is a great example of what happens when you uncritically seek out information which satisfies your political biases without thinking about it critically. I’m sure you do believe what you wrote above because people you trust have told you to do so, but wishing doesn’t mean that it’s true.
For example, do you really expect anyone to believe there’s a global “the media” with uniform beliefs spanning everyone from the BBC and NPR to Fox News and The Guardian? Want to try using evidence to show that, say, journalists were covering for Hillary Clinton during the previous election? (Or for the amusing belief that they’re covering for Biden now by totally not covering this other than all of the hundreds of stories running about it?)
Your mischaracterization of the Russia investigation similarly shows that you’re only reading sources friendly to the subjects. There were multiple sources, none of them the Steele dossier, and it certainly found a lot more than nothing – all facts you’ve had easily available to learn for years but have either chosen not to or are at least hoping your readers have not:
I’m not going to waste time further responding to someone acting in bad faith but don’t think I wasn’t amused by you going from claiming that a major multi-government intelligence investigation was a “made up tabloid story” while at the same time complaining that people are calling for verification of a tabloid story.
If there was concrete evidence of malfeasance involving either Biden, actual media outlets (NYT, WaPo, CNN, ABC, CBS, etc) would report on it. They might downplay it, but they would report it.
In contrast, conservative media gleefully provides politically motivated "alternative facts" -- more properly known as 'lies' -- and fails to report on stories that are politically harmful to conservatives. Conservative media is not intended to inform; it is intended to keep people ignorant of actual, objective, facts.
Has your filter bubble told you that Trump was impeached specifically for attempting to blackmail the Ukrainian government into framing Biden?
Has your filter bubble told you that this kind of conduct is not normal in a democracy?
Just because conservative media lies to people to further a political objective does not mean that the entire media ecosystem is equally bad.
It depends on the company in question.
And, yes, Republicans right now are much more likely to be skeptical of Silicon Valley giants than are Democrats, who have been very cozy with Democrats since 2008.
That wasn't the claim raised or addressed.
Not even close to true. JP Morgan, ExxonMobil, Citi, Chevron, ATT, Comcast,, Walmart, GE, GM, Berkshire Hatahway, Pfizer, Johnson & Jhonson... I could go on. Yes, Apple, MS, FB, Google are huge tech companies, but they are not the most common and not by any means "the most powerful".
How powerful a company is a bit harder to judge, but if anything tech companies punch above their weight when it comes to political power. Johnson & Johnson has ten times the market cap of twitter, but much less political power.
AT&T is more powerful than Google?
Johnson & Johnson is more powerful than Apple?
That's exactly what a establishment Democrat would say.
In what reality are you living in that Obama didn't give corporate America billions of dollars in hand-outs in the aftermath of 2008? Republicans aren't any better, but Democrats like to pretend they care about workers, when all they really care about is enriching the wealthy.
If you are anti-capitalist, fine, but your complaint isn't the Dems are pro-business, the argument is that they are still capitalists.
It's very obvious that's the whole point.
Wouldn't this give Barr the opportunity to bring in people who always agree with him and make the situation worse? Not just this case against Google, but in general.
There's an interview where Barr is asked about his legacy that's worth looking up, it's a great example of the conflict between short-term expediency and long-term sustainability.
Isn't there a contradiction between independent thought and pursing the respect of their judicial peers?
> There's an interview where Barr is asked about his legacy that's worth looking up, it's a great example of the conflict between short-term expediency and long-term sustainability.
I think you're referring to him saying "everybody dies", and you take this as short-term expediency? I don't agree. I think it's a statement of independence: I will not be manipulated by the people who write "the first draft of history", I'll do what I think is right.
When you argue a case in court, you have to be a "zealous advocate" meaning you have to believe what you're arguing. I don't think a lawyer even employed by Justice Dept. can be compelled to argue a specific case.
Of course he can probably cook up whatever reason to fire them.
edit: in case it wasn't obvious, IANAL - thanks for clarifications
The concept of “zealous advocacy” is such a minor part of the ABA’s Rules of Professional Conduct to begin with. Attorneys just like to use that one term as an excuse to be assholes, while forgetting the myriad of other ethical requirements in the Rules.
While I commend them for taking a stand, they should absolutely be fired for failing to refusing to represent their client, aka the Federal government. They have effectively terminated their relationship with the client and should no longer be representing them.
In fact, the first footnote in Rule 1.3 (where the text for “zeal with advocacy” occurs outside the preamble), it reads:
“ A lawyer should pursue a matter on behalf of a client despite opposition, obstruction or personal inconvenience to the lawyer, and take whatever lawful and ethical measures are required to vindicate a client's cause or endeavor.”
For private attorneys, you refuse to represent your client on ethical grounds, you do not get to continue billing them. Not sure why it should be any different here.
However, that does not mean the ABA's Rules of Professional Conduct do not apply to them, nor does it mean they should not be fired for choosing to terminate representation of their client.
It sets a terrible precedent in a system that is designed to have someone willing to fight on each side for their client. If the government wants to bring about a weak case, let them. The opposing party has their own representation point out those weaknesses, if that is truly the case.
So whether they can be fired or not, doesn't change the fact that they should be, or that they should resign from the Department.
To be clear, the current issue is not that they do or don't believe the case on its merits, but that they don't believe they have enough time to push the best case possible.
There are legal processes that can be used to continue trials and other hearings, which they’re fully aware of. Their client said to go, it is not their job to decide when, only to offer advice against such a decision (in theory).
This is most certainly not true.
I’d wait until the judge agrees to hear the case and cases are cited to really make any predictions. The cited case law will set the first odds. It feels too early to cast lots.
I can't read anything with politicized names and highly question the perfectly placed PRified counter points.
The truth, aka middle ground (if such a thing even exists anymore), is the hardest thing to come by these days. Lawyers working for a gov agency are the least reputable in this area in my books.
The conspiracy theorist in me says this was on purpose. Barr isn't rushing this case before the election to make it look like they're doing something, they're rushing it to sabotage any future attempts to rein in Google.
> Some lawyers in the department worry that Mr. Barr’s determination to bring a complaint this month could weaken their case and ultimately strengthen Google’s hand, according to interviews with 15 lawyers who worked on the case or were briefed on the department’s strategy.
I doubt not Google has a very competent legal team.