Google’s astroturfing operation

This offers a fascinating insight into Google’s (apparent) astroturfing operation concerning the European copyright directive:

 writing in the top German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has uncovered the financial link between YouTubers in the paid service of Google to “protest” in favor of the multinational monopolist’s interests in the European Copyright Directive (aka “Article 13”).

It offers a counterpoint to the common view that Google’s mobilisation operations, unlike those of firms like AirBnb and Uber, remain restricted to less contentious issues like SOPA, with Google’s actions usefully summarised by Rana Foroohar in her Don’t Be Evil pg 102 in which she describes the firm:

using its megaphone to kill the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill that would limit access to sites that hosted or facilitated pirated content. A day after the bill was introduced, Google put what looked like a big black box across its logo, with the words TELL CONGRESS: DON’T CENSOR THE WEB. The message let people click straight through to a blank email already addressed to their congressperson, which resulted in the crashing of congressional email servers.

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