...In The Iron Heel (1908), the American writer Jack London pictured a world in which a handful of wealthy corporate titans – the ‘oligarchs’ – kept the masses at bay with a brutal combination of rewards and punishments...
...In the much darker novel 1984 (1949), Huxley’s compatriot George Orwell described a society in which thought itself was controlled; in Orwell’s world, children were taught to use a simplified form of English called Newspeak in order to assure that they could never express ideas that were dangerous to society.
...Google decides which web pages to include in search results, and how to rank them. How it does so is one of the best-kept secrets in the world, like the formula for Coca-Cola...
...about 50 per cent of our clicks go to the top two items, and more than 90 per cent of our clicks go to the 10 items listed on the first page of results...
...US corporate executives and politicians ...use subtle and, in many cases, completely undetectable methods to change people’s thinking, emotions and behaviour based on insights from psychiatry and the social sciences.
...Legislation to prohibit subliminal messaging was also introduced in the US Congress but never enacted. Both the UK and Australia have strict laws prohibiting it.
...powerful corporations are constantly looking for, and in many cases already applying, a wide variety of techniques for controlling people without their knowledge.
...politicians ...merchandise themselves using the same subtle forces being used to sell soap.
...The proportion of people favouring the search engine’s top-ranked candidate increased by 48.4 per cent, and all five of our measures shifted toward that candidate. What’s more, 75 per cent of the people in the bias groups seemed to have been completely unaware that they were viewing biased search rankings. In the control group, opinions did not shift significantly.
...we replicated findings three more times, and the third time was with a sample of more than 2,000 people from all 50 US states. In that experiment, the shift in voting preferences was 37.1 per cent and even higher in some demographic groups – as high as 80 per cent, in fact.
...we could mask our manipulation so that few or even no people were aware that they were seeing biased rankings. We could still produce dramatic shifts in voting preferences, but we could do so invisibly.
...99.5 per cent of our participants showed no awareness that they were viewing biased search rankings – in other words, that they were being manipulated.
...right now you Google ‘US presidential candidates’, the search results you see will probably look fairly random, even if they happen to favour one candidate.
...if Google favours one candidate in an election, its impact on undecided voters could easily decide the election’s outcome..."
Continued at the end of the post
hartzman.blogspot.com page hits;
I survived a motion to dismiss which indicated Wells Fargo misled Wachovia's shareholders and committed perjury on a North Carolina business court.
The likelihood of a litigant acting as his own attorney and winning anything in a federal court against the largest bank in the country is infinitesimal.
The Winston Salem Journal reported the story, which never showed up in Greensboro's News and Record, both owned by Warren Buffett, who owns more than 9% of Wells Fargo, and this is what happened to traffic to my site after.
Try to find it in the google link above.
I get a "Google Alert - whistleblower" search result every day, and it didn't show up.
This is the world in which we currently reside.
EZGreensboro's February stats;
After the following posts;
Wednesday, February 17, 2016; "MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER; OSTEEN, JR., District Judge; GEORGE HARTZMAN, Plaintiff, v. WELLS FARGO & COMPANY, Defendant; 1:14CV808"
Friday, February 19, 2016; It begins; Hartzman's Wells Fargo Securities Fraud Case Survives a Motion to Dismiss
Friday, February 19, 2016; Winston Salem Journal's Richard Craver; "Do you have comment or future plans related to WF legal decision"
And after Craver's story which the News and Record did't run;
"Judge dismisses most of former employee's suit against Wells Fargo
Judge William Osteen Jr., of the Middle District of N.C., dismissed the second amended complaint by George Hartzman of Greensboro except for a retaliation claim as it relates to the federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act and his claim to be a whistleblower.
...Hartzman, serving as his own attorney, claims to have raised “federal criminal concerns” to internal channels and sent emails to top executives, including chairman and chief executive John Stumpf.
...Hartzman said Friday that “now that I have survived Wells Fargo’s motion to dismiss litigating by and for myself, I am now looking for legal representation.”
...Wells Fargo spokesman Josh Dunn said Friday that the bank had no comment about the ruling.
Hartzman’s complaint centers on accusations that the bank and defunct Wachovia Corp. violated federal regulatory laws and committed fraud in the handling of Wells Fargo’s transformational 2008 purchase of Wachovia.
Hartzman accuses the banks of violating Sarbanes Oxley and Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, of not upholding their fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders, and committing acts of fraud in financial reporting and disclosures.
Tony Plath, a finance professor at UNC-Charlotte, estimated about $1 billion in shareholder value vanished in the Carolinas from the Wachovia collapse.
Osteen said Hartzman contends he “blew the whistle” on two situations:
That Wells Fargo failed in 2008 and 2009 regulatory filings to include certain Federal Reserve below-the-radar funding, which Hartzman refers to as “secret loans” connected to its acquisition of Wachovia
That the bank’s Envision reports failed to include client costs in their projections, allegedly constituting mail, wire and/or securities fraud
The Federal Reserve loans were not made public when they were made. In December 2010, the Fed disclosed details about the program and 10 other little-known loan sources after Congress requested more transparency in financial markets.
...Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns 9.2 percent of Wells Fargo stock. BH Media Group, which owns and operates the Winston-Salem Journal and The News & Record of Greensboro, is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.
...An internal report issued by the US Federal Trade Commission in 2012 concluded that Google’s search rankings routinely put Google’s financial interests ahead of those of their competitors...
...Google now has the power to flip upwards of 25 per cent of the national elections in the world with no one knowing this is occurring.
...Facebook could easily send such messages only to people who support one particular party or candidate, and that doing so could easily flip a close election – with no one knowing that this has occurred.
...Extreme forms of monitoring, whether by the KGB in the Soviet Union, the Stasi in East Germany, or Big Brother in 1984, are essential elements of all tyrannies, and technology is making both monitoring and the consolidation of surveillance data easier than ever.
...where people are initially undecided, search rankings are impacting almost every decision that people make. They are having an impact on the opinions, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours of internet users worldwide – entirely without people’s knowledge that this is occurring.
...I see clear signs that Google is backing Hillary Clinton. In April 2015, Clinton hired Stephanie Hannon away from Google to be her chief technology officer and, a few months ago, Eric Schmidt, chairman of the holding company that controls Google, set up a semi-secret company – The Groundwork – for the specific purpose of putting Clinton in office.
...We are living in a world in which a handful of high-tech companies, sometimes working hand-in-hand with governments, are not only monitoring much of our activity, but are also invisibly controlling more and more of what we think, feel, do and say.
...If we choose to ignore this, we do so at our peril.