Google pulls a fast one for political correctness in sponsored New York Times post

What might political correctness combined with "don't be evil" mean together?  The answer can be found in Google's sponsored New York Times post, titled "My Favorite News of 2018."

WHEN A YOUNG MAN scaled the side of a building in Paris on May 27, 2018, to rescue a child in danger, the world watched in awe. Immediately after, Google searches for "paris hero" skyrocketed across the globe. Similarly, while the world looked on in suspense as 12 boys and their football coach awaited rescue from a cave in Thailand, searches for "best cave divers in the world" increased five-fold. The positive headlines from 2018 not only captivated us, they inspired what we searched for, from the everyday ("soccer player haircuts") to the history-making ("how many women in congress").

The world searched for "good" in 2018 more than ever before, according to Google Trends.  Online and in headlines, we looked for reasons to smile, ways to help, and milestones to inspire.

Now that's a good news hook, for presumably a story with a list of feel-good news from the past year, and it's likely that many readers were tempted from that lead-in to click on the list.  Who wouldn't want to re-read the wonderful stories of the Thai cave rescue or the Paris building rescue one last time?  I did, and I clicked, because that was what they were holding out for the readers.

But, this being Google, I didn't quite get what the list promised.

Instead of the feel-good stories for the year, Google got some TED talk-type people to tell us some crappy stories for the year, the ones that scolds for political correctness get all excited about.

It was all about the wonders of the ban on plastic straws and the European Parliament's ban on single-use plastic (seriously, the European Parliament?), some identity-politics crowing about a third woman to win the Nobel prize for physics (as if we care more about the fact that she is a woman than her actual research achievements), and oh, they, including the cave rescue, second from the bottom, sort of as an afterthought.  No Paris building rescue – not good enough. 

Seriously, was the ban on plastic straws really the ultimate feel-good story of the year?  That's the story of how saving the whales comes well before saving the people.  Banning straws, for many handicapped people, who depend on straws to stay independent, means they got stiffed from the measure, and the rest of us got inconvenienced.  That may make a few lefties feel good, but rest assured, it was the inconvenience part they liked, not any serious prospect of saving the environment, which isn't going happen from this petty bit of tyranny anyway.

The rest from the list are just as bad.

Going back to the intro, you don't see any of those politically divisive stories in the Google bid to make one click on its sponsored story.  They hold out real feel-good stories, and when we click, we get leftist hectoring.  I call that a fast one.  It sounds as though they wanted us to click for their politically correct agenda and that surprise waiting for us when we did.

You get what Google's about just from that irritating bit of petty trickery in the name of promoting its leftist agenda.  Sorry, Paris building rescuer.

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