The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

Don’t Be Evil – Google’s Hypocrisy

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Larry Page as Dr EvilHas Google become something it once told us never to be?

Anti-trust regulators say Google unfairly and illegally used its dominance in search to promote its own products over those of competitors paying for ads and placement in its search engine.

Then there’s the company’s repeatedly defensive and dishonest responses to charges that its specially equipped street-view cars collected private internet communications — including emails, photographs, passwords, chat messages, and postings on websites and social networks.

Next we learn of Google’s plan to work with China to develop a search engine that will censor websites and search terms on human rights, religion, protests, and democracy. Something called Project Dragonfly, which brings us to the multi-billion dollar question, is Google testing this censorship technology in the U.S. for political and corporate gain?

Political conservatives would quickly say yes, from experience.

Google’s internal culture has been laid bare by James Damore’s lawsuit alleging employment discrimination. The picture we get is a corporate culture of lockstep ideological uniformity, enforced by censorship, badgering, and blacklisting. Damore provides, in his evidence, a note from a Google manager in 2015, addressed to “hostile voices.”

I will never, ever hire/transfer you onto my team. Ever. I don’t care if you are perfect fit or technically excellent or whatever. I will actively not work with you, even to the point where your team or product is impacted by this decision. I’ll communicate why to your manager if it comes up. You’re being blacklisted by people at companies outside of Google. You might not have been aware of this, but people know, people talk. There are always social consequences.

In other words , “you will think and act like us or you will be turned into a pariah.” How open-minded and free-thinking.

But the laundry list goes on…

  • There’s the ill-conceived launch of Google-Buzz which made all of your contacts in Gmail viewable to the public. A huge privacy issue that ticked off pretty much everyone.
  • Google’s tendency to buy up companies and sunset them without any notice, even if they are turning a profit like Jetpac and Picnik, leaving company employees looking for work.
  • Is Android an open platform? That may be more lip-service than reality. In a lawsuit by Skyhook Wireless, Google was accused of forcing Motorola to cancel a deal with Skyhook to provide location-based services for Motorola phones because Google wanted them to use their location services instead. Big boot squashing little company…
  • Then there’s the time Google got caught “tricking” Apple’s Safari browser into letting Google monitor Apple users’ web-surfing behavior.

But perhaps the biggest reason Google has become what it told us never to be is their total lack of respect for your privacy. Google built its reputation and empire on the idea that it would always put users first and build its products on the premise that they would always function in the user’s best interest, not their own, hence the motto “Don’t Be Evil.” Google built a lucrative company on a reputation and model of mutual respect. That was reversed in 2012 when Google announced their new privacy policy and the “cross-pollination” with regard to your private information being pulled and shared through multiple Google products and services. Bottom line: everything they told us prior to this change was a load of crap.

Google began as a unique and superior search engine that was very much a model of free enterprise and free market principles. But as the phrase “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely” reminds us, those who grow into a position of control and dominance too often take their advantage to extremes, whether by intent or by losing control of the giant they’ve created.

Still millions of people use Google products every day either due to ignorance or because convenience and ease of use has chipped away at our resistance to losing our privacy online.

Google, it seems, has become one of two things. The modern technological version of Frankenstein’s monster or something much worse. Either way, growing public opinion suggests Google has become something it once told us never to be.

Evil.

Note: I will continue to add article links to this post as Google does more evil stuff.

townhall.com – John Stossel discusses censorship by Google and social media giants.

How Google Tracks Your Personal Information – An insider’s account of the dark side of search engine marketing

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Written by DCL

November 19, 2018 at 10:05 am

Posted in News, News Media

Tagged with ,

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