I don’t think Google is evil. The more nuanced view:
Google is low-key sneaky.
Google is still a net-positive impact for humanity
I cannot imagine a world without Google, nor would I want a world without Google. All things considered, I am very pro-Google. But the nuance:
I do not like how Google is becoming more and more sneaky …
Google Engineers are good people
I did a talk at Google (thank you Cindy and Kevin) and had a ton of fun. I personally got lots of friends who work at Google or have worked at Google in the past. I do like Sergey’s and Larry’s utopia vision for Google. A lot of Google critics lose the nuance. People who work at Google are good people and very intelligent. But the problem:
It is a corporation that must maximize profits.
And in search of the most effective profits, Google needs to be sneaky in order to maximize advertising revenue on their platform. This is how it works:
- You make a Google account
- Based on your searches and YouTube behavior, Google learns what you like.
- Google feeds you what you like (and inserts advertising along the way)
- Google hopes you see or click on the ads in order to maximize their revenue and profits.
There is nothing evil about this. And no — do not believe Skynet conspiracy folks. Google doesn’t care about your porn Google Chrome Incognito history. They just want you to click on more ads and see more ads — that is it! Myself personally I just find this more annoying than “bad” or “evil”. I don’t like getting distracted and having my focus stolen from me, thus I have found myself using Google products less and less. Less faith in Gmail, more faith in my own email server and self host. Less faith in YouTube, more faith in Videopress and WordPress. Less faith in Google search, more faith in DuckDuckGo. Less faith in Google Maps, more preference for Apple Maps (Apple’s end game is to just have you buy Apple devices until you die, which to me is less annoying than having Uber-relevant ads constantly delivered to you which distract you).
How is Google sneaky?
I find a lot of problematic things with Google Pixel devices, and a lot of Android in general. The very sneaky “nudge” tactics seem very disingenuous to me. Also you got no control to turn it on or off.
How Google Chrome is sneaky
I use Safari. Why? Apple has nothing sneaky built into it, maybe besides the “pay via your finger print” thing or “login via Apple ID” or “pay via Apple ID”. I don’t mind that. But if you use Google Chrome on your phone, do you ever notice those really distracting and annoying “suggested content” on the bottom which distracts you?
The distraction is now built into the search bar???
This is really bad — now the distractions are literally built in and baked into the search bar:
I think after this, I might say “toodaloo” to Google search.