Slideshows Slideshow: Eleven Ways Google is EvilBy Edward Cone | Posted 10-14-2009
Eleven Ways Google is Evil
11. Google is hubristic "Page, even as they talked, stared fixedly at the screen of his P.D.A. "'...[Y]ou can't do this,' [Barry] Diller said. 'Choose.' "'I'll do this,' Page said matter-of-factly, not lifting his eyes from his hand-held device." — The New Yorker, 10/5/09
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10. Google has no loyalty Google supported Firefox when Firefox was the strongest alternative to Microsoft's browser. As the browser becomes increasingly important, though, Google is promoting its own, Chrome.
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9. Google wants to own the web The new SideWiki moves conversations off your website and onto Google's servers.
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8. Google usurps knowledge Digitizing the world's books sounds great, but it could squeeze out smaller players and put precious information behind a pay-wall.
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7. Google keeps what you throw away Former Bear Stearns manager Matthew Tannin closed his Gmail account, but Google quietly held onto copies of his email, which it later turned over to prosecutors.
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6. Google squeals on users Rosemary Port blogged anonymously on Google's Blogger service, until Google divulged her identity at the first whiff of a lawsuit from a disgruntled reader.
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5. Google approaches monopoly power In search and advertising, Google's power has grown so great that government action is threatened.
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4. Google is not transparent Keeping a veil over its search formula may be a competitive necessity, but results can seem arbitrary and unfair, and appeals are unlikely to get anywhere.
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3. Google works with repressive regimes The company plays ball with the Chinese government in order to profit from that huge market.
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2. Google throws its weight around When negotiating tax breaks for a North Carolina data center, Google strong-armed public officials to keep a tax-funded deal secret.
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1. Google answers to Wall Street Management and directors are obligated to maximize shareholder value. If empowering users with great products comes to be less profitable than guarding a kludgy monopoly, the kludgy monopoly wins.