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Last post Author Topic: The conflict of interest that is Google  (Read 33318 times)

cmpm

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #100 on: November 21, 2010, 07:18:37 AM »
Possibly...maybe.... I'm close....
Gunpowder was what they were refining to a better product.
I get my History Channel Shows mixed up sometimes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DuPont#1802

Renegade

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #101 on: November 21, 2010, 10:52:30 AM »
No sweat. I confuse stuff all the time. :)
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

rxantos

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #102 on: November 23, 2010, 07:10:00 PM »
Maybe you can all try BING (Because Is Not Google) :)

Seriously, any business will seek to make a profit (thats the way they pay bills and employees). And the pressure is more on coporations (as they need to show profit to shareholders).  Thus any company will have a conflict of interest, but, as long as there are alternatives,  I do no think there is anything to worry about.

J-Mac

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #103 on: November 23, 2010, 10:39:55 PM »
Maybe you can all try BING (Because Is Not Google) :)

Seriously, any business will seek to make a profit (thats the way they pay bills and employees). And the pressure is more on coporations (as they need to show profit to shareholders).  Thus any company will have a conflict of interest, but, as long as there are alternatives,  I do no think there is anything to worry about.


I do jump around now to a few different search engines, including Bing. Though my results at Bing are often lacking even more than Google's results lately. I don’t know - the better I get at narrowing down my search terms the worse the results are sometimes. It seems that almost any time I try searching for information about a product - reviews, test results, any info that will help me to make a decision about purchasing - the first couple hundred results are all sites trying to sell the product, not information. It used to be a lot easier to find the info you were looking to find. I'm not certain exactly when it started breaking down but it feels like it was about three to four years ago.

Thank you.

Jim

mouser

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #104 on: December 01, 2010, 03:27:54 PM »
Interesting reading.. We are definitely entering a confusing twilight zone phase here..

Quote
For about six months, I've pondered writing this post asking the dreaded Google question. Following yesterday's announcement that the European Union has opened a Google antitrust investigation, I can wait no longer. My life, and perhaps yours, is enmeshed in Google products and services. If there is a devil, a Great Satan of modern technology companies, Google is it. I sold my soul to Google for free services, which are disrupting -- some would say destroying -- businesses that produce valuable content and other intellectual property. In the 1970s, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates warned of the very problem Google is creating today: Making things that are inherently valuable nearly worthless.

The problem is simple: Google's business model is fundamentally about free. Someone else pays to produce content or other valuable intellectual property, around which Google wraps search keywords, adverts and services. The information giant doesn't produce content, but its entire business model is about cannibalizing others' valuable intellectual property.... content creators are compelled to give away their stuff for less and often for free. If not, the content becomes invisible to the Internet -- or at least to the majority of people who use Google search and other services.


Bamse

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #105 on: December 01, 2010, 05:38:27 PM »
Time to remind your self that only about 30% of world population has access to internet. So 70% are free and happy. Not more twisting argument than he does :) How old is he?

kyrathaba

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #106 on: December 01, 2010, 05:43:52 PM »
No doubt about it, Google needs to change their practices.  Only problem is, they're hard-wired into their current cannabalistic business practice.  No real way for them to get out of it gracefully, or even economically intact, that I can see ... even if they wanted to...

Bamse

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #107 on: December 01, 2010, 05:52:02 PM »
Some old news paper dudes will probably agree with you. So they can control market in a more peaceful way. Many happy victims disagree. They feel "compelled" to disagree is a better way of playing with words :)

JavaJones

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #108 on: December 01, 2010, 05:57:33 PM »
I'm sorry, but based on the past quality of Joe Wilcox's articles, I aint going to bother. Is it really worth it mouser, or just more ranting from a blowhard? This guy switches his opinions 10 times a day, based - it appears - on whatever will get the most views to his articles and generate the most controversy.

- Oshyan

mouser

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #109 on: December 01, 2010, 06:03:42 PM »
there's nothing new to read in the article so it really doesn't add anything to the debate.

Bamse

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #110 on: December 02, 2010, 03:36:45 AM »
Does add to his string of articles, will be linked to later, so make sense. EU investigations will not go unnoticed since he believes they back up his crazy translations of problems.

But may be more interesting to list what exactly Google is stealing/preventing you from/forcing you to. That is what he is hinting if not saying out loud. Also how that non-Google internet world would look like. Why would it be better? Some must have more understandable arguments than stating the obvious side effects of running such a business, ignoring freedom of choice like you are a kid and Google candy, or oh no, I have written all those articles while using more and more Google services - I must write a new article about this problem. And remember to mention I now use Iphone4 which is something completely different in my little tech-world. Also I must mention that Facebook is probably worse so all understand my huge dilemma.

I would not have big hopes for EU to learn Google a lesson. Microsoft has some sweeeet deals with most computer makers, why we got all those Windows. And as Apple, Adobe and others they practically do communist trading with their stuff to students, business with volume licenses. Close to freeware. Many complain when they get free stuff right? Market place is raped and they misuse their size to screw competitors over. They were told to let "people" tick a browser off and something about a Media player no one cared about.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 03:39:19 AM by Bamse »

rxantos

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #111 on: December 02, 2010, 12:37:45 PM »
Corporations are like drug dealers. They give you something for free in order to hook you up.

BTW: This is interesting. Google is next to useless when you are searching for something like a car.

The Incredible Stupidity Of Investigating Google For Acting Like A Search Engine



J-Mac

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #112 on: December 02, 2010, 01:14:42 PM »
Corporations are like drug dealers. They give you something for free in order to hook you up.

BTW: This is interesting. Google is next to useless when you are searching for something like a car.

The Incredible Stupidity Of Investigating Google For Acting Like A Search Engine


Uhh... maybe it's just me, but... does anyone really expect a Google search for any topic to show links to the results for the same topic on other, competing search engines? That expectation sounds so out of place with, well, everything I have ever expected from a search engine! C'mon, really? This guy truly expected to find results from Bing, Yahoo, and a host of other search engines in his Google search results?

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Thank you.

Jim

Bamse

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #113 on: December 02, 2010, 01:15:45 PM »
Good link rxantos. Hope you read it all or you have been tricked :)

Closer to the real world with nice kick at those stupid newspapers. He know it is the same money and clicks fight is about. Clash of interests, zero to do with consumer rights or anything. Some prefer Microsoft, old newspaper methods, anything non-Google because it is trendy - others prefer Google world. Be careful who you join hands with :)

Quote
If you step back from the rhetoric, the political jockeying, the concerns that Google is just too big so let’s use any argument to stop it — if you logically think about this argument from a user perspective — it makes no sense.

If you missed his link at bottom Google has responded to the hunt http://googlepolicye...pean-commission.html
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 01:20:45 PM by Bamse »

zridling

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #114 on: December 02, 2010, 01:40:46 PM »
This is one of the best topics ever on DC.

As others have pointed out with far better clarity than I ever could, the problem with Google is its ad plan. If you set in motion profit before content, then naturally the greedy are going to go straight for the web hits, or more specifically, the ad hits. Already you've distorted every single result of your search engine right there, not to mention opened it to corruption.

There are plenty of trolls -- i.e., columnists -- who will post something just to get hits, and then turn around and post the opposite opinion a week or month later, hoping no one cares enough to notice. But by then, they (or their company) have already been to the bank.

Just as when you travel, your best experiences are had when you get out of the big city, off the main highway, and don't eat at chain restaurants, I find the same is true when using Google. I can find anything I want using it, but I have to sift through increasing digital noise to get there. I think that's also why when you come across something fresh like Yippy or Bing, it's kind of refreshing (for a while).

mouser

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #115 on: March 05, 2012, 01:02:45 PM »
Article today slamming google for increasing tendency to bury real search results in ads:

http://www.edbott.co...-out-search-results/

Screenshot - 3_5_2012 , 1_00_51 PM_thumb.png

Quote
That’s a total of 23 links on that page, as it appears on a typical computer. Only one is a search result.

IainB

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #116 on: March 05, 2012, 04:23:27 PM »
Is it justified to criticise Google for what it does or the way it does what it does?
As the marketing speak would put it, "It's all a matter of perception".

One perception here:
Looks like Du Pont was originally a gunpowder manufacturer (that was interesting - I never knew that) and then diversified into all sorts of fields, and sought to grow as a corporation, through acquisition and expansion. The objective would have been to fulfil its charter to make profits for its shareholders. Looks like it was probably a well-run psychopathic corporation - true to its business model. Then a bit of antitrust bother. Oh dear, what a pity, never mind. (Well, you can' t always get away with monopoly all of the time, but you have to try, don't you?)
Think of all the employment that resulted (and still continues) from Du Pont's operations as the corporation grew.
An enormous wealth-creating economic engine.
A great corporation.

As an experiment, re-run the above but substituting "IBM" for "Du Pont". Same model, different products/services. Antitrust bother in the early '80s (IBM was forced to sell their Commercial Bureau Services arm, which was bought up by CDC).
Another great corporation.

Then repeat that with "Google", or the name of whatever other major corporation you care to think of.
Try "Monsanto" - I think that fits it too. Monsanto might have studiously avoided the antitrust hurdle so far (has it?), but anyway it's GM technology probably takes it perilously close to the line (it's patenting food on a global scale, for goodness' sake). One day the legislators might wake up to that fact - if Monsanto's lawyers/lobbyists forget to fund them enough to stay asleep.

Define "Conflict of interest" and see if it really applies to Google. You will probably arrive at the conclusion that there is none in Google. It is probably just another well-run psychopathic corporation - true to its business model.
A great company.
But there's maybe a small difference with the "Do no evil" statement. That flies right in the face of what a well-run psychopathic corporation should be doing - treating it's adverse effects as externalities, for society to deal with. If anything, it is that statement that is a conflict of interest in this context.
No problem, the statement can always be quietly removed/forgotten by the Board, after the phantasising idiot who pronounced it has died/retired/been paid off. It's probably not a legal requirement anyway (is it?) - it's an ambiguous and morally high-sounding PR statement ("spin"), and has no real meaning and certainly no binding value. It's become a cliché. It's probably just a comforter for suckers like us. Regardless, you can rest assured that the corporation will justify whatever it wants to justify as being "Not evil".

So, stop griping about them and just accept those adds in the searches and support the economic engine and all that employment. The adverts are harmless, and a good thing, because they can generate consumption by those with the propensity to pay. And if you are lucky enough to have the propensity to pay, then it's only because of the economic engine that you are a part of.

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #117 on: March 05, 2012, 05:28:33 PM »
That all sounds real good and benign until you start factoring in other very serious items. 

<> Google put at risk the Chinese citizens who would exercise a free-speech right by agreeing to allow the Chinese government unhindered access to any records (read: IPs) of any and all searches. 

<> Google has digitized (photographed) hundreds of thousands (millions?) of copyrighted works and declared their "digitized data" are Big G's property via their own copyright. 


This is only two.  There are more.  Please feel free to do the "Fill-In-The-Blank" name game with the above.  Doesn't quite fit does it? 

Aside from the above Google presents itself as an inert "search" engine to the masses which accords some measure of acceptable norms of a common trust to Google.  The only way Google can take economic advantage of the "searchers" trust is to manipulate that trust without the "searchers" knowledge.  No matter how you slice it, this pretending of Google to be a "service" to the masses while clandestinely seeking/exercising a significantly different agenda constitutes the darker side of business and stretches any level of integrity to the breaking point.

Keep in mind it is only the ability of a deceiver in using the lie to keep the deceived believing the deceiver is to be trusted which allows the deceiver to deceive the deceived with the lie.  Once the truth is known by the deceived the power of the deceiver and the lie is nullified and the deceiver loses any credibility.  In other words, a lie only has power while the deceiver can keep the deceived believing the deceiver is to be trusted.  Google succeeds in continuing to keep the "searcher"  believing "Google is your friend."

How would you like your friends/business associates to treat you as Big G treats the "searchers?"  Your answer should illuminate the validity/invalidity of Google's claim to your trust.

IainB

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #118 on: March 05, 2012, 08:43:03 PM »
That all sounds real good and benign until you start factoring in other very serious items.  
...
+1 from me for pretty much all that you wrote there CodeTRUCKER.     :Thmbsup:

When I read this bit though, I have to say that it rather felt like I was playing verbal "Twister":     ;)
Keep in mind it is only the ability of a deceiver in using the lie to keep the deceived believing the deceiver is to be trusted which allows the deceiver to deceive the deceived with the lie.  Once the truth is known by the deceived the power of the deceiver and the lie is nullified and the deceiver loses any credibility.  In other words, a lie only has power while the deceiver can keep the deceived believing the deceiver is to be trusted.  Google succeeds in continuing to keep the "searcher"  believing "Google is your friend."

If you don't mind I would rephrase and augment it thus:
Quote
We all generally tend by nature to be credulous (willing to believe or trust too readily, especially without proper or adequate evidence), and tend to believe what we are told to believe or what we want to believe (confirmation bias) - often despite any inherent irrationality in the belief or any evidence which might contradict it.

This generalisation can be substantiated by, for example, the 2008/9 statistics/estimates which apparently showed that, out of the Earth's global population of 6 billion, 1.6 billion were Islamists, and 1.4 billion were RC/Christian. That's an estimted 50% of the world's population (us) that are apparently gullible/irrational enough to believe in an unsubstantiated myth - an invisible, omnipotent and omnipresent friend.

Additionally, Vedic philosophy teaches us that, once swallowed, we can tend to cling onto a belief because of Ahamkara. It becomes conjoined with our ego, and we have to defend it. Sometimes we will defend or enforce the belief with our lives, and even with lives of others. (QED.)

The evidence would seem to be that various unscrupulous people, religious leaders, governments and commercial organisations have taken advantage of human gullibility in order to deceive, trick, manipulate and control them for at least 2,000 years - and they continue to do so to the present day.

Therefore, if Google has indeed been guilty of deceiving us and breaching our trust - because, dammit, we believed in Google - then the scale of that deception is relatively insignificant when compared to the scale of that deceived 50% and in the historical context.
And it serves the purpose of oiling the wheels and feeding the demand for the economic machine.
And that is apparently a sufficiently "worthy cause" in a Capitalist economy for such deception to be allowed (if it wasn't, then Google and similar would probably already have been stopped dead in their tracks). Any deception could arguably be "for the greater good".

That's why I wrote:
Quote
Is it justified to criticise Google for what it does or the way it does what it does?
As the marketing speak would put it, "It's all a matter of perception".

In addition to its indisputably generally positive contribution to the Internet and the economy, Google is also relatively harmless, and, if you don't like it, then there is (so far) nothing stopping you from getting out of its clutches by closing your Google account and boycotting its services - unlike the EU or Islamism, where you are not allowed to leave once you have become a member (in fact the punishment for apostasy in Islam is death).

Regardless, Google is probably still perceived as a "friend" by the uncritical and credulous majority.
So we should stop griping and thank our lucky stars. You've never had it so good.    ;)
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 09:43:25 PM by IainB, Reason: Minor correction. »

J-Mac

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #119 on: March 05, 2012, 09:09:46 PM »
Two somewhat non-relevant points:

First...
Quote
Keep in mind it is only the ability of a deceiver in using the lie to keep the deceived believing the deceiver is to be trusted which allows the deceiver to deceive the deceived with the lie.  Once the truth is known by the deceived the power of the deceiver and the lie is nullified and the deceiver loses any credibility.  In other words, a lie only has power while the deceiver can keep the deceived believing the deceiver is to be trusted.  Google succeeds in continuing to keep the "searcher"  believing "Google is your friend."

Huh? I tried reading through that series of sentences a second time but then decided I'd rather play on Braingle and work on their brain-teasers there; those are more fun!

Second, I looked at your "Google Knol" article Iain and I did try to read it, honest! But I kept drifting off every time I got past Lord Krishna chatting with Arjun... especially when I got to the part where we are losing our Ahamkara - I think?! I suppose I might just be losing my attention span rapidly as I grow older - apparently at or near the speed of light.

Basically, I think I am just too darned tired to understand any of what the heck you guys are talking about.   :huh:   :-\

Oh, and BTW - looks like Google is ending the whole "Knol" thing, unfortunately. You probably know that but I just found out.   :(

Thanks!

Jim

IainB

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #120 on: March 05, 2012, 09:39:54 PM »
Basically, I think I am just too darned tired to understand any of what the heck you guys are talking about.   :huh:   :-\
I don't blame you.
I don't understand what the heck I'm talking about half the time either!     ;)

Oh, and BTW - looks like Google is ending the whole "Knol" thing, unfortunately. You probably know that but I just found out.   :(
Yes. I was annoyed when I read that Google intended to close the Knol service. (I believed in Google, dammit!)       :mad:
And migrating a Knol to Annotum (the recommended migration site) does not work properly, causing me to lose roughly 80% of the knol content.
Ah well. Once bitten, twice shy.

That Ahamkara concept, by the way - that is a surprisingly useful concept. It is wisdom/knowledge that can help to explain a lot of our previously inexplicable irrational behaviours. It comes from the 3,000 year-old (or so) Vedic religious philosophy, and has been absorbed into the much younger Hindu religious philosophy.
When I discovered that Ahamkara was a theory which was supported by evidence and experience of irrational human behaviour (my own included!), I was bowled over. I haven't been able to refute it by rational argument or from experience, yet (though I keep trying).

I would recommend that you persevere and have a read of the Bhagavad Gita, even if it does send you to sleep. It's very interesting.

mouser

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #121 on: March 20, 2015, 10:31:12 PM »
From slashdot:

Quote
'We've always suspected that Google might tweak its search algorithms to gain an advantage over its rivals — and, according to an FTC investigation inadvertently shared with the Wall Street Journal, it did. Quoting: "In a lengthy investigation, staffers in the FTC's bureau of competition found evidence that Google boosted its own services for shopping, travel and local businesses by altering its ranking criteria and "scraping" content from other sites. It also deliberately demoted rivals. For example, the FTC staff noted that Google presented results from its flight-search tool ahead of other travel sites, even though Google offered fewer flight options. Google's shopping results were ranked above rival comparison-shopping engines, even though users didn't click on them at the same rate, the staff found. Many of the ways Google boosted its own results have not been previously disclosed.'

Screenshot - 3_20_2015 , 10_31_18 PM.png

http://www.wsj.com/a...of-google-1426793274

"WASHINGTON—Officials at the Federal Trade Commission concluded in 2012 that Google Inc. used anticompetitive tactics and abused its monopoly power in ways that harmed Internet users and rivals, a far harsher analysis of Google’s business than was previously known."

from: http://tech.slashdot...h-results-for-profit

IainB

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #122 on: March 21, 2015, 12:28:36 AM »
@mouser: I wondered about that too, when it popped into my bazqux feed-reader, and I assumed that, given what has been commented above in this thread, none of this should really come as a surprise to us.

Eric Schmidt and his colleagues are up there in the stratosphere, maximising profits, pulling the strings, out of our reach, and as a corporate legal entity are arguably in a politically, legally and economically vastly superior and dominant position compared to our lesser legal entities and whatever residual "legal rights" we might amusingly imagine ourselves to have.
Google is a great corporation.

If the perceived problem here is "anti-competitve behaviour", or something, then the likely/apparent causal problem is that Capitalism (the economic dogma of capitalism) encourages/necessitates profit-seeking strategies and "competition" often to the exclusion of considerations of moral, ethical, or legal obligations. It's a never-ending game to "play the system", and if one is successful at it, it creates wealth out of thin air (usually with no productive effort/result).
When we use the Internet, we are generally the product (or our data is) and the puppets in this game, and we pay for the privilege to enter into and play in the game (wittingly or otherwise).

Google is a leader, part of an oligopoly - if it isn't a monopoly - and can probably do whatever the heck it wants, with impunity.
Unfortunately, when one tries to address the apparent causal problem (i.e., Capitalism), one runs smack into the brick wall that other economic ideologies seem to have done - e.g., the Communist/Socialist "command economy" system.

So, Google apparently used their position to gain an unfair advantage, eh?
Oh dear, what a pity, never mind.
Google is a great corporation.

IainB

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #123 on: March 21, 2015, 01:47:14 AM »

mouser

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Re: The conflict of interest that is Google
« Reply #124 on: March 21, 2015, 01:56:56 AM »
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
nice find.