Happy birthday to Google! Google has moved out of its rebellious teenage years and turned 20 this year but has been dancing on the line of becoming too powerful and influential of a company. It is not up for contention that Google is popular and used heavily world wide, we’ve even normalized the use of the brand as a new verb – no one ever says why don’t you Yahoo that question… The biggest debate is if Google has TOO much power and influence. “Google also runs the biggest video site in YouTube, the most popular web browser in Chrome, the top email service in Gmail and the maps that most people use to get around.” Is it a great thing to have everyone using the services of one large company or it is a potential risk?
This is not a new concern or an uncommon belief. Some touchy topics and debates have risen over Google’s search results for certain topics. Specifically holocaust related topics and its results have ruffled some feathers. “This is hate speech. It’s lies. It’s racist propaganda. And Google is disseminating it.” As you can see, this social controversy about Google’s Algorithm has stirred up quite the concern among pro and anti-conspiracists and with the intent that anyone who uses Google search should be wary of how the results were generated. In just this one article on the Guardian about this topic, there were over 1800 comments, including one that greatly summarized the voice of the public opinion and fears: “Do you realise the amount of power that gives to Google? Basically you are letting them decide what is real and what isn’t.”
Google’s motto is “Don’t be Evil”, but are we certain they aren’t abusing the power and influence they have? “The European Commission already has imposed fines totaling $7.8 billion after concluding the company had unfairly used its search engine to highlight its own services and illegally bundled together its products in Android.”