On Google Gatekeeping

By | September 28, 2012
Search engines are information overlords these days: and an integrated search and ad revenue and … means being caught in one part of the crossfire affects everything else. But the chain doesn't stop there: Google's gatekeeping can be lenked.

1. Government trend. If the Government supports pro-RIAA policy, Googles policy heads that way too. It's an obvious business strategy to keep legally compliant, but unfortunately not always what people want.

2. Public outrage. If enough consumers get upset for long enough, they do backk down – as with G+ pseudonyms. Unfortunately not everything 'outrageous' gets enough outrage to challenge the Google reputation.

But given how paramount access to information is, shouldn't the direction be set by the judicial branch instead? That justice has so little influence is a problem in mitigation strategy: it's like telling people to go sort things out without court. Often, it works, but sometimes it doesn't. We need a mechanism for correctional, neutral third party to be able to proactively keep corporate gatekeeping policy on track.

/via +Chris Kunzler 

Google’s Copyright Crackdown Punishes Author For Torrenting His Own Book | Techdirt
Over the years, we’ve pointed out repeatedly a massive Achilles Heel for Google: its often dreadful customer service. Trying to communicate with Google can often be like facing a giant white monolith…

9 thoughts on “On Google Gatekeeping

  1. Randall Lee Reetz

    I read the filter bubble author's statement of intent and believe that she has simply transposed the usual "it's the media" critique to the digital search engine marketplace. I will try to read the whole book soon. What I ask is how a for profit model could be designed such that the primary customer was the content consumer (instead of the ad buyer)?

  2. Rodney Mulraney

    Hmm I forgot to say; we feel safe and discuss the issues, in the mean time years ago DARPA solved the issue and won — its called "Trusted Computing", that was years ago, since then all OSes implement it, and new computing hardware is shipped with it, whilst few know about it, and feel safe that they are in control. The switch they then flick is simply activating the trusted computing features, they put in all our bases whilst we debate, that its too easy to copy stuff 😀
    EDIT: Oh and they will say its now turned on to protect us from cyberterrorism and stuff like that ofcourse 😉

  3. Tren C

    purely my opinion:

    copywrite is already dead. the last gurgles are loud, and the lawyers are keeping recordings to play back.
    it's too cheap, too easy, too quick to make the physical and virtually impossible to compete without a service strategy that places the customer at the center of everything and not the product (even when the product is a service).
    Companies of the future will win based on the value add they provide in the service space because fighting it out over copyright in the court will tie up too much money that could be being used to win more customers. the same will happen up the distribution chains when retailers star screaming at distributors before avoiding them completely because their products can't compete on price against the internet.

  4. Rodney Mulraney

    +Tren C Yeah, I think the main issue that we all tend to side step and instead talk broader concerns, is really copyright. That is the make or break issue — we either lock down the internet entirely to enforce copyright law, or just forget about copyright and consign it to history. It is one or the other essentially, there is no middle ground on this. 

    What will probably happen is the public with "discuss" the issue and feel safe with current systems for a few more years, and then the "gatekeepers" will flick a switch, whereby internet will be on total lockdown. Then people will boycott the internet and other "internets" will be labelled as terror cells… etc… 

  5. Rodney Mulraney

    Thanks for great post. Although I think as soon as you set up an official body to oversee something like this, you end up with similar problems. I think (but would be happy to learn more) that the only solution is to actually let all the members of the community actually make a vote on policy — if in fact the design cannot be changed to just let everyone, set their own policies – which often I think they can with respect to most software systems policies.


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