Is Google Evil? [Poll]

As long as Google has been around, there have been complaints about it. It does enjoy a certain monopoly as far as search engines go despite not being a true monopoly, and now its products seem to be infiltrating all areas of technology. Does this make Google evil?

Everyone is familiar with that bright multi-colored logo for Google. The search engine that started it all is so widely used that often when we want to search for some particular information online, we announce that we’re going to “Google it.” But it didn’t stop there as it started associating itself with other products. There’s Gmail which is used by many, a cloud storage service called Google Drive, Google Docs which is an online office suite, and even a social networking service, Google+. It has its hands in the Android OS as well as the Chrome OS. It also owns YouTube. It almost seems like it’s too much. It’s like a world domination.

It’s certainly led to some people having a great dislike for the company. Some people avoid all Google products as if they have a plague attached. But does it make them evil because they are all over all aspects of technology?

Is Google evil?

12 comments

  1. Some may consider Google “evil” for killing some of their favorite apps such as Reader. Google may be ubiquitous, it may be a near-monopoly but I don’t think it is “evil”. While it may be gobbling up smaller companies, it hasn’t engaged in “Embrace, Extend, Extinguish”. Nor has it followed a policy of “Chromium isn’t done until Firefox won’t run.”

  2. What does ‘evil’ mean in this context?

    Whatever it means, it is not generically or universally evil for Google to find ways to make money from the services we use but don’t pay for.

    What ever it means, it is not evil for Google to cancel services and products we might happen to use. They have no commitment to us, and we have no commitment to them.

    • “They have no commitment to us”
      I’m sure a lawyer could and would argue with that statement.

      Just because some entity provides a service for free does not mean that it does not have some responsibility to its users. Let’s say you store all your photos on Google Photo and use it to create albums. Then one day, with little or no warning, Google decides to terminate Photo (as it has terminated many other of its apps). All of a sudden a lifetime’s worth of treasured memories are gone into the bit bucket. Or maybe Google does not kill Photo but just starts selling the photos users have stored there. Would you still maintain that Google has no commitment or responsibility to its users?

      When Facebook bought Instagram, they declared that any and all photos stored on Instagram servers are henceforth the property of Facebook to do with as they please. It seems that many users felt that Facebook/Instagram did have a commitment, as well as a legal obligation, to them because, after a firestorm of user complaints, Facebook/Instagram changed their policy.

  3. Evil? No. They don’t care about their users, but then that’s pretty standard for most corporations these days. Samsung doesn’t care about you, they just want you to buy their TV. You buy Google’s services, too, except you pay with your privacy and information rather than money.

  4. Evil? That’s a pretty relative term nowadays. I’d rather see a poll where we’d rate a bunch of companies/orgs (and their bosses) as to their comparative evilnesses.
    Hell, even a pack of popes couldn’t survive in today’s corporate world without a healthy dose of evil.

    • “even a pack of popes couldn’t survive in today’s corporate world without a healthy dose of evil.”
      Oh, I think they would do very well, thank you. One does not get to be a pope by being honest, virtuous and honorable. Words like Machiavellian, devious, opportunistic, conniving and unscrupulous seem to fit them better.

  5. “But does it make them evil because they are all over all aspects of technology”

    That Google is “over all aspects of technology” is utterly unrelated to why they are evil.

    When you use Google products, they record (“track”) everywhere you go and everything you do. They read all your e-mail and blog posts, scan your photos, read all your documents, look at all your files and make note of video’s you post and watch on YouTube. They then take all this private information they’ve gathered about you, as well as info you’ve put in your profile, and *sell it* to anyone willing to pay their price…typically advertisers, but as long as someone is willing to pay the price, Google doesn’t care what they then do with the data.

    Worse than that, after years of people storing all their e-mail, photos, documents and files on Google’s various services, they changed the Terms Of Service so that *they*, as well as you, own all that data, and can do with it what they want. Got some nice photos on Google…they can take them and use them in advertising and they *do not* need to tell you they’ve done so or pay you for the use of the photos. Did you make a blog post Google doesn’t agree with…they can change it any way they want and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    Google’s CEO has gone on record saying that Google users should not expect privacy of *any* kind, and that if people have things they want kept private, they shouldn’t use the Internet.

    *These* are the reasons that Google is evil. The days of being just a search engine that “does no evil” are far, far behind them.

  6. Google has achieved the status that we feared Microsoft would achieve, a few years back.

  7. Giga corps greed and hunger for world domination knows no end and therefor is evil and a threat to humanity.

  8. If making money means evil, than; Yes Google is evil. but than again MS was their big example paying 1$ for each DOS installation the force a market push and make then the de facto standard OS.

    If we skip the Money = evil than I don’t think they are more evil than any bog company. We stil have power over them by not using their software if we want. We are not forced to use their browser. We are not forced to use their OS and so on.

    As soon as they can force us doing things their way than the have become EVIL

    • “We stil have power over them by not using their software if we want.”
      That sounds like it’s coming from a long time smoker or drug user. “I can quit smoking/drugs anytime I want. I’ve done it hundreds of times!”

      No, Google does not twist your arm or hold a gun to your head to force you to use their products. They instead kill you with kindness. Using their products simplifies activities and makes a lot of things very convenient. Many people, once they start using Google products, get addicted to that convenience and cannot/will not give it up. When one has terabytes of data stored on GoogleDrive, it is not easy to give Google up. The best way to quit Google, just like drugs, is to never start using.

  9. What is evil? My definition for a corporation is when they perform in an un-ethical fashion. To this end Google is more evil than most. They do also break the law but with enough money, win with lawyers anyway. A case in point is when the google camera car invaded neighborhoods with private roads and filmed them anyway. Many people took them to court, but google had more $ so the government did not charge them with trespass. And there was the hacking/householding of wireless networks by the camera car. Google currently also hires aircraft to fly over homes and photo them. Their next step is Skybox, Satellites with very high resolution cameras. Chromecast and Nest are their first of many products to invade the actual home. Samsung is offering Android driven TVs which run 100% on google apps. You cannot buy these products and use them without Google. Phones of course are one method to also run your life with Android. When exactly does it end? Unlike the terminator movies, it is not an AI but rather a bloodthirsty executive team at Google that will drive the world. They can control entire countries. I offer this to readers: try using a tool like DNT or Ghostery, and sign up for national healthcare. At the point where you are about to commit your most private health and personal data, Google is there tracking you. FB too. One wonders why our government thinks they should be there? My guess is Big brother is in bed with congressmen and senators. Of course even if you block them while making your account, what guarantee is there that the entire database is not going into google servers? This happened to me where my work 401K passed my SS# and other info directly to Google. The apology from Transamerica comes too late. The data is in Google servers permanently. So yes – this is as evil as anything Hitler imagined.

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