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  Gagged by Google et al is the future? Boycott the bastards!

14.01.21.  Google has grown too big for its boots. The past year has yielded a lesson about power. Google and its like already knew about their market power by virtue of their size. But the most important lesson came from governments and their reaction to the coronavirus pandemic—the wielding of power to obtain acquiescence. That plan was an, “in your face” exercise, the ramifications of which we are now learning about. Large fines and excessive police intervention is part of the playbook. Google et al are far smarter than any government. They operate in quiet secrecy. Nameless faces tapping away on keyboards. Code writers creating algorithms that surreptitiously steer your interests to their liking. In most cases you don’t even know it has happened. Adam Creighton has found them out!
I wasn’t expecting to become part of the “1 per cent” on Tuesday; unfortunately, it wasn’t in the way I’d hoped. Somehow Google had put me on a list of users of its search engine for whom the ability to find Australian news articles had been removed. Attempting to search for colleagues’ news stories on Tuesday on my laptop returned only references to them on sites other than those owned by News Corp and Nine. The same thing happened from my work desktop, although strangely not when I used my mobile phone.

Source: Adam Creighton, News Corp

Tech giant Google’s shot across the bow may rebound

Apparently, Google had been conducting “experiments” to see how users reacted, it later said. Pull the other one. It was clearly a threat, not an experiment.
The US tech giant was firing a shot across the bow ahead of compulsory negotiations between Google, Facebook and Australian tech giants in coming months.
Following a thorough report by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission made public last year, the government has promised to legislate to force the tech giants to negotiate with Nine, News and other private media companies. The legislation has been sent to a Senate committee.
The spectre of foreign tech giants’ permanently deleting news stories written by Australian journalists is a chilling demonstration of their immense market power and, more profoundly, their control of all digital information.
It’s also unusual timing, given fellow tech giant Twitter has purged millions of users, including the US President, underscoring their collective power.
Google says it provides news sites with millions of dollars worth of “referral traffic”.
Perhaps, but it also benefits hugely from its users’ ability to find media content, which is produced at huge cost by media organisations.
If you could search only for cat videos, Google search wouldn’t have many users, and even less advertising.
The hundreds of billions of dollars in profit it and other tech giants make is partly off the back of media producers who don’t receive a cent of the advertising those Google users generate.
The tech giants have slashed communication and search costs and improved our lives in a many ways. They have certainly been amply rewarded. In the interests of a vibrant press capable of holding business and government to account, it’s time for a fairer distribution of profits generated by readers.
If Google was really running a genuine experiment this week, I could save it some time. Users will have to use a different search engine. I resorted to Bing, owned by Microsoft, which did the job well enough, and I’ve now made Bing a favourite in case this happens again.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Lorraine 14/01/2021, 6:48 am

    I HAVE used only Bing for years . I have no problem with getting information.

    • Neville 14/01/2021, 2:41 pm

      Bing is a bit lacking in many ways; I suggest you get DuckDuckGo, and make that your search engine.

  • Cliff 14/01/2021, 6:53 am

    Can anyone recommend a ‘universal’ email provider other than gmail or iCloud? Time to send a message I think, if not to Big Tech then at least to my email contacts.

    I’d even be willing to fork out a few bucks for the service.

    • seadogger 14/01/2021, 7:04 am

      Have been with TPG nearly 20 years.. no problems

    • Mercy 14/01/2021, 8:03 am

      Check out protonmail, which is open source and protected by Swiss privacy law. It is the world’s largest secure email service, developed by CERN and MIT scientists. It is an easy to use secure email service with built-in end-to-end encryption and state of the art security features. They have 4 pricing options including a free one, which allows you 150 emails per day.

      • Penguinite 14/01/2021, 9:11 am

        I use Duck Duck Go and Brave! Others are emerging daily. Gab may even be the go-to SP!

  • masalai 14/01/2021, 6:54 am

    Maybe google should ask newscorp for payment for the hundreds of articles using the new ‘journalistic’ technique of ‘cut and paste’ from the internet published in murdoch papers ever day

  • Ian A 14/01/2021, 8:01 am

    The experiment Google is referring to, is the extent to which they can control thought and speech in a particular country by removing unapproved views and outlets from search results. They chose Australia for the experiment. I suppose they are looking to see if there can still be any blowback even after they’ve muted the voice of opponents. If the experiment is successful, i.e. there is no effective opposition, then they can apply this form of thought and speech control more globally.

    Google — bringing you the one-party globalist corporate state run by morally superior elites who *always* know better.

  • Theydon Wood 14/01/2021, 8:01 am

    Strange that big tech can moderate the news, can be the arbiters of free speech, can decide what’s good or bad for us yet still seems to be unable to stop the dissemination of stuff like child porn.

    • Bwana Neusi 14/01/2021, 6:17 pm

      Perhaps that is because the is money to be had with child porn. After all their standard response is “We are not a publisher” when challenged.

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