In 2008, Reporters Without Borders launched World Day Against Cyber-Censorship – it’s observed annually on the 12th day of March. To take part in this day, I thought it would be fitting and appropriate to expose the censorship Google is responsible for. Google is responsible for a whole lot of censorship of the Internet and abuses the trust people have in the company.
Google is one of the largest and most powerful companies in the world. Although Google is a company, we can think of it as a country. Its citizens are the millions of users who log in to and use its products every day. Googlians (the citizens of Google) barely have rights and they definitely have no freedoms. They are constantly being watched everywhere they go, their private messages are thoroughly examined, their sensitive data is kept on file indefinitely, they are in the dark about what Big Google knows about them, and they have no clue how to escape. Some Googlians are completely brainwashed and have taken orders from Big Google very seriously while they toe the line. Other Googlians are deeply concerned, but they’re demoralized and have accepted their fate – they see no way out.
But then there is a growing number of Googlians who are fighting back! They’ve had enough with the repressive conditions and the abuse. They are willing to fight against His Excellency Larry Page and his army of ‘Geeks’. The Google regime is a very difficult one to topple. They won’t go down without a fight and they are willing to fight dirty.
The best way to topple the regime is to spread knowledge and empower the citizens of Google! Tell them there is hope and there is a better way. You don’t have to accept substandard living conditions and the world will not all explode if the regime is toppled! Rise up, citizens of Google! Rise up and claim your rights!
Demand Big Google respect your privacy in your homes! Demand Big Google keep its greedy paws off your autumn harvest! Don’t let Big Google reap the benefits of your personal possessions – don’t let them enjoy the fruits of your labor without your full consent!
A wise and famous Googlian named Antoine Dobson once warned:
“weeell – obviously –we have a Google data snatcher! He’s climbing in yo browser window, he’s snatching yo data up, and trying to track you! So y’all need to hide yo kid’s data, hide yo wife’s data, and hide yo husband’s data too– ‘cause I hear they’re targeting errbody up in here!”
The citizens of Google hope that Reporters Without Borders will seriously challenge Google, even though Google ironically sponsors the awards ceremony to honor courageous people who use the Internet to fight back. Let’s get serious about what Google is doing. Let’s get serious about the lack of privacy. Let’s get serious about surveillance of unsuspecting users. Let’s get serious about censorship described instead as “personalization”.
A recent Pew research survey showed that the vast majority of Internet users are deeply concerned about data harvesting, they reject creepy targeted ads, and they reject “personalized” searches. We need to hold Google accountable for what it is doing and educate people on ways they can better protect themselves. That same survey showed that people desperately want to protect themselves but they lack the tools or the know-how.
If Google succeeds in its missions to combat against “the faceless web” (as the company put it) then this will inevitably lead to the demise of personal freedoms. It will lead to coerced self-censorship, it will discourage self-expression, and it will erode Internet freedom. Google has no problem doing what it does as long as it can maximize profits. Google makes over 90% of its revenues from advertising – so the average user is always in the background to any decision-making. Advertisers are Google’s number one customer – the average user is just Google’s product.
Therefore, on this global day against cyber-censorship let’s join together against all violators of freedoms. It’s easy to point fingers at the most obvious guilty regimes around the world – but the exclusion of Google is irresponsible and hypocritical.
Reporters Without Borders website: please click here