For obvious reasons, I’m mirroring here a rather long post from http://j.mp/GPinbo (what used to be my Google Plus home)
#nymwarsSince there’s no way to escape Google bullying, I am seriously thinking about moving to Tumblr. In all honesty, I really like Google Plus and its interface, but I dislike Google’s customer hating corporate culture. What do I mean by that? Just read a former Googler’s book - a book I was just quoting before my first ban in July, quotes I just cannot find right now: they used to ban entire countries for “abuses” from individuals.
My history with Google is not that long. I embraced their products early on and even considered myself a “fanboy” of sorts. I blogged on Blogger back when it was way behind Wordpress.com, convinced that Google will eventually catch up. I defended Google against naysayers, thinking that they will improve. I ran AdSense not because I needed the money (they never paid me one penny, actually), but as a thank you for their services. Until they one day banned me with no explanation, most likely because the crisis had hit and they were short on cash (http://www.consumedconsumer.org/2010/02/google-wuoves-me-not.html). They did silently reinstate my account, but it was not the same.Other minor abuses took place, but I did not think much of it, until I got banned from Google Plus in July even though I was in full compliance with their policy (see my About page). I’ve decided to come back - there simply wasn’t an equivalent service, I thought. But I started looking.Then they threatened to ban me again from AdSense because they thought that an article I wrote on Kegel exercises was pornographic: http://www.alsosprachzamolxis.com/2011/10/google-dmv-online.html I sought to replace Google with Chitika (a Yahoo property), until I discovered that Chitika were themselves running Google AdSense on their main website. I asked them why but they could not provide a valid explanation, commending me for my astute eye :)I suspect this is a relic from the days when the Yahoo then-CEO was dreaming of being swallowed by Google but the market thought that’s stupid.
Anyhow, there’s no point in fighting Google on privacy / anonymity. First, they are clearly vague on purpose and dishonest. Their game is about accumulating vast amounts of info on individuals with or without consent. The constant and repeated attempts to trample on people’s attempts at keeping their identity private are based not so much on nefarious commercial / profit-hunting motives, but rather on an infantile view of the world, uncovered in research done on Sesame Street in the 70s and 80s. Children have serious difficulties understanding that someone named “blue bird” can actually be green - they just don’t get it. I suspect this is the main, subconscious reason why some people carry with them an instinctive and somewhat subconscious distrust of pseudonyms, which they perceive as bent against themselves. The fact that one has no interest in “going viral” or “becoming famous on the Interwebs” or an “AdSense multibillionaire” is again anathema to them. It doesn’t matter that pseudonyms have existed for centuries - no, the “Googlers in charge” want to behave according to their own biases and limitations, otherwise you have no right to live in their online empire.
Sadly, all these abuses have proven to me that anarcho-capitalism (or right-libertarianism, a current I used to think I belong to) can be just as bad as Stalinism. The difference in abuse is not all that great or relevant. Large virtual monopolies such as Google can be just as oppressive, arbitrary, illogical and demented as paranoid dictators. It’s not the quality of the people that form them that determines the degree of idiocy, but rather the amount and depth of power they are able to conjure. For power corrupts absolutely and it is absurd to assume that a corporation that achieved preeminence through an initially well-designed algorithm and a stroke of luck will somehow outperform a dictator who raised to power through a long knife and shrewd machinations.
I’ve been thinking of a replacement for Google Plus and I think the best is Tumblr. I couldn’t go back to Twitter - way too short, and a regular blogging platform is too much, but Tumblr is just perfect. It may not have GP’s neat social tricks, but it compensates in that your data is safer and you’re not exposed to Google abuses & shenanigans.I’ll be publishing this on Tumblr as well. Just in case..Asta la vista, motorfingers!