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Gizmodo Blogger: "Has Google Reached a Point Where It MUST Be Evil?"

Late last week, Gizmodo wrote “The Case Against Google” which confirmed something that many are feeling, especially after Google changed its privacy policy: “People don’t trust Google with their data. And that’s new.”

Author Mat Honan goes on to say that, “Google is a fundamentally different company than it has been in the past. Its culture and direction have changed radically in the past 18 months… Google has always claimed to put the interests of the user first. It’s worth questioning whether or not that’s still the case. Has Google reached a point where it must be evil?”

He goes on to note that, “Google may not be a utility, but search is a very utility-like service. Search is what Google was built on, and why people go to Google in the first place. And when Google rolled out its newest iteration of search—Search Plus your World (SPYW)—people reacted to it like viewing an open grave. There’s a good reason for that revulsion: SPYW is a mess. In trying to deliver personalized results, Google polluted the page with its own inferior products (like Google+ instead of Twitter, Google Places instead of Yelp) while banishing competitors to lower listings in the results. Ads are everywhere. The People and Pages sidebar that now appears in search results is particularly galling. It is the ultimate subversion of Google to a commercial end. Basically, it’s an enormous ad for Google’s other products, hogging your screen.” (Emphasis ours.)

It gets worse. Honan goes on to explain that Google “doesn’t have to build better products, it just has to force enough people into them. It will leverage everything it has—and it already is—to squeeze more information from us.” That’s the problem when one company controls so much of the online marketplace.

Honan concludes with a fundamental question (that we’ve asked many times before) “If Google is already going back on some of its initial promises, what comes next? If it can break one, can’t it break them all?”