Google: Does That Clown Car Have a License Plate Which Reads Credibility000?

June 13, 2019

I am not going to write about the YouTube clown car regarding hate speech. Vice News makes the issue clear: High school science club management (HSSCM) does not deliver what practitioners hope and dream. I am not going to write about the pain Google caused. The Verge provides plenty of information on that angle.

In my opinion, Google’s after-the-fact explanations are unlikely to work like a dentist’s temporary anesthetic. I am getting tired of wading through reports about these types of HSSCM missteps.

I do want to call attention to Google’s explanation that “Chrome isn’t killing ad blockers.” The company is making “them” safer. The “them” are the developers trying to strip out obnoxious, never ending ads which are enhancing one’s experience when trying to read a one page article of interest. You can read the Googley words in “Improving Security and Privacy for Extensions Users.”

Here’s an example of the argument:

The Chrome Extensions ecosystem has seen incredible advancement, adoption, and growth since its launch over ten years ago. Extensions are a great way for users to customize their experience in Chrome and on the web. As this system grows and expands in both reach and power, user safety and protection remains a core focus of the Chromium project.

Here in Harrod’s Creek, some of Google’s innovations appear to be created to provide two things:

  1. More control over what users can do and see; e.g., ad blocker blocking
  2. Keeping users within Google’s version of the Internet; e.g., AMP.

We understand why a commercial enterprise, so far unregulated, takes these actions: Revenue. That’s the “law of the land” in the Wild West of Silicon Valley bro capitalism. Google needs cash because it costs the company more and more to get and keep users, to fight Facebook and Microsoft, and to fund the out-of-coontrol overhead the high school wizards put in place and have expanded. There’s none of the Amazon rip-and-replace thinking that hit Oracle in the chops earlier this year.

DarkCyber thinks that Google might have a bit more credibility if the company were to say: “We need ads to survive. If you use Chrome, you are going to get ads, lots of ads. We’ve relaxed our semantic fence to make sure more of these valuable messages are likely to be irrelevant to you.”

Some might find this type of clarity distasteful, but directness without inventing crazy rationales might restore some of the pre-IPO and pre-Overture/GoTo.com luster to the online ad giant. Calling itself a “search” engine doesn’t do it for a couple of the people I know in Harrod’s Creek.

Directness, clarity, and even a touch of honesty? That’s a stupid idea I assert. Making stuff up as the clown car rolls down the Information Highway may blaze trails the Bezos bulldozer will convert into monetization opportunities sooner rather than later.

Stephen E Arnold, June 13, 2019

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