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comment by FirebrandRoaring
FirebrandRoaring  ·  432 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Something is Wrong on the Internet

I see your point. Devil's advocate says that they did start as a search engine, ultimately irresponsible for the things they display: they merely process your query and put out what they've found.

The question here is: to what degree are they actually responsible? If you create a platform for people to share things, how much filtering do you do as the owner of that platform?

I think the trade here is user engagement: if you actively fight those who post copyright-infringing material on their services (say, YouTube, though Google the search engine is a big contestant here as well), you're alienating views, and losing views means you lose a part of your audience. They don't want to be seen as infringement-happy platform, so they'd take it down because they have to; otherwise, keep those views coming, and maybe, you'll stay for that another appealing piece of video material we have for you...

Alphabet is the face of what many cyberpunk writers feared back in the day. You can't just sue them for copyright infringement, even if you can make a solid case of them allowing it on their services. You can't fight them at their game, and you can't make your own game, either. They'll play carefully to take whatever they want, and they're too big to fail at this stage. It's exciting a real-world piece of worldbuilding -- but also terrifying.

kleinbl00  ·  432 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Google started out as the un-Yahoo - Jerry Yang & Co hand-curated links and made their curation available to browsers everywhere. Google measured in-bound links and weighted results that way, assuming that the sites that more humans linked to were the sites that more humans wanted to view and used an algorithm to find that connection. It worked really goddamn well.

But as the internet has grown more sophisticated, Google has presumed that the sophistication can be best tracked with a more sophisticated algorithm. There is no aspect of Google's culture that presumes a conscious choice will give better results than a well-refined algorithm.

The dumb thing is all they have to be is compliant with broadcast standards and practices. They refuse to do this because then they become responsible. As such, third parties have to police Youtube for violations of standards and practices. At the same time, they profit no matter what happens.

There are no third parties policing Youtube for creepiness.

And here we are.