At the Ref Desk (10/6/18): (Question of the Day): "For how much time can I ask you questions?" I told him we were open till nine. [more...]

Enough with the Google-bashing

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 4/5/09 (11:06pm)

I'm just as happy as the next person to be paranoid about huge corporate entities trying to dominate our lives but this attack on Google by UK Observer columnist Henry Porter is pure insanity.

In it he identifies Google as a "classic monopoly that destroys industries and individual enterprise in its bid for ever greater profits." You either agree with Google, he says, or you feel "the weight of its boot on your windpipe."

He then goes on to blame Google for the demise of newspapers. He hints darkly that in some future time of "profound challenges", Google may decide to cut newspapers off from their audience. The company is "delinquent and sociopathic", a "nightmarish 11-year-old" which "needs to be stopped in its tracks" etc.

How silly can you get? We're talking about a search-engine here. Its bread and butter are links and snippets of content. It's no more illegal or immoral for Google to use content in this way than it would be for you or me.

Indeed the thought of putting a restriction on this use is far more worrisome than anything Porter can come up with.

But the truth is, Porter really doesn't come up with much. Once you sweep away the invective, you're pretty much left with nothing other than Google is big and successful at what it does.

If this is the best a 'journalist' can produce, it explains the plight of newspapers far better than anything Google allegedly has done.

[h/t Keith Teare]

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