I’ve come to hate Google and especially Google plus in a very short time. They are truly an evil Empire. China is right in banning them. I originally thought China banned them for allowing too much “Internet freedom” to their people. But since I’ve had to deal with them, I understand how incompetent, invasive and megalithic they are.
Their monopoly on information and their attempts to monopolize further puts them up there with Walmart and other big companies that take over a market and then because there’s nowhere else to go (because they squashed the competition), they get away with anything they want.
Back in the 80s, it was Microsoft. They were so full of themselves and their power that when the US government sued them for unfair monopoly, Microsoft executives actually said “Does this government know who they’re dealing with?” Their hubris was so great that they thought they were more powerful than the US government, the European Union and any other government entity in the world. After all, they had successfully monopolized the personal computer market. Everything was built for Microsoft windows. They held an 85% share of operating systems for personal computers. Luckily, the US government and the European Union enforced their anti-monopoly rules and put Microsoft in their place.
When Google came along with their search engine back in the early 90s, I was happy because they had finally developed a search engine that was far more thorough than any of the others available previously. I wasn’t aware of their aim for world domination, and what a bunch of evil bastards they are.
Facebook has been the primary monolithic evil empire in the news for quite a few years. The multibillion dollar company has been called out numerous times for invading the privacy of their users and exposing their users to unwanted situations.
I am on Facebook, but reluctantly. The only reason I joined Facebook was because I needed to administer a couple of business pages on Facebook, and Facebook won’t let you do that unless you have a personal account on Facebook. I am not a Facebook fan. I have NEVER been a Facebook fan.
What a colossal waste of time it is. Don’t these people have jobs? Don’t they have lives? You would think their umbilical cords connect directly to Facebook! I don’t know how someone can spend so much time on that site.
I have absolutely no interest in the drivel that most people post on Facebook. I don’t give a shit that their dog just did this stupid trick, or that someone is mad at her husband, or that some right-wing nut job wants us to all gang up and hate Jane Fonda. (Yes, I saw that on Facebook.)
When I get on Facebook, it is strictly to administer those business sites. If I had to read all of the bullshit that people post on Facebook, I would just plain throw up. And recently, I’ve come to discover that Google plus is EVEN WORSE!
For a variety of reasons, I have had to deal with Google lately. First, a business associate and I were trying to do a video chat via FaceTime because we are both on Macs but for some reason he couldn’t do it on his end. He said the only way he could do it was via the video chat feature in Google plus.
I got on Google plus, and immediately hated it. I thought that the interface on Facebook was one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Google plus is far worse. Nothing is intuitive. I have to search and search to find the smallest things, and then in some cases they aren’t even there.
Soon after that, I had to deal with Google Docs (another thing I hate) because when doing a search, I discovered that at least three places on Google Docs were pirating PDF copies of one of my books. This book is published in paperback and Kindle additions. It is not available as a PDF (legally) anywhere. So, I had to go through the arduous task of finding out how to contact Google to get them to take those “Docs” down. My first few attempts (using Google support system) didn’t work. Every time I clicked on a link in the Google help network that was supposed to take me to the site where I could report this illegal activity, I got the 404 page not found message.
Google does not even properly manage all of their links. Attempts to get help through their support network lead to many dead ends. I finally found a link on an external forum for authors that took me to the Google page I needed to report this piracy. After I filled out their lengthy form, giving them proof that I am the author and copyright holder, I got a message back from them.
The message basically said (paraphrasing here) “Thank you for reporting your copyright violation to us. We receive such a massive amount of these copyright violation reports that it may take us a long time to respond to your situation.”
That pissed me off to no end. Google was basically telling me that through their Google Docs system, they had empowered an enormous number of people to pirate copyrighted works and sell them or give them away for free. In fact, they had empowered so many people to do this illegal activity that they could not respond or repair the situation in a timely manner. (Google did eventually send me an email telling me they were in the process of taking down those piracy sites, but now I have to check about every 7 to 10 days to see if more people on Google docs are pirating my books.)
If I had the money to do it, I would file a lawsuit against Google for enabling illegal activity through their Google Docs system. They clearly don’t have any oversight on the system to PREVENT illegal activity. They only concern themselves AFTER the illegal activity takes place, and then only if someone finds out and reports it to them.
A week or two later, I ran across an article that said unless you do things properly with Google, people may be able to pirate your writings with impunity. I think it was referring mostly to your blog writings, but still an author’s writings are his/her bread and butter. So I was back on Google plus again! This time, it was to find out what my special URL is that was assigned by Google when I joined Google plus. I spent four miserable hours searching for it, to no avail. I even looked at several YouTube videos on how to find it, but those YouTube videos were made before Google completely changed their interface. So nothing on the current interface is where it was in those videos. And, now their interface has far fewer features than in those YouTube videos.
Once again, I could only access it by going through an external site and clicking on the third party’s link. The information was not available through any link in the Google interface of my Google plus account. Trust me, I tried them all. Three or four times each. I am not a novice computer user. I am able to successfully troubleshoot all of the problems that arise on my computer by myself. I have designed more than 50 different websites. I am intimately familiar with Internet technology. And yet, I can’t find shit on Google plus. It is one of the worst designed sites for usability that I’ve ever seen.
In addition, Google plus makes the HUGE mistake of trying to be a combination of LinkedIn and Facebook. They are trying to combine your business social links with your personal social links. I cannot think of anything more disastrous. Having seen what I have seen on Facebook, I cannot imagine that a respectable businessman or businesswoman wants to give you a close up view of their trashy, questionable personal lives while you know who they are in the business world.
I am a (mostly) happy member of LinkedIn. It is a social networking site for business. I have many good contacts there for the areas of business that I am involved in. We can share advice and help each other. We don’t try to get into each others’ personal business. Their graphic interface could use some improvement, but otherwise they are pretty good.
But on Google plus, they not only want to know your skills, experience, and areas of expertise (like LinkedIn), but they want to know what your relationship status is and other very personal info (like Facebook). Google plus even asks you what your mother’s maiden name is, for your profile. Anyone who is stupid enough to answer all of their questions truthfully is issuing an open invitation for personal identity theft.
I decided to click where it asked what my relationship status is because I wanted to fill it out with, “None of your fucking business.” Unfortunately, they only have a list of choices to choose from, such as “single,” “married,” and “it’s complicated.” Obviously, I am not providing any of that personal information on Google plus. I will not be complicit in helping Google plus expose my identity to theft.