Internet

Are Google and YouTube Evil? No, But Don't Let That Get in the Way of Your Feelings.

Despite scant evidence, everyone wants to believe that social media has a unique ability to control our thoughts and actions.

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By now, you probably know that YouTube is pure evil. Or maybe just dumber than a box of rocks. Either way, get ready for major political and regulatory action against Google, which has owned the video platform since 2006, and is now the target of a Department of Justice antitrust investigation and a congressional investigation along the same lines. Earlier today in an interview with CNBC, President Donald Trump praised the more-than-$9-billion in fines levied against the internet giant by the European Union since 2017 and declared, "Obviously, there's something going on in terms of monopoly."

These days, whether you're a right-wing free-marketer or a left-wing democratic socialist, whether you're Tucker Carlson or Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), you probably worry more about Big Tech than Islamic terrorism and agree that all or most of the so-called FAANG companies (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google) need to be broken up, hemmed in, or regulated as public utilities. Hell, even the leaders of those companies are calling for regulation. A month ago, Google's CEO Sundar Pichai took to the op-ed pages of The New York Times to plead with Congress to pass "comprehensive privacy legislation" similar to the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that would cover all online businesses. Ironically—or maybe strategically—Pichai didn't mention that a year after the GDPR's implementation, Google's marketshare had grown.

Last week, in a truly inspired set of self-owns, YouTube managed to piss off conservatives—by apparently demonetizing the videos of right-wing comedian Steven Crowderand to enrage progressives by not actually banning him for jokes directed at a gay Vox reporter.

When YouTube's not using its supposedly all-powerful, super-spooky algorithm to recommend videos that will turn you into a pedophile or a marathon runner, it's turning decent, red-blooded, red-state American boys into alt-right monsters. The theory here is that, in a bid to extend the amount of time viewers stay on the site, YouTube keeps recommending slightly more extreme, provocative videos of the sort you just watched. You go from watching old Milton Friedman clips to Ben Shapiro disquisitions to Stefan Molyneux rants on "race realism" and, well, it was nice knowing you. It goes without saying that viewers are largely unable to exercise any meaningful volition when faced with such modern-day magic. Back in the 1990s, it was supposedly ultra-violent and hyper-sexual cable TV that was programming us into slobbering fools. Today, it's PewDiePie, Logan Paul, et al.

"Caleb Cain was a college dropout looking for direction. He turned to YouTube," reads the ominous subtitle to a widely read New York Times about a 26-year-old West Virginia resident who started watching a bunch of alt-right videos and came to identify with that movement of Trump-friendly, quasi-racists, traditionalists, and nativists. Until, that is, he watched yet more YouTube videos and changed his mind:

Nearly four years after Mr. Cain had begun watching right-wing YouTube videos, a new kind of video began appearing in his recommendations.

These videos were made by left-wing creators, but they mimicked the aesthetics of right-wing YouTube, down to the combative titles and the mocking use of words like "triggered" and "snowflake."…

When Mr. Cain first saw these videos, he dismissed them as left-wing propaganda. But he watched more, and he started to wonder if people like Ms. [Nathalie] Wynn had a point. Her videos persuasively used research and citations to rebut the right-wing talking points he had absorbed. "I just kept watching more and more of that content, sympathizing and empathizing with her and also seeing that, wow, she really knows what she's talking about," Mr. Cain said.

Cain is now a critic of the alt-right, but he presumably is still in thrall to YouTube because he "still watches dozens of YouTube videos every day and hangs on the words of his favorite creators. It is still difficult, at times, to tell where the YouTube algorithm stops and his personality begins."

This sort of narrative—in which social media is effectively turning its users into pliant, virtually addicted content consumers—is as ubiquitous as it is unconvincing. It follows the tried-and-true template of branding new forms of media (novels, film, radio, comic books, rock music, video games) as inherently toxic, uniquely irresistible and leading to social collapse. The World Health Organization (WHO) has already declared that "gaming disorder" is a type of "behavioral addiction" and it's only a matter of time before people discussing social media addiction in figurative terms produce laws based on a literal equivalence between opioids and Instagram.

In the immediate moment, though, Google and YouTube's time in the barrel will probably deal less with questions about social-media addiction and the mind-warping nature of super-secret search algorithms, and more with old-fashioned economic complaints from established interests that want Google to pay them a bigger cut of ad revenues. Tomorrow brings congressional hearings about The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, a bill co-sponsored by Reps. David Cicilline (D–R.I.) and Doug Collins (R–Ga.) that would exempt newspapers from antitrust rules so they can collectively bargain with Google and Facebook, the two companies that dominate online advertising (Google accounts for about 37 percent of online ad revenue and Facebook for about 22 percent).

Legacy media companies are saying that there is no way to survive without relying on Google, which is ripping them off by including them in search results and pushing them to post versions of their stories on pages technically controlled by Google. A new study from the News Media Alliance, a nonprofit representing the interests of newspapers, claims that Google is making $4.7 billion a year from Google News, an ad-free aggregation site that displays snippets of articles and links to sites. "The findings clearly point to Google responding to an increase in consumers searching for news, creating and tailoring products that keep users within its ecosystem. This means more money goes back to Google and not the publishers producing the content," said David Chavern, the head of the News Media Alliance, in a press release that accompanies the study (download the full report here). Chavern will be among the people testifying tomorrow. He will be joined by a long list of people who say their specific businesses or industry sectors are being screwed by Google in all sorts of ways. The head of the review service Yelp!, for instance, claims that Google favors its own companies or services in search, even when competitors offer better products.

Where any of this ends is not at all clear, but given the sour mood toward tech companies, the bipartisanship brewing in Congress, and the wide array of other business interests arrayed against the FAANGs, a regulatory crackdown is almost inevitable. My prediction: If you think Google, YouTube, and the other big players are awful now, just wait until they get to navigate a regulatory system that they will get to help create.

NEXT: Justin Trudeau Uses 9-Year-Old's Straw Stats To Sell Ban on Single-Use Plastics

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  1. Big Tech has been really successful lately. And people hate success.

    1. Only when people feel they aren’t getting their fair share of that success. How much is their fair share, you ask? More. Always more.

    2. Bullshit.

      Other than the news media, most regular people are only bitching about a couple of these businesses because of obviously slanted policies. Who the hell is actually calling for the breakup of Apple or Netflix? Nobody I know of. It’s not the size of their balance sheet, it’s the way their products effect people, and they way they’re doing things.

      I guarantee that is FB had decided to allow anything that is legally protected speech on FB, nobody would be calling for them to be broken up on anti-free speech grounds. Maybe other tech startups would want it to happen for crony capitalist reasons, but regular people wouldn’t give a fuck. The only reason they’re catching flack is because of their bad behavior.

  2. Look, I’m all for using someone like Caleb Cain as your bellwether, but can we at least wait until he watches his final YouTube video so we can get a definitive read on the situation?

    1. It’s good to see that Cain was Abel to change his point of view.

      1. That joke kills.

    2. Well, he’s obviously not that smart… If he was watching right wing videos first, and then got “converted” by the “facts” in left wing videos… He obviously is inclined to believe blatant lies. Because the left wing arguments simply don’t hold up to logical scrutiny on basically any subject. Not that right wing views hold up on everything either, but your typical right winger is correct about most subjects, whereas left wingers are right about 5% of the time…

  3. Wait, Islamic terrorism is something to worry about?

    1. No, that kind is fine, it the right wing type that is bad.

      1. Except that the Islamic terrorist are rather right wing.

        1. Nope. They are left-wing – which is why they get that pass.

        2. And evangelicals believe satan is root of all evil. You’ve just switched satan for the right wing brandy.

          1. Satan is the square root of all evil.

            1. But they always show him as hip in the movies.

        3. Welcome to the new political spectrum.

          Left-wing = the only good Jews are obedient enslaved Jews who hope the terrorists kill someone else this week

          Right-wing = Jews are good, because they respect the scriptures

          1. Right wing antisemites like Jews so long as they are in Israel.

            Left wing antisemites like Jews so long as they oppose Israel.

            But Dr Shapiro and his wife down the street are so nice. They take such good care of the place.

            When you are Jewish you can get that. Mostly nobody knows you are so you hear those little comments.

            Anyway you are still in Tel Aviv. Was only there once for a few days. Hoping to go back. There was a place called Abulafias near the beach at the Jaffa end. They baked all day and night. So 2:00 am recall eating sambusak right out of the oven. That was a good day.

            1. Apparently Dr Shapiro isn’t welcome at Santa Clara

        4. Except that the Islamic terrorist are rather right wing.

          There’s nothing particularly right-wing about Islamic terrorism, and it’s no accident that the vast majority of Middle Eastern residents in particular in this country support the Democratic party–in previous decades, it was for the party’s economic populism, now it’s for the party’s ethnic identitarianism. If they think it leads to a weaker US overall, they’ll support it.

          1. Left and right don’t always match, especially over time. Nazis were heavily associated with the right at the time, but they’re more on line with what we consider the left now.

            1. They only really parted ways with the left after the Hitler/Stalin pact broke down.

            2. In truth, a lot of political movements have mixed ideologies.

              The Nazis were socially conservative in a lot of ways. They were economically center-left, not hard left like outright commies or proper socialists. Hitler was also into organic farming and being a vegetarian! People/movements can be complicated.

    2. Nah, Trump fixed that in his first 100 days in office, remember?

    3. It’s a European problem now.

      1. It’s a European problem now.

        Sometimes, a guy needs to take his balls and go home until the sissies realize that the new badboiz in town are not so nice. Then he comes back to clean up the place with the support of the locals. It’s impossible to save people from bullies they admire.

    4. There is no such thing as Islamic terrorism. Islam is the religion of peace.

    5. No, but it has been the panic du jour for nearly two decades now. It’s long since time they moved on to something else.

      1. Islamic terrorism is only a problem insofar as a country lets in Islamic people… If you don’t have a lot of Muslims, you won’t have a lot of Islamic terrorism. If you DO have a lot of Muslims, you will have more Islamic terrorism. Simple as that.

  4. Google pandering to the whining of left wing commenter who can dish it out but cannot take it is at least stupid and perhaps evil.

    1. No, it’s just stupid. YT did not put the requisite thought into their actions.

      1. But some of their rules show massive political blindness.

        Again, citing Tim Pool, they will punish you for “misgendering” somebody. But how is calling a man who wants to be a woman a “man” misgendering when they are, BIOLOGICALLY, male. Completely male? BOTH sides have their arguments (trannies argue feelings, sane people argue biological reality) and Google made an editorial decision.

        1. This is the thing… The very “impartial” rules that they have set for many subjects are in fact riddled with bias from the get go. I think a lot of them don’t even realize that the rules they truly believe are impartial/objective are in fact the only opinions that are valid, at least in their minds. It shows just how in a bubble they are.

  5. > By now, you probably know that YouTube is pure evil. Or maybe just dumber than a box of rocks.

    Uh, more like the latter. Definitely the latter. They’re too stupid to be evil. They’re like Ernest Attends a Putz, no real evil there just a lot of ensuing hilarity.

    1. Their recent “punch a Nazi” campaign is blowing up in their faces.

      1. Which means anyone who disagrees with them. Since no progtard has enough of an education to k ow what a Nazi actually is.

        1. Especially since even documentaries about Nazis are demonetized on YouTube now.

    2. I think there’s an element of evil there. It isn’t exactly Satanic Majesty, but it’s evil. They lie about people violating their TOS in order to justify suppressing them, they ignore people violating the TOS when their more on their side ideologically.

      That’s not major league evil, but it’s evil. Normal, human scale evil, of the sort that doesn’t usually progress to gassing people in ovens or piling up skulls in pyramids, but occasionally does.

      Because it occasionally does, we shouldn’t pretend it isn’t there when it rears its head.

      1. Evil is along the same lines as creepy, a term without a definition.

        Corrupt is a better description. Dishonest, biased, etc.

        1. So, like every human and human institution?

  6. I assume Google changed their “Don’t be evil” motto because they had become so skilled at not being evil that it was no longer necessary to remind themselves

    1. Or they had a rare attack of honesty?

      1. “You know, guys, I think it’s time we went ahead and put the ‘don’t be evil’ slogan to rest. It isn’t funny anymore.”

    2. Google’s founding philosophy was to make a profit and not be evil. Then activists convinced them to make the company a bit more altruistic …

  7. well not everybody just their competition.

  8. “”Despite scant evidence, everyone wants to believe that social media has a unique ability to control our thoughts and actions.””

    Yet the narrative of Russia’s election interference is based on that.

    1. That’s why they’re clinging to this. They believe Youtube and Russia brainwashed a bunch of people into voting for Trump so they’re desperately doing everything they can to stop it. It’s the only reason people would vote against Hillary when it was “her turn” after all.

      1. Truly, the Russian Collusion ®™ myth is the Stab in the Back®™ myth of the 21st century.

  9. How about we just treat publishers like YT and FB as publishers, and enforce laws against restraint of trade (when they ban a competitor as a coordinated action among them)?

    Nah, if we don’t like a law, that just gives the left the room it needs to selectively enforce it on their enemies – you oppose a law then you should be happy Dems and only Dems are immune.

    1. and enforce laws against restraint of trade (when they ban a competitor as a coordinated action among them)?

      Working on it.

    2. The problem is that they then become completely untenable business models. They’re not creating content, they’re just giving access to people creating their own. Holding them liable for what other people say means the platform is destroyed.

      Which I’m fine with, but then you’ve basically destroyed, in advance, anyone else who wants to be a free speech platform because they’ll find themselves in the same progression: it’s hard enough to crack down on people infringing copyright and sharing literally illegal things.

      1. We just need to enforce that “good faith” clause in the part of section 230, that establishes that they don’t become responsible for content for engaging in good faith moderation. Tell them they’ve got a choice: Either stop censoring political speech, or lose their safe harbor.

        Oh, and do some serious looking into exactly what went on behind the scenes to get GAB cut off from financial services. Because if the competing social media had anything to do with that AT ALL, that’s straight up violation of anti-trust laws.

  10. Big tech is basically big brother. They control people’s speech, they track everyone’s life in fine details, and once self driving vehicles happen, they’ll be able to control where people are allowed to go.

    Libertarians should be fighting against them, not cheerleading for them.

    1. Big Tech is silencing people with the wrong beliefs and is therefore good. Without a society that values free speech, the 1A is just a scrap of paper. Politics is downstream of culture. If we just don’t care about free speech when the govt is not involved, we eventually won’t care when it is.

    2. Perhaps we should be trying to reduce the power of the state and attempt to persuade people to not use the traditional players in tech.

      1. Crazy. Talk.

      2. Nothing reduces the power of the state as much as fighting for the right of big tech to collect information to share with them.

        1. If you don’t like what big tech does with your data then don’t give it to them. It’s entirely possible to do, though you’ll probably find it to be very inconvenient.

    3. We should be complaining about them and still not asking the government to intervene. Just share information about other platforms and about the evil, exploitative practices of these platforms.

      Youtube’s already chopped their own foot off with this. I expect in 2 years they’ll be so irrelevant that nobody will care whether or not the government crackdown happens.

    4. “Libertarians should be fighting against them, not cheerleading for them.”

      This is obviously sponsored content, not a real article. They’re getting really good at disguising it though, it wasn’t until I started reading it that I realized it was an ad.

  11. I find the word “evil” to be losing its impact and meaning. I’ve seen it used to describe Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Twitter, ISPs, etc. And it’s never presented as a conjecture but as a fact–an infallible assertion. (No doubt the purpose is to shutdown conversations.) It doesn’t help that “evil” is never contextualized; so we might only guess what “evil” might entail.

    Even if one were to define “evil,” would the litany of “bad” things associated with the aforementioned companies and organizations be worthy of “evil?” Is the bar so low that poor recommendations via ad-tracking be aptly described as “evil?” Is providing a social platform where some on it might act retarded or fund shit ads to “influence” an election be attributed with “evil?” Is throttling your connection a wicked deed and thus “evil?”

    I don’t like any of the activities mentioned above. But they’re not evil. They’re either the result of the consumer choices or from poor contracts that should be dealt with in court.
    Evil is murder.
    Evil is rape.
    Evil is torture.
    Evil is ruinous.
    If the word continues to be superfluously smeared onto anything one dislikes, then how do we communicate actions that are truly pernicious?

    With that said, I just masturbated to scat, so you probably shouldn’t pay any mind to me.

    1. “I find the word “evil” to be losing its impact and meaning. I’ve seen it used to describe Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Twitter, ISPs, etc. And it’s never presented as a conjecture but as a fact–an infallible assertion. (No doubt the purpose is to shutdown conversations.)

      I find the word “racism” to be losing its impact and meaning. I’ve seen it used to describe anyone who disagrees with left wing extremism. And it’s never presented as a conjecture but as a fact–an infallible assertion. (No doubt the purpose is to shutdown conversations, and ban people from Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Twitter, etc.)

  12. and agree that all or most of the so-called FAANG companies (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google) need to be broken up, hemmed in, or regulated as public utilities. Hell, even the leaders of those companies are calling for regulation. A month ago, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai took to the op-ed pages of The New York Times to plead with Congress to pass “comprehensive privacy legislation” similar to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that would cover all online businesses. Ironically—or maybe strategically—Pichai didn’t mention that a year after the GDPR’s implementation, Google’s marketshare had grown.

    Argument, meet undermining statement.

  13. President Donald Trump praised the more-than-$9-billion in fines levied against the internet giant by the European Union since 2017 and declared, “Obviously, there’s something going on in terms of monopoly.”

    Yessirree Bob, it’s the American Back Door Tax Man praising the EU Back Door Tax Men.

    Gotta give ’em both credit, no mean feat to make tax raises popular again.

  14. Youtube? Probably not. They might do a lot of shady shit, and they certainly do a lot of things that I disagree with, but they’re probably not evil. They’re certainly not PROVABLY so.
    Google? Well, evil might be a bit of a stretch, but they’re certainly happily assisting the PRC, so while they themselves may or may not be evil, they’re certainly complicit in someone else’s evil.

    1. I was thinking Facebook but typed Youtube. Oops.
      Youtube isn’t provably evil either though. Their decisions concerning demonetization and removal can be concerning (and I definitely disagree with many of them), but that’s not the same thing as evil.

      1. It isn’t extreme evil. Evil exists on a scale, and they’re gradually sliding down it, getting worse and worse.

        At one time these platforms actually did act as the neutral conduits they claimed to be. It’s been a while since that was really true, and it’s becoming more of a joke with every passing week.

        Basically, they acted in a trustworthy manner at one time to gain our trust, but once they got it, they couldn’t resist the temptation to abuse it. At this point, they’ve rationalized themselves around to the point of viewing being a neutral conduit as a BAD thing, that they actively avoid. And are probably pretty ticked that they still have to pretend.

  15. he watched more, and he started to wonder if people … had a point.

    THE HORROR!

    1. As was pointed out, he started off a traditional conservative, said he never really bought into the alt right, started watching the intellectual dark web (who are not remotely alt right) and became a progressive.

      YT radicalized him…the OPPOSITE direction of the the claim of the story.

  16. YouTube isn’t necessarily evil, though the “dumber than a box of rocks” description might not be too bad for some of the folks they’ve got implementing their policies.

    Google, on the other hand, is evil and has been since their lawyers said in open court that no user of Gmail (or any other Google product) has any right to any expectation of privacy. They have proven time and again that they just don’t get it. They have no respect for their own users.

    (But no, the government should not be intervening in this mess. Despite claiming to “punish” Google, anything the regulators do will put up barriers to entry and make it even harder for the next upstart to knock Google off their perch.)

    1. Google owns Youtube, don’t they? Yeah, Google is actually evil, just not evil for the reasons Nick mentions. Maybe not evil on the level of Facebook and the lying dickbag that runs it, but maybe they just hide it better. The bad thing is, the government’s evil too and you can bet all the privacy invasion going on gets shared all around, it’s not like the government’s going to do anything to put a lid on their free-market NSA.

      1. Yeah, they do. My understanding, though, is that they kept a lot of the management separate.

  17. Back in the 1990s, it was supposedly ultra-violent and hyper-sexual cable TV that was programming us into slobbering fools. Today, it’s PewDiePie, Logan Paul, et al.

    No, it’s Milton Friedman and other so-called “alt-right White Supremacists” who are the problem. That’s why Logan Paul is still monetized and a history professor who talks about Adolf Hitler isn’t.

  18. My prediction: If you think Google, YouTube, and the other big players are awful now, just wait until they get to navigate a regulatory system that they will get to help create.

    Totes not evil.

    1. Nick is a moron. Google has already done just that. Over 250 revolving doors between the googlies and the Barry administration and what gems did we get? Well, Net Neutrality for one. You were supposed to be upset at that one, but that was before we’d always been at war with Eurasia.

      1. Google’s CEO openly said in an interview that they AS A COMPANY will decide what is and what is not hate speech.

        Which sounds a lot more like a company making editorial decisions (i.e, a publisher) than one that is simply allowing speech (i.e, a platform).

        But Reason isn’t big on forcing companies to follow laws to take advantage of the protections those laws offer.

  19. Thought police will save future Caleb Cains from thoughtcrimes and wrongthink.

  20. I have little sympathy for people who go crying to the government to do something about Google–when these people don’t bother to avail themselves of Google alternatives. It’s a bit like somebody blaming capitalism because they don’t have a job–when they haven’t even bothered to actually go out and look for a job. So you want the government to do something about Google–first, what have you tried to do without them for yourself? How can you tell me you don’t have any other options when you haven’t even looked!

    I’m using the Brave browser right now, and one of the things it does is it blocks all the ads I would normally get from Google’s targeted advertising–and it lets me sign up (if I want) to see advertising based on information that isn’t shared with Google, Brave, advertisers, or anyone else. Why would I want to sign up for advertising when I can see none? I’ll tell you why–because they pay me!

    That’s right, they give me back a chunk of the money advertisers pay them to show me ads, and then I can donate that money to anybody I want . . . with one caveat. The people I want to pay with the money I earn from the advertising (I’d normally see anyway) need to sign up for the service. Please Reason, sign up for the service!

    Get what I’m saying here. I can choose to strip Google of their advertising, keep all of my information private, get a portion of the money that Brave makes selling advertising to me, and donate that money to anybody that signs up to receive my donations. It could be any YouTube content creator. It could be any publisher. It could be the New York Times, The Washington Post, or The Wall Street Journal (all of which have signed up and become verified to receive payments from Brave users). It could be anybody–well except for reason.com because when I go to drop them money, it just says this in my tip window:

    “This creator has not yet signed up to receive contributions from Brave users. Any tips you send will remain in your wallet until they verify. Learn more.”

    Reason, I want to send you money. Please let me! Please sign up to take my money. I’m not talking about sending them money that I earned out of my pocket, per se. This is money that I’ve made just from seeing the ads I’d normally see–except aren’t from Facebook, Google, Amazon, YouTube, et. al. Yeah, if you want, you can take Google’s lunch away from them and give it to Reason instead. But you have to exercise your freedom of choice.

    There aren’t any other options but Google–Boo hoo, government, fix my problems for me?

    Fuck that noise. Use your freedom of choice.

    1. I can’t disagree in principle with what you say, except sometimes moving to competitors makes it hard when the consortium of tech giants moves to shut down the competitors through vague terms of service violations– especially when the platform for the platforms starts declaring your service problematic.

      I still don’t believe looking for regulation is the answer, but I think that bigger solutions might be necessary– solutions like lawsuits and FTC complaints to name a couple.

      1. Part of the reason these people congregate on these platforms in the first place is because that’s where they can get their content monetized. Brave will let you donate to content creators whose content has been demonetized. If YouTube kicks them off the platform and PayPal and Patreon do, too, there isn’t anything Brave can do about that . . . or is there?

        Well, yeah, you don’t need to be on YouTube or PayPal or Patreon to have your content monetized anymore. A model where people are free to give money to content creators that aren’t on Facebook, YouTube, Patreon, or use PayPal is a good model if it lowers the dependency of other content creators on those providers. Again, what we’re trying to achieve with antitrust is more competition and more choice, right?

        If there’s a new, legitimate option that competes with Patreon and PayPal and the advertisers on YouTube to monetize content, then that’s a solution. You could hardly expect the government to come up with a better one. Certainly, the problem with this solution isn’t that it requires people to exercise their freedom of choice–and that means weighing pros and cons. That’s always the case, and that’s always the solution.

    2. I use an ad blocker browser as well, however there are many sites that don’t let you in if you have one.

      1. I haven’t had that issue with Brave.

        It’s not like Adblock in Chrome, where you might have to turn it off or suspend it.

        I’d love to see someone do the experiment. Go to a website that won’t let you in if you have adblock on. Then go to it with Brave and see if it won’t let you in.

        My girlfriend can drive my hot rod, but she couldn’t point to the carburetor to save her life. I used to come across sites that wouldn’t let me in with ad blocker all the time. I don’t seem to have that happen with Brave. Maybe I’ve been lucky. Maybe there’s more to it than that.

        1. Ummm …

          1. Ummm what?

            No, I don’t know much more about the way browsers work than the girlfriend knows about how an engine works. When I turn the ignition, the browser starts. When I hit the brakes it slows down. I can steer it. I know how to hit the gas.

            I don’t know why I don’t see that happen anymore where some sites tell me I need to turn off Adblock to continue. Maybe Brave is fundamentally different from Adblock in some way. Maybe it’s my imagination and I just haven’t been to one of those sites for a long time. Somebody give me the name of a site like that, and I’ll test it myself.

    3. I’m transitioning away from Google myself. I used to say that their search engine was the best around, unless you were doing a search that had political implications, in which case it was kind of spotty.

      But the lousy search results from the political stuff are starting to bleed over into searches you’d think would be totally apolitical. It looks to me like they’re throwing too much resources into getting better at censorship, and their nominal reason for being is suffering as a result.

    4. It’s nice…but then something like Gab comes around and the tech monopolies manage to get em killed off.

      1. The intentional ideologically based attacks on competitors that support true free speech is one of the most troubling things… The whole payment processor refusing to work with websites thing is insane.

  21. RICO.
    Union scene; “Nice little business you got here, be a shame if something happened to it. Maybe you should hire more union employees.”
    You Tube scene; “Nice little video channel you got here, be a shame if it got demonetized. Maybe you should run more socialist content.”

  22. Ummmmm….. Facebook banned the word,”Honk,” today. I hate to honk my own honking horn but oh my Lord, it just honks my nose!

  23. How does Brave Rewards work?

    1) Brave Browser users earn tokens by surfing the web

    Brave Rewards is built on the Basic Attention Token (BAT). People who use the Brave Browser can earn tokens by viewing privacy-respecting ads.

    2) They tip tokens to you, their favorite content creator

    Your subscribers, followers, or readers can automatically tip a set amount to you each month, or give one-time tips in an amount of their choice.

    3) You sign up as a verified content creator on Brave Rewards

    Signing up as a verified content creator gives you access to the Creators dashboard, where you can manage all your tips. It will also give you access to your referral link, which you can use to earn more tokens.

    4) Collect your tips in the Creators dashboard

    Once you’ve signed up and logged into the dashboard, you can use our partner Uphold to automatically convert the tokens you earned into a currency of your choosing.

    https://publishers.basicattentiontoken.org/

    This thing is libertarian in so many ways, it’s amazing, but, just as a public service, one of the things it does is tip the scales back in favor of a subscriber model. By sharing advertising revenue with users and letting them donate it to the content creators of their choice (but only if they choose to see advertising!), you’re making media less dependent on targeted advertising. As I’ve argued here so many times before, that’s the reason why everyone from Facebook to YouTube is deplatforming people–because advertisers don’t want their ads showing up next to controversial content that they don’t like. Furthermore, there’s no privacy violation–because no one ever sees my information, not even Brave. It’s open source! It eats Google’s and Facebook’s lunch!

    What’s not to like? That it takes two clicks to go download it and try it out?

    But noooooOOOOOOOooooo. You’d rather beg the government to save your lazy ass!

      1. Why? Is it because you don’t like Ken?

      1. I’m lookin’ at this chart and thinking out loud:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BrowserUsageShare.png

        Android was released at the end of 2008, and that’s how Chrome came to dominate the mobile market–but how did Chrome come to dominate the desktop market? Was it just because of advertising via Chrome’s search engine?

        Firefox died as people switched to Chrome, but how did people originally find out about Firefox? Was it all about how bad IE was–so they sought out an alternative.

        The Brave Rewards program has only been around for a few weeks, and Brave itself isn’t really that old either. I know 20 million Brave users (back in March) mentioned elsewhere in this thread isn’t a big number in the big scheme of things, but that’s a lot of people to find out about something without any kind of specific platform to support it.

        You had to search for Brave in the app store. You probably had to have heard about it from somebody else–word of mouth. I’m sure deplatforming Brave from the app stores would hurt it, but people might still find out about it anyway. People find out about apps and programs in all sorts of ways. I’m not sure the app store can keep a good program down.

        1. I don’t know about you, but I went from Netscape to Mozilla to Firefox. Internet Exploder is what you run on work machines to get to dumbass sites that won’t work on any other browser.

        2. I wonder if there is a market for an app market that only hosts apps that have been deplatformed from the major app stores…

          1. Hard to run a market that’s automatically going to be deplatformed from financial services, though.

        3. I switched to a fork of Firefox that still supports the legacy add ons, because the new version of FF is useless now after they killed most of the customization options. Waterfox FTW!

    1. P.S. A lot of people talk about there not being any mainstream uses for cryptocurrency. This is built on Etherium.

      “For the uninformed, the Brave Browser is a revolutionary new web browser that blocks ads and website trackers while adopting a new pay-to-surf-business model where web surfers get paid for their attention to ads with Basic Attention Token (BAT), a crypto token built on the Ethereum blockchain.

      . . . .

      As previously reported by IIB, Brave recently reached 20 million downloads”

      https://www.investinblockchain.com/vitalik-brave-browser-large-scale-user-onboarder-ethereum-ecosystem/

      Did I mention that Brave is built on Chromium? Yeah, Chrome isn’t owned by Google anymore.

      Did I mention that because Brave is built on Chromium, it supports all the extensions you use in the app store? I’m using the one for my VPN right now!

      Did I mention that Brave implements Tor? Opening a new link in Tor has never been easier.

      1. Is that you, Eich? You’re sure laying it on thick.

        1. I don’t know who Eich is, but this is a thread about why the government has no business interfering in the economy, and my response is that Brave is an excellent example of competition and choice addressing the concerns people are wrongly turning to government to fix.

          Yes, Brave is part of the solution to all kinds of problems with Google, especially, starting with their advertising model and going all the way through to the way they demonetize and kick people off of YouTube. Tell a friend!

          1. Eich is.the Mozilla ceo.who can ran out.by SJWs for daring to donate a small amount to californias prop 8. He is the one who started Brave.

    2. Brave sounds great. I’ll have to install it if and when I return to the USA.

      1. I use it on the phone but it kinda sucks on the portable ‘puter.

        1. I hope the point isn’t getting lost that if someone doesn’t care enough about their privacy, YouTube’s censorship, etc. to choose an available option that subverts or gets rid of all that stuff, then whatever Google is doing probably isn’t big enough of a concern for the government to get involved.

          People weighing their options and deciding to let Google treat them like shit because using Google’s products are so great that being treated like shit is worth it is fundamentally different from a situation where people don’t have any options but Google.

          P.S. I prefer Brave on the desktop, the laptop, and on the phone.

  24. Gillespie fell for the New York Times artie? Explains a lot about where reason has gone. Caleb identifies himself in the article as a Tradcon, ie traditional conservative. All nick has done is prove he is easily manipulated. congrats nick.

    1. Tim Pool was all over that story. He pointed out that the information posted in the story actually proved the exact opposite of the story’s premise: This guy started out as a traditional conservative, and then he turned into a progressive (or at least, he moved toward the left). And yet the New York Times framed him as becoming a member of the alt-right somehow.

      1. What’s funny is.the New York times shows a trade con deop out loser with no job turning to government handouts and think that is a positive story for liberalism. It was weird.

  25. I don’t understand people who seek the political opinions of smelly randos on the internet. Confirmation bias is of course nothing new. Dealing with stupid people in the electorate is nothing new. Indoctrinating stupid people into their stupid beliefs has always been pretty efficient. Church was the first YouTube. Except now you get to choose which version of stupid you want to be and painstakingly curate that stupidity. That is the freedom the founders fought for. The freedom to be stupid in so many different ways is the quintessential American value.

    1. Here’s a tip, Tony: If you smell something bad when you watch political YouTube videos you disagree with, it is your own farts.

      1. You must be too poor to have smell-o-vision.

    2. And stupid people need lots of free shit.

      American politics explained.

  26. Google certainly qualifies as evil under th Jargon File definition:

    As used by hackers, implies that some system, program, person, or institution is sufficiently maldesigned as to be not worth the bother of dealing with. Unlike the adjectives in the cretinous/losing/brain-damaged series, evil does not imply incompetence or bad design, but rather a set of goals or design criteria fatally incompatible with the speaker’s. This usage is more an esthetic and engineering judgment than a moral one in the mainstream sense.

    catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/E/evil.html

  27. Filter bubble is real and works the same way that tenure at Harvard works. The cure is to balance time on YouTube with real life interactions and time on websites you purposely select because you want to be assimilated into the mindset presented on those websites. For example, Reason has well written article with sound logic and enlightening comments from users. Join us. Join us. Join us.

  28. As far as I’m concerned, Google et al readily engage in all the worst kind of activism found in the SJW/PC/censorship ranks. They buy into the ‘diversity’ and ‘equality’ nonsense, they will demonetize content creators, and as pointed out, are ready to allow Big Government to come in and ‘help’.

    All the while pretty much admitting they’re essentially progressives. Everyone damn knows Silicon Valley and Big Media vote Democrat so I guess they figure they’ll be fine.

    Has anyone paid any attention to Dorsey’s incoherent interviews? Or heard this CEO of Youtube Wokejcocki (?) say she thinks Shapiro is ‘alt-right’? They play a ‘woke’ game that is bound to make them appear hypocritical or incompetent.

    One may not want to call them evil per se but at the very least they’re vulnerable to illiberal tendencies and social engineering schemes.

    Apparently Caleb is an easily brainwashed idiot.

    Bah. What do I know? Never mind my rant. What does David French think?

    1. That is endlessly hilarious…the whole “Ben Shapiro is alt right” nonsense the Left peddles.

      They claim the alt right are basically Nazis…but one of the most public Orthodox Jews in the public space is on their side? Seriously?

      And, Tim Pool is becoming a favorite. Doesn’t resort to bashing individuals but slashes through BS like this. “He was a traditional conservative. Said he never bought into the alt right philosophy. How is he alt right?”

    2. They’re all so deep into prog ideology that they don’t even know all their views are insane prog views.

      To them saying “A person born with a penis is a man, even if they think they’re a women” is as insane as saying the sun is purple. They don’t even realize how biased they are. At least the rank and file… I imagine a lot of the top men know exactly what’s what, as is typical.

  29. Everything is good, until it is use for right purpose or else everything is evil in the world. In an online era, every social platform has its pros and cons, so one should remember the words spoken by these tech giants.

  30. I used to be a massive fan of Google. Not any more.
    Google has become almost useless as a search engine. After the yellow vest protests started in France I was curious to see if a sitting president in France could be removed legally outside of the election cycle. I spent 20 minutes rephrasing the question in Google and got nowhere. I went onto Duckduckgo and got the answer on the first request. I never use Google anymore.
    My personal opinion is that You Tube and Google should be split up. You Tube should be blocked from buying up any more smaller video hosting services.

    1. I found Duck Duck Go frustrating. Often didn’t get the results I was looking for, and found myself going back to Google, which makes me feel like shit.

      I’m now using Startpage, and I’m really happy with it.

      It’s nice to have various concerns competing for our attention on both usability and privacy, and there’s no reason why we should all make the same choice.

      1. Duckduckgo is still ascending the learning curve. Google apparently found that there was a peak, and is now tumbling down the other side of it.

      2. Duckduckgo is alright. It’s what I use most of the time now, although I admit for certain weird searches I still use Google. If you just want to spite google Bing has actually not been too bad a few times when I’ve tried it.

  31. you need a good online job so please visit this site……. online-3.com

  32. Hell, even the leaders of those companies are calling for regulation.

    Of course they are. That’s the only tried and true method of locking in market dominance because it’s the only way to effectively lock out competition.

  33. […] the meantime, check out Nick Gillespie on the question: “Are Google and YouTube evil?” and read Andrea O’Sullivan on what antitrust actions against them would […]

  34. […] the meantime, check out Nick Gillespie on the question: “Are Google and YouTube evil?” and read Andrea O’Sullivan on what antitrust actions against them would […]

  35. Like everything else Google and YouTube are evil part of the time, and not at other times.

    1. Google is helping China control their people.

      They are pretty consistently evil.

  36. Well, we have to accord the first amendment the same respect as the other parts of the bill of rights.
    So, since social media looks scary to some, we clearly need common sense media control.
    The simplest way would to require a pistol permit in order to have a social media account. That way we know real identities, and are assured the posters have been vetted by the local constabulary.

  37. This is the stupidest article ever. Reason staff again with the wokeness. The evil part is not that they lead you down the path of extremism, the evil is the deplatforming/demonetizing of conservatives. Reason is becoming useless.

  38. Yes, they are evil.

    They’re intentionally pushing a political bias, while publicly lying about it and claiming they’re not. If they had the balls to just ADMIT that they’re biased, I would think them idiots, but at least they’d be being honest about it.

    Idiots like Nick who are too dense to see the immense bias in tech, the MSM, etc are ridiculous. How anybody can see the actions they’re taking and not realize they’re insanely biased is beyond me… But almost every time Reason takes the stance that it’s just them silly conservatives being delusional! Despite tons of evidence to the contrary.

    The thing is left-libertarians seem to have the delusion that they won’t be put on the wall if the commies ever get their way… But they’ll be getting lined up just like trad cons, because 100% obedience to the masters is required to be spared. Even if you love gay black lesbian midget trannies in wheelchairs, if you don’t think the government should tax you 90% or whatever you’ll be on the wall.

  39. Despite scant evidence, everyone wants to believe that social media has a unique ability to control our thoughts and actions.

    That idea is the foundation of the Russian Collusion®™ myth, the 21st century’s Stab in the Back®™ myth.

  40. […] of Friendster, MySpace or Flickr. There’s a reason Facebook and Google are now openly inviting Congress to regulate them — that way they get to help write the rules governing any […]

  41. […] of Friendster, MySpace or Flickr. There’s a reason Facebook and Google are now openly inviting Congress to regulate them — that way they get to help write the rules governing any […]

  42. […] get the new, wokest members of The Cathedral. Capitalists who care and Laughertarians who get Capitalism. In other words, fixated, try-hard, nouveau riche garbage fires of human beings. Behind that thin […]

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