It’s been on every news today when the Guardian interviewed Sergey Brin. When I first read the headlines, I just thought this is another PR article from one giant of the internet trying (Google) to knock down his competitors (Facebook, Apple). But as I read further, I just found myself I was wrong. Find out about the Internet freedom.
The threat to the Internet freedom
Here is an excerpt of that same article that I wanted to highlight:
The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry’s attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of “restrictive” walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.
This sums it all. And when the guy behind Google (I named Sergey Brin) use words like “it’s scary”, I fully concur to what he’s saying, especially knowing that one way o another Google has also shaped the internet. As I told you, I initially thought it’s just another attack against competitors that Sergey Brin is doing, but if we look at it objectively, what he’s mentioning is actually true. Had this been said by a “neutral” highly-respected Internet person, it would have made a higher impact. But anyway, the threats mentioned by Sergey here are actual threats that are already happening now.
Facebook and Apple. It’s scary!
Going back to Facebook and Apple, the interesting part is that a lot of users are drawn into the “closed wall” (in reference to the proprietary platform they have setup) – and we, as users, are doing it unconsciously. With a lot of marketing and a strong community, those platforms are becoming the “de facto” part of the internet that people know.
How many hours do you spend on a weekly basis hanging on Facebook? And if you are an Apple-product user, I won’t even ask you how many hours a day do you “play” with them. It just makes me remember one quote (was it from Sergey Brin again), who once said something similar to “Google is the only website who wants visitors to leave their page the soonest possible” – meaning that they re sending internet users to some other interesting internet resources.
This is not what’s happening with Facebook and Apple’s product. As a personal example, I hate one Facebook application that my friends are using (I think it’s called “social reader”): it shows up on your friends’ feed that they read some interesting article on the internet – so I click on the title of the article (because I want to read that article too), then that d*** application just asks you to install the application before allowing you to go to the link (that is a plain link that you should be able to view without that extra step for installing the application). Too bad for me, those kind of applications are becoming more and more popular: everybody wants to know something about- they badly want it that they even found a way to play the “broker” between you and one link by asking you to install a proprietary app.
If you want to get more insights on “the battle for the internet”, the Guardian has initiated a 7 days long series of articles that will deal about it. I strongly advise you get a look at it.