Monday 16 April 2012

Google Change Policy Because They Are Scared

Facebook founder, Sergey Brin says, "I am more worried than I have been in the past. It's scary". Google are spooked by the erosion of the early principles of the internet, the most important of which was openness. Rules stifle innovation.  He says that Google would not have been a success if he had started the business today.

Google likes the laissez-faire attitude of the internet. It is like a parallel universe because anything goes, or at least it did. On the ground, in the tangible world, behavior is regulated. It is regulated because on-the-ground-society is more advanced. The internet is still young, undeveloped and it is bound to become more regulated because you can't go on in a semi-anarchic manner and get away with it for ever.

I understand the attraction of openness but people will and do abuse it. Think gross violations of copyright as one example. For many years Google ignored this and in doing so supported it as they found, through their search engine, works that were violations of copyright. Only recently have they started to delist from their search results webpages that violate copyright - see application form.

Mr Brin says that there are powerful forces against an open internet. He refers to the battle against music piracy and Apple's rules on the software people can use.

I  think Mr Brin is just concerned about Google profits. And in trying to maintain an advantage Google is doing things in a panic, which undermines the raison d'ĂȘtre of Google; to find the best on the internet.

Mr Brin, you are living dangerously and I think you need to take stock. The introduction of Google Plus One is a failure and was a response to being scared. Go back to basics and do it well and accept change.

The internet must evolve and it must be regulated to a certain extent because humankind needs to be regulated within a general framework of freedom and self determination. It is just the nature of things.

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