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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Google vs FB/Twitter etc

I've always liked Google (and Wikipedia). For years now (can't remember exactly how many), I've been using the Google search engine for both work and leisure, it's a service that is open to ALL, without the need to sign up. I admire that. After all, information should be free to all. It's very democratic. Facebook, on the other hand, you'd need to sign up to be part of its community. It's free to sign up but you have to sign up all the same. Most information generated from this community, useless or otherwise, is inaccessible to those who don't sign up. That's why I am not on Facebook, partly because I think I'd become an online stalker if I join but mostly because it has created this enclosed community that makes information exclusive. Twitter leans more towards Google in that while people have to sign up to use its service ~ to tweet ~ (which is fair enough) information on Twitter is available to all. You don't need to sign onto Twitter to read other people's tweets. 

Now, FB/Twitter and other social networks are accusing (well, this is how I understand it anyway) Google of favouring its Google+ contents in its search results; i.e. Google+ contents will come up First in a Google search. Hmm, let's see ... FB and Twitter contents still come up in the top ... just not the first result. I just don't see HOW these networks, especially FB, accuse Google of "being evil" while they are totally restrictive with their own contents (?) as pointed out by this poster (mantrik00) in The Guardian:

"It should be realised that the terms of Facebook and Twitter obviously restrict Google from displaying/using their data on its search results page. Using any other (out of the way) means to bypass their terms of agreement to include Facebook’s and Twitter’s data in the search results page would make Google vulnerable to legal challenges from these firms. After all, these firms are extracting fees via agreements with Microsoft for giving access to users data on their network to be used in Bing's search results. Remember Google use to list profiles & data from these sites earlier, but it discontinued the practice after the terms of Facebook and Twitter became restrictive. (Now that they are facing the heat of competition from Google they are using unofficial hacks to get into the search listings. They should change their terms of agreement).

"Facebook, Please don't preach. Google is the best we have in a world of evil. Facebook, for exampe, has close to 1 billion locked-in users who cannot easily take out their data and move to competitors. All of Google's services on the other hand provide unprecedented control for the user to opt in, opt out, and move to other competitors with their data."

I agree.

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