GoogleMonitor.com is dedicated to making Google more transparent and accountable.
- We will insist that Google be at least as transparent as Google expects their users, competitors, and Government to be.
- We will insist that Google is held accountable to at least the same standards of conduct that Google publicly expects of users, competitors, and Government.
- We will shine a bright light on what Google seeks to hide, its:
• Black box algorithms and auctions;
• Discrimination, anti-competitive behavior, and abuses of power;
• Disrespect for privacy: permission-less profiling and unauthorized tracking of Internet users;
• Disrespect for the property of others;
• Undisclosed conflicts of interest;
• Unfair representations;
• Influence laundering;
• Abnormal secrecy;
• Low priority assigned to security;
• Voracious energy usage;
• Aversion to customer service;
• Censorship of search results;
• Among other Google issues that would benefit from more transparency and accountability.
Since over 80% of the world’s Internet users use Google’s search engine, Google increasingly has the power to determine what information is discovered.
Google also has a natural self interest to limit the discoverability of information that’s not helpful to Google. That fact is clear in that Google’s search algorithm regularly ranks Google products and services higher than non-Google-owned products and services. In addition, Google Sr.VP Jonathan Rosenberg said on The Official Google Blog 2-19-09: “We won’t (and shouldn’t) try to stop the faceless scribes of drivel, but we can move them to the back row of the arena.”
Moreover, by its own admission, Google is not transparent. “For something that is used so often by so many people, surprisingly little is known about ranking at Google. This is entirely our fault, and it is by design. We are, to be honest, quite secretive about what we do.” Udi Manber, VP Engineering, Search Quality, on The Official Google Blog, 5-20-08.
Furthermore, by its own admission, Google believes that most everything that others do on the Internet should be open and transparent, except for Google’s dominant “search and ad products.” Jonathan Rosenberg’s Google’s Public Policy Blog post 12-21-09
Google’s unrivaled power over the discoverability of the world’s information warrants more transparency and accountability because: Google has copied and stored more of the world’s public and private information than any entity in the world; and because Google dominates the monetization model for most of the world’s information by virtue of being the only world entity that is used by most all the world’s Internet users, advertisers, and publishers.
Google also warrants more transparency and accountability because there is minimal competitive check and balance on Google and minimal recourse for individuals, users, publishers, advertisers, developers and others who have an issue with Google. This exceptional unaccountable power, combined with minimal Government or third party oversight, means that many are understandably afraid of getting on the wrong side of Google. As the San Francisco Chronicle chronicled on 12-24-09: “…said one industry source, who like most asked not to be named for fear of repercussions for publicly criticizing Google.”
In a word, GoogleMonitor.com meets an important unmet need. GoogleMonitor.com will organize information to make Google more transparent and accountable and make that information broadly accessible and useful.
Anyone with information, ideas, documents, articles, links, etc, that could help make Google more transparent and accountable, please send them to publisher@GoogleMonitor.com.
Scott Cleland Bio