Richard Craver

Thoughts, Musings And The Occasional Rant

I’m Breaking Up With Google

Written By: richardwcraver - Mar• 26•18

For over 15 years I have enjoyed my relationship with Google. I mean they have arguably the best Search on the planet. About 10 years ago I got a Gmail address and life was good! Spam went away and I didn’t have to worry about losing mail whenever I got a new computer or updated an existing one. But in the back of my mind I knew if it wasn’t costing me anything, then I was the product.

That was the deal, I got free email and they got to study my buying habits and pump me with ‘relevant’ advertising in the mailcenter. And if I was logged into Gmail while surfing I got ‘relevant’ ads on sites that used Google Adwords, which is the biggest part of the internet.

When I got my first Android phone things got sweeter. I could click one of my out of town contacts, a menu pull down and be on my way to their house with Maps. Chrome was coming along nicely and the integration with the whole Googlesphere was seamless; Docs, Drive, Pay, Play Store and on and on. But recently things have changed.

Google, like many tech companies, has a hard left-wing bent. But their tolerance of those that don’t agree with them has gone away. Last year an engineer was fired after disagreeing in an internal memo with Google’s diversity policies; suggesting that there are fewer women in tech because women by nature are more interested in people than things.

Last year Google donated 2 million dollars to gun control groups. In recent months Google has started demonetizing creator channels on it’s YouTube streaming video product, with firearms related channels anecdotally feeling the largest pinch. Content Creators have increasingly setup Patreon accounts and PayPal Donation links for financial support. Video production is expensive and time consuming. Most of the content I watch is related with firearms in general and reloading in particular. Some of the channels with larger subscriber bases get promotional consideration from vendors; for instance Hickok45 has an ammunition supply in Federal Premium Ammo for the shooting he does on his channel and testing and evaluation firearms provided by Bud’s Gunshop. In everyday life ‘Hickok’ is a school science teacher, who started making videos as physics illustrations for his students, posted a few to YouTube and things took off. He has also served as a sworn law enforcement officer. He is a wealth of firearms knowledge and a safe handling example. He is one of the more fortunate content creators.

In the reloading arena there is little corporate sponsorship. Most of these creators are hobbyists like myself that want to pass on the art and science of reloading to others. They pay for materials out of their own pocket, a few may have an affiliate program with bullet casting companies or component suppliers. They were getting pennies from Google video monetization and continued to do it out of the love of the hobby. Among those I watch are 76HighboyReloading, Elvis Ammo, Fortune Cookie 45LC, Johnnys Reloading Bench, Loads Of Bacon, The Reloader Dude and Ultimate Reloader (Gavin Toobe). Probably a few others I don’t recall at the moment.

Now YouTube has changed it’s Terms Of Use and Acceptable Content to specifically exclude basically all firearms related content in a broad brush approach. This comes with the media induced hysteria following the Parkland, Florida school shooting. The ‘movement’ is not a grass roots effort as you would be led to believe, two days after the Parkland shooter went on his rampage the March For Our Lives Twitter page was a “verified” user. Grass roots? No.

All the gun laws and confiscations will NEVER STOP EVIL PEOPLE from committing EVIL ACTIONS whether with firearms, knives, rocks or pointy sticks. Criminals don’t obey laws!!

Disarming lawful gun owners does NOTHING to make ANYONE safer.

But back to Google’s activism, several channels have already been taken down and others are waiting for the axe to fall. Most are looking for other services and means of continuing to make content available. That is the wonderful thing about the internet, it detects censorship and routes around it; but it is coming at a price.

YouTube’s knee-jerk censorship infringes on 1st Amendment Right of Free Speech, and 2nd Amendment Right of Citizens to Bear Arms. The argument will surely be made that YouTube/Google is a private company and has the right to refuse to do business with anyone that they wish. Please consider the plight of the Masterpiece Cakeshop that was sued out of existence because they refused to bake a cake for a gay couple because of their personal religious beliefs. Masterpiece Cakeshop was not the only bakery in town, the same cannot be said of YouTube/Google, which is the 40-ton elephant in the streaming video arena. By the way, gay marriage is not in the Constitution or Bill of Rights, but Free Speech and Right To Bear Arms is.

As for myself I am supporting my favorite channels that have Patreon accounts, I’ve been burned by PayPal and will not use that platform to support creators at this point.

I have also backed up my Google Data at takeout.google.com, purchased a paid subscription to Protonmail and have began the laborious task of importing old messages and contacts, updating all my internet accounts with my new address and setting up spam filters. I am paying for the product instead of Being The Product. No small undertaking of time at all, but I will be minimizing my place in the Googlesphere as much as possible and my place and dollar value as the ‘product’ to their advertisers. I’m using Bing for search, I prefer Google search results, but I’m drawing the line Bing is better than most of the competing products at this time.

I used Firefox for many years before embracing Chrome and the whole Google integration. I had read that after the new Firefox Quantum, a rewrite of the entire Firefox codebase was faster and had regained it’s renowned place as a secure browser once more. I had hesitated to switch back, but now have made the switch. Once again less advertising revenue for Google.

Slowly I will continue to extricate myself from the Google web. I will probably never leave Android, so I will have some presence via Android and the Play Store; but trust me, I’ll be cutting the ties incrementally and continually.

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