• http://managinggreatness.com Gil Reich

    Danny that was classic. Well done.

  • StevenS

    Nice. Good writing here.

    When will traditional “old” media realize? Stop crying and using double standards

  • http://www.search-usability.com/ Shari Thurow

    Kudos Danny. Journalists, attorneys, government “officials” (or whatever they are labeling themselves now) need to understand web search. It’s not as if search engine conferences haven’t existed for over 10 years, and search engine consultants haven’t existed for over 15 years or more.

  • http://bayjinger.com Bayjinger

    Your satire piece is funny, but over-done. Does the NY Times enjoy a 60% subscription share of all US newspaper subscriptions? Does it enjoy 90% subscription share in France, where Google was recently ruled to have abused its market position (“monopoly”)? And so on. And therefore because there is a material difference in the market power that Google and NYT enjoys in their respective markets, I find the parody to fall flat.

  • trollz

    @bayjinger So what do you propose should be done with people that grow big respect from large parts of the society and whose opinion would have a strong influence on opinions of most of the people? Do you make sure they do not share their opinions without the “proper consultation with authorities”? You see, right of free speech is not really a right if you can have it only if noone would listen to you.

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    I suspect Foundem is the poster-child because some lawyer thought it made the best anti-trust example according to specific elements needed to prove the case – which is very different from being most obvious argument (i.e. something else might be far more blatant, but much harder to prove in court).

    And Foundem is the loudest voice because it is being amplified by a big megaphone. Just because nobody else is heard hardly means it doesn’t exist.

    By this point, I’d expected there would be a “Stop The Google Menace” astroturf campaign, and I’m puzzled as to why it isn’t being run. And it can’t be because of no basis. There’s certainly a lot of very widespread distrust of Google (justified or not).

  • Charlev

    Although in places the NY Times editorial seems ambiguous about what position it is taking, the editorial closes resoundingly pro-Google, and that makes me wonder who is reading what into what.

    E.g., here’s the penultimate paragraph in the Times editorial:

    \Google provides an incredibly valuable service, and the government must be careful not to stifle its ability to innovate. Forcing it to publish the algorithm or the method it uses to evaluate it would allow every Web site to game the rules in order to climb up the rankings — destroying its value as a search engine. Requiring each algorithm tweak to be approved by regulators could drastically slow down its improvements. Forbidding Google to favor its own services — such as when it offers a Google Map to queries about addresses — might reduce the value of its searches.\

    Could the position of the Times be any clearer?

  • http://onreact onreact

    To be honest: Your analogy is very close to reality. The NYT supported tha war in Iraq based on false claims and thus it was fought with the backing of the US public despite the lies.
    Both the NYT and Google exert huge unchecked influence. There need to be some democratic checks and balances to keep the balance of power. Now only a few engineers and editors have almost unlimited power to swerve public opinion.

    I don’t think the government is the best entity to do that, the people are, but laws must be written that empower the people to do so.

    A newspaper supporting a war and not allowing dissenting voices is as dangerous as a search engine that can wipe out information from its index so that it basically ceases to exist.

  • http://www.rimmkaufman.com George Michie

    Danny, this is a great and thought-provoking piece. I agree that the complaints against Google are absurd, but as Charlev points out, I’m not sure the NYT disagrees.

  • logosamorbos

    Cries for the release of Google’s algorithm to the general masses remind me of Ayn Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged. The “looters” always want the secrets of the successful to be revealed so that they can then destroy them.

    …in the extreme metaphor, anyway.

  • http://fulankhan.com fulankhan

    Thank you for this piece, the parody was great. At first glance, I, and probably others, oppose the govt intervention. Nevertheless, I have to admit that there are circumstances in which government legislation or rulings are warranted in the space of private enterprise.

    So we have government involvement, plus we want to know is the pot calling the kettle black. If we controlled google, would we have acted differently?

  • http://www.colinmcdermott.co.uk/ woodsandhillsplc

    Brilliant article. Irony is a hilarious weapons when used correctly :)

  • http://pointcom.com Katherine

    With all due respect, Mr. Sullivan, the court cases you are citing are not as significant as you are purporting them to be. They are lower court decisions, so their impact is minimal at best in terms of setting a precedent. The only court in the U.S. who can issue a binding decision is the Supreme Court, and they have definitely not claimed that Pageranks constitute protected speech (although I wouldn’t put it past them).

    Additionally, the First Amendment has a very limited application in the commercial realm as it typically applies to instances that involve the government or state coercion. If you read the judge’s ruling in the Kinderstart case, perhaps this would make a bit more sense to you.