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Google: We Share Many of Moore's Concerns  (View post)

Or [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, July 3, 2007
15 years ago4,980 views

"for their own sake they should now take the time to reflect on how the setup of their internal ad sales departments risks affecting their supposed neutrality as data hoarder"

While I agree with this Phillip, isn't it possible that this is more of an isolated case, not a systemic problem? Google should reflect on this, but how much should we criticize google when an employee makes a mistake. I guess my question is, where is the balance when an employee makes a mistake, or does something unethical, that we must assume the whole company has a systemic problem. Of course, the severity of the mistake, (such as if private info is leaked) does count for alot of criticism, since it means there were not enough internal protections in place. But something like this (lauren's post), to me, does not seem that big to warrant the *high* level of criticism google got. It's as if we are looking and hoping for Google to mess up so that we can point it out.

My Head is a Rocket [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Or: I would guess you are also relatively healthy and happy with your health coverage. There are many people for whom health care costs are an insurmountable issue and the "Dont Be Evil" crowd seems a little flippant and greedy, a little Bush-like frankly while discussing the issue. Matt Cutts response reminded me of Barbara Bush discussing the war-- after all when I can give some lame blogging tips why would I waste my beautiful mind on a few million sick people?

Mathias Schindler [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Reading the headline, I thought Google was referring to Moore's law. They should share his concerns, too ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

> While I agree with this Phillip, isn't it possible
> that this is more of an isolated case, not a systemic
> problem?

Good question: I don't think anyone of us can tell from the outside how much Lauren's view point reflects the Google ad departments, of which there are many all around the world. And I'm NOT referring to the movie Sicko (Google made their stance clear on this in the latest post). What I'm referring to is the possibility that the Google ad departments have become so cozy with the various industries they're pitching to – which are based on budget size, not user merit, naturally (even though Google claims differently in the quotes I presented) – that it starts to reflect bad on Google as allegedly neutral data provider.

If Lauren's position was a Freudian slip in the psyche of the official Google communication then we might be grateful, not blame Lauren, because it reveals a bit of Google that is usually kept behind closed doors. I'm sure everyday, and perhaps right now, Google ad departments are reaching out to advertisers, and it's not unlikely that right now a Google health ad representative is whispering calming words about the "Moore issue" into the ears of an ad budget spender of the health industry, words which, when posted as official Google stance, would make people freak out all over again. Again: "not unlikely" – we don't have proof in either direction, but have a look around the official Google pitches which *are* public http://www.google.com/ads/metrics.html – would Google in other channels say stuff like that "bulk email" as a "main marketing tool" is no longer a "good solution" merely due to the advent of "more sophisticated spam filters" (and not, say, because it sucks, is evil, and illegal)? http://www.google.com/ads/dentalplans.html

And how much of pitching "reputation management" (Lauren) is part of Google ad sales daily job? And how fair are they in applying their rules in the "ad democracy" (the part about ads being a "democratic way" was Google's *official* stance, as Lauren said, not her own opinion)? Have a look at this issue for instance (as one example of many where we would have to check the background of how Google came to a conclusion, but can't really, from the outside):
http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/company-blogging-101/#comment-107622

This bit of Google – their ad sales department – is what I think deserves longer term focus and analysis, both from Google inside, but also from us outside who can ponder these issues without the Google-employee inherent conflict of interest. My post:
http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2007-07-02-n25.html

Again, this is what Danny Sullivan concludes, and he's been watching Google for a long, long time (not that that makes him right, but he does have the knowledge to make a lot of connections): “Google ought to get back to just selling space and not trying to be an ad agency to these groups. That’s what ad agencies do, and they aren’t hit by the burden of also having to run supposedly unbiased information resources.”
http://searchengineland.com/070701-193852.php

bm [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

I don't know how many people actually clicked on all the links listed in the Official Google blog post about the health crisis in the U.S., but every one of those posts address some sort of information access issue, not the fundamental problems, which are economic in nature. Let's boil it down, why don't we: people who can't afford insurance probably don't have access to computers to do all this Googling to gather information about their illness. They'll more likely be Googling "bankruptcy" than "type II diabetes." So patient information is nice, and all, but it's like collecting butterflies while the forest burns.

The most telling part of the blog post is when Google admits that they have physicians on-site, and preventive care programs. Corporate responsibility? How about asking for a comprehensive, nationwide health program that isn't tied to where you work.

or [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

"Corporate responsibility? How about asking for a comprehensive, nationwide health program that isn't tied to where you work."

You really believe Google has this much power? They don't. They really don't.

"Or: I would guess you are also relatively healthy and happy with your health coverage. There are many people for whom health care costs are an insurmountable issue and the "Dont Be Evil" crowd seems a little flippant and greedy, a little Bush-like frankly while discussing the issue. Matt Cutts response reminded me of Barbara Bush discussing the war-- after all when I can give some lame blogging tips why would I waste my beautiful mind on a few million sick people?"

Why do you assume to know anything about me. But anyway, my views on health insurance may be different from the majority. I believe people should help each other with health issues (family members, friends, neighbors, organizations, companies, etc.) I don't really think its good for the government to force free health care for all, as the leverage over people's lives becomes too great; what happens when they say I can't have health care unless I do a set of things, I don't want to do.

Differences in opinions on issues like health insurance is why I thought the post was not that big a deal, since a employee was simply stating her opinion.

bm [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

"I believe people should help each other with health issues (family members, friends, neighbors, organizations, companies, etc.) I don't really think its good for the government to force free health care for all, as the leverage over people's lives becomes too great; what happens when they say I can't have health care unless I do a set of things, I don't want to do."

This is the standard libertarian line that assumes that everyone lives in a community that is a) willing and b) has the financial means to do so. Sadly, this is not the case in the U.S. right now. Companies don't help with health care because many (especially small businesses) can't afford it. Families can help, but what of those whose "nuclear" families are either incapable or non-existent? Organizations? Like whom? The local church? The local non-profit? Show me where this is working?

I'd agree that such *should* be the case, but the facts are that it *isn't* the case. I'm not so comfortable with the fact that in the U.S. access to quality healthcare that doesn't totally financially destroy you is only available if you happen to work for certain corporations.

"You really believe Google has this much power? They don't. They really don't."

Google has power to *ask,* just as does every other major U.S. corporation. Google doesn't blink an eye at spending millions attempting to keep Microsoft in check, or buying technology start-ups – and they have a public policy blog. Surely, they have the power to *ask.*

Or [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

[put at-character here]bm: I don't know what a liberterian is and I don't even know if I am spelling it correctly. Furthermore, I am not a person who is into politics. I was just sharing my opinion which has not been filtered through political parties. I know the ideal is not possible. But the ideal for the gov. being the main provider of healthcare (which is only possible with terrible injustices) has in my mind major destructive side effects that I don't want – How much control will the gov. have? How much money will they take in taxes to provide health care completely for everyone? Can I refuse their health care and do my own thing? Will I be forced to do certain things? Will I be subjected to the gov. experiments or can I refuse certain types of treatments? It may not seem likely now, but perhaps in the future. I'll rather people be free to seek help from each other when needed, and give help to each other when needed. Google offering on-site care is helping their employees with health care issues, for example. (religious and charity organizations offering care, family members, community centers, etc.)

Or [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

oh yea, my point is that google asking makes not much more difference than my mother asking. When it comes to this issue google's influence in Washington is very small. In matters related to the tech industry they have much more influence.

bm [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

"I know the ideal is not possible. But the ideal for the gov. being the main provider of healthcare (which is only possible with terrible injustices) has in my mind major destructive side effects that I don't want"

What "terrible injustices" would be incurred? You throw out hypothetical situations to support a case that can't be argued because no such plan has been proposed. We have a broken system. At least with the French, Canadian, and British systems, there is something to diagnose and fix. Our system is F***ked up and there's no way to fix it.

"– How much control will the gov. have?"

Hmmm. Worth debate. who's to say.

" How much money will they take in taxes to provide health care completely for everyone?"

How much money could they save by not spending hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq? How much money could be saved in lost wages, lowered overhead from profit-driven insurance companies, families who can spend money on consumer goods instead of outrageous medical bills? People who go to the doctor for preventive care instead of waiting until the last minute because they can't afford the co-pay or deductible?

" Can I refuse their health care and do my own thing?"

Hmmm. That seems to be the case in Britain, Canada, and France. You can do your own thing *on top of* the national system, just like public education. Why is that so hard to grasp.

" Will I be forced to do certain things?"

Don't know – more hypothetical. I doubt it, but then, the government forces you to take a test to drive a car, and you don't blink an eye.

   "Will I be subjected to the gov. experiments or can I refuse certain types of treatments?"

Funny how "treatment" suddenly becomes "experiments" – a scare word that conjures up tuskeegee and german doctors from ww2. Nevermind the fact that most industrialized nations are already using socialized medicine and – guess what – their nations haven't crumbled!

"I'll rather people be free to seek help from each other when needed, and give help to each other when needed."

Nice theory, but like communism, doesn't always work in practice. How is a neighbor supposed to help someone who receives a bill for tens of thousands of dollars for a hospital stay? What about a neighborhood that doesn't have a lot of Google engineers living next door?

I'm glad Google provides such care for their employees. Maybe if *all* employees did so, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But suppose one of those employees gets laid off or fired. What then? COBRA? don't make me laugh.

If Google really wants to help move the national debate along, they should be asking for some sort of bill that de-couples insurance from employment and guarantees a modicum of care for all regardless of income.

bm [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

BTW, I'm not taking shots at you individually. However, we all suffer under our current health care system (well, the vast majority of us suffer), whether we have healthcare coverage (I have) or we don't. We all pay more in the long term for the abuse of the profit motive.

Or [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

My disagreement is not with the fact there are problems now. It is with the gov. being the main solution. There are unforseen liabilities to that also. And mentioning all the things the gov. could save money from if they did not do is not realistic, since those things are going to happen anyway. In the US there are already gov. programs that provide health care for very poor to working poor individuals to varying degrees (most of these people get care without paying). That's understandable. My problem is the gov. taking on all responsiblities in this area.

Freedem [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Google did make a positive contribution to the discussion about Michael Moore's film with its Gapminder tool http://tools.google.com/gapminder/#$majorMode=chart$is;shi=t;ly=2003;lb=f;il=t;fs=11;al=30;stl=t;st=t;nsl=t;se=t$wst;tts=C$ts;sp=6;ti=2001$zpv;v=0$inc_x;mmid=XCOORDS;iid=SH.DYN.MORT;by=ind$inc_y;mmid=YCOORDS;iid=SP.DYN.LE00.IN;by=ind$inc_s;uniValue=20;iid=SH.MED.PHYS.ZS;by=ind$inc_c;uniValue=255;gid=1004;iid=SP.POP.DPND;by=grp$map_x;scale=log;dataMin=2.964;dataMax=24$map_y;scale=lin;dataMin=65;dataMax=82$map_s;sma=11;smi=1.2$inds=

What is shows is exactly what Moore said, that countries that have their health care as just another normal governmental operation, have much better outcomes than governments that don't.

You can even see that where communist countries abandoned government health care, what was not good care became worse care, as most USSR derived countries are worse off now than under the broken communist systems.
http://bp2.blogger.com/_3K9pXj9nEFY/RpMNIYPgjqI/AAAAAAAAAFQ/XVqFthn3HOc/s1600-h/healthlifechart3.jpg

This image from the tool tells the story

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