Once the darling of the left, Google is rapidly losing the affection of American progressives. Rather than a force for the good, Google’s enormous power and influence, particularly over search, is making more and more people nervous about its real intent. Most of all, it is Google’s lack of transparency – its self-evident secrecy rather than its openness – that is creeping many people (including myself) out.
Siva Vaidhyanathan is one of America’s most influential new media scholars and the author of Copyrights and Copywrongs and The Anarchist in the Library. In his important new book, The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should Worry), Vaidhyanathan takes on the power of Google and reveals why we should be worried about the company’s monopolization of search and its imperial control of the web.
So is Vaidhyanathan correct? Does Google run the web and should we be worried about it? And if so, then what can we do to counter the growing power of Google?
This is the first part of a two part interview with Vaidhyanathan. Tomorrow, the University of Virginia professor tells us why Google is making us fat and lazy and what we should do about it.
The Googlization of everything (and why we should worry)
Is Google a monopolist?
Siva Vaidhyanathan (born 1966) is a cultural historian and media scholar, and is currently a professor of Media Studies and Law at the University of Virginia. Vaidhyanathan is a frequent contributor on media and cultural issues in various periodicals including The Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Times Magazine, The Nation, MSNBC.com, and Salon.com. He is a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities and the Institute for the Future of the Book. From 2004 through...