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Facebook and Google got rich. Users paid the price. | Douglas Rushkoff

Facebook and Google got rich. Users paid the price. | Douglas Rushkoff

The reason why Facebook and Google are so
easy to hack is because their business models are so easy to hack. Both Facebook and Google, when they started
out, said that what will make them superior to the things they’re replacing is that they’re
going to be ad free. Because they knew, from square one, if they
were going to have advertising, then the entire platform could be leveraged for the opposite
of its original purpose. So Google, when they were fighting against
Yahoo, they said, oh, no, we’re going to be the people’s algorithm. We’re going to use the way that people all
link to other things as the way in which we deliver search. And unlike Yahoo, which is basically ad supported
and all this, well, what is Google now? Google is the world’s biggest advertising
agency. Likewise, Facebook said, ‘no, no, no, we’re
not going to use ads.’ We’re just going to be there for people to
be able to connect with one another. It’s going all be social, so it’s going to
be honest and free. They became an ad-supported platform, too. So what’s happening is their business models
are being leveraged by companies that understand Facebook wants attention by any means necessary. And as long as that’s their goal– they might
not be conscious of it. As long as that’s the goal of the platform,
then they’re going to be used that way. The only way to create a social network or
a technology platform that is resistant to this kind of social anti-human abuse is to
know what your platform is for and for that to stay part of your operation as long as
you go. What is the app for? If you know what the app is for– I know it
sounds so silly, but if you know what the app is for, then you can’t get as confused
by your shareholder demands. Because oh, no, no, thats not what this app
is for. The other big trick in maintaining control
of the purpose of a technology or a company is not to take too much money. Back when– and I love them. When I saw Evan Williams, the founder of Twitter,
one of them, on the cover of The Wall Street Journal with the number $4.3 billion under
his face– it was the morning that Twitter went public. I thought, there it goes. There’s no way for this guy and this beautiful
140-word messaging app, there’s no way for it to deliver that many hundreds of billions
of dollars back to its shareholders. You know, $2 billion a year for 140-character
messaging app, which is about what they make, that is great. Could you imagine? Grandma, I made 140-character messaging app. We make $2 billion a year. That should be the win. That’s the success. But it’s not. Because the way that digital business works
now is people take as much money as they can to get the highest valuation they can, and
that’s just a Ponzi scheme. There’s no way to win. So you end up having to pivot your company
away from whatever great human goal you may have had. Indexing the world’s information, my god,
what a great goal Google had. Its no longer indexing the world’s information. It’s become the world’s information. And that’s a very different thing. So now we live in Google, rather than Google
indexing the real world. The map becomes the territory, and that’s
when we all get lost.

66 thoughts on “Facebook and Google got rich. Users paid the price. | Douglas Rushkoff

  1. If you use a platform that you do not pay for, you are not the consumer; you are the product.
    The product does not get to choose the who purchases it or how it will be used.

    If you do not like that model, do not use it.

  2. They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

  3. Information is power. Your psychology is being stolen every second from what you search, watch, or write. The privacy is directly 'protected' but indirectly open to any other businesses that uses Google AdWords or Facebook ads. Where's the difference then,?

  4. Attention is a limited resource, so pay attention to where you pay attention. – Howard Rheingold
    My #1 Recommendation for making money online

  5. US Internet bill of rights making the internet the Public Space in the US, and all US tech firms falling strictly under US law, thus preventing the aplication of foreign laws onto the firms. Additionally the distinction between Platforms (twitter, youtube, and facebook) and publishers should be iron clad as to avoid murky TOS for companies to use to censor ppl. Additionally applying anti-trust and anti-monopoly laws to propetuate compitition and growth.

  6. Lol this guy has no damn any idea how the world works amd this video is first video on this channel that I did not get blown away.

  7. We have to ask ourselves how much we would pay to use FB, Twitter, etc. , like how much per month? What if you had to have a credit card on file with a search engine in order to look anything up?
    I pay between $10-15/ month to access Wikipedia when I divide up my annual donation, but it’s hard to imagine paying that much per month for all of the social sites I use. But what if I did?
    I just went and added it up, and as it turns out, if I paid $10 per service per month, it would be the equivalent of an old fashioned cable bill. The one I was delighted to get rid of. But I could afford it.
    Maybe all of these sites should offer a subscription plan that lets you keep all of your data to yourself. Then we’d know how much value people place on their privacy.
    These companies are better than all of the companies that charge you and sell your info on top. You are getting something of value in return. Everyone has to decide for themselves if it’s a fair trade.

  8. Millenials don't experience world war but they experience mental health issues cause of negative effects of internet and social media

  9. Yes keeping whining but what’s your suggestion for an alternative service that these guys provide? It isn’t cheap to provide these services. Go ahead mate stop using google or Facebook no ones holding a gun to your head. Oh what did you just use one of googles services to rant about the same services and didn’t pay a cent for.

  10. That was beautiful. And scary. When you think how evil Google has become. Their program to help China persecute their citizens is enough proof that Google need to end.

  11. Really, Doug? No shit? This is a fucking revelation, man… literally nobody was aware of this until just now. Thanks, really helpful. Breaking a lot of new ground here.

  12. I am findingthat more and more the information that I look for on google is wrong. I try to be as specific as possible and google gives me what it thinks I want and not want I asked for.

    I don't know if this problem is just that google has errors/bugs or if google's smart search engine is corrupting my searches. Smart search engine are just plain dumb and with there was a way to turn it off.

  13. Very well said. Loved that perspective at the end of us living in google instead of google being apart of our lives because it’s now were most people’s realities are shaped with as much information as we get from it

  14. Ways to protect your privacy. Get a good VPN to mask you IP, use private browsing to avoid leaving a trail, use ad blocks, clear out cookies, do as much as you can to block sites from keeping records of what you do. Then ask yourself, do you really need facebook, twitter, etc… if not then lookup on how to delete your account. Google is a bit harder to do without even though it is finding less what you want and more what it thinks you want.

  15. ⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻ says:

    People will still use these free services and complain. But would be the first to complain if they became a subscription.

  16. Sad but true. Almost all the platforms that I've started on some five-ten years ago have gradually gotten worse over time. The biggest money grabbers remain prosperous, while smaller, more honest places on the internet are either deformed under the pressure from the major gamblers (case in point – Tumblr going totally SFW in order to be marketable on Apple Store, same with Daily Motion for whatever reason), or losing any relevancy whatsoever (MySpace, Soundcloud).

  17. It is ubiquitous Google on a PC with AdBlock and careful control of settings, is not too intrusive. When I got my first smart phone a few months ago I was shocked at everything it asked for. Take one example. I had Google Map give directions to a restaurant. A few hours later, back at home, I got a pop up asking me for a review of that restaurant, by name. They obviously retained the information and who knows what all might come out of that one transaction. Amazon and Amazon Prime are as bad. I constantly get book and film suggestions based on prior actions. I don't even need to buy something. It is enough to get more info. Orwell had no idea.

  18. This is a bullshit premise and a bullshit conclusion. That's not how Facebook or Google began. It's also not the case that "knowing what Facebook is for" is "the only way" to keep from eating it's customers alive. Did you guys just pull some dude off the street? This rabble-rouser should not be teaching classes or be published.

    It's a shame because hyper-corps like the ones he mentioned are in need of scrutiny but this talking head seems like he's from the sales department.

  19. I wonder how many people condemning these companies are doing so from Apple, Microsoft or Google operating systems. It seems a lot of people draw the line at putting in the (minimal) effort of installing Linux.

  20. I'm no longer blaming Facebook for all my problems. Other websites have done way worse by exploiting it's users. At least Facebook was trying to do a combination of what other websites tried to do. But Facebook is still not off the hook for what it has done.

  21. We must continuously refine our techniques so that the "territory" of the "map" that we occupy, more accurately represents/correlates to the world which we experience and live under the consequence of. We're rapidly getting there but we need new models that adequately represent today's mode of human existence. Archaic economic, legal, governance and social models, desperately must be updated. We must reimagine how to qualify our existence without the demand for rigorous physical labor or constant currency exchange. What comes after this fascist policy state wrapped in an oligarchy? (Rhetorical)

  22. I agree with the title of the video but I disagree with Mr. Rushkoff. There's a bit of revisionist history taking place in this video but whatever. These companies exist and nothing will happen until another company comes up with a better solution and people voluntarily switch to other platforms. Quitting Facebook is easy. Google is way harder to ditch. Amazon is another one that should be discussed here but I don't think, again, that Mr. Rushkoff knows all he should know about before speaking like an authority on the subject.

  23. Oh wow Bigthink saying something anti establishment rather than trying to divide people. That's a change. Is bigthink going back to its roots? One can only hope so.

  24. If I could eat for free and have free rent, so as long as I just had to look at some ads, I'd be all for it.
    Nothing is free, even when it is especially when it is.

  25. Instagram and facebook, for every 3rd post, there needs to be an ad. Thank god for Adblock, too bad it doesnt work on phones :/

  26. Is this guy stupid? As soon as you mention the term 'shareholder' then by definition 'profit maximization' is key. Show us the alternative revenue models that actually work then you might be in a position to argue against the status quo. Ffs…

  27. The problem is with shareholder capitalism. A publicly owned company will always be about maximising profit for shareholders. Period.

  28. I remember the days when you use google to search for information without jumping between 6 adds before you find a real result.

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