Google’s Naked Face Of Evil

If Google was a person standing in front of me right now, I’d clamp my hands around its throat and squeeze squeeze squeeze.

All of you people who say you use Google Books, just STFU and read. You apparently do not use it anywhere near to the degree I do otherwise accounts like this would be all over the Net in book blogs.

The depth and breadth of my use is uncovering more and more of Google’s outright evil by the day.

I’ve already documented how I’ve been locked out of Google Books more than once. They say they think I’m sending automated queries.

Just on face value that statement is utterly ridiculous. Google’s systems register millions of hits per second. And my accessing, searching, and downloading of Google Books by handwithout scripts, without any machine assistance other than a PC, browser, and my fast hands — makes them think I’m running at the speed of some damned machine?

Who do they think is stupid enough to believe that?

I was just locked out again tonight — while doing nothing other than searching and adding books to one of my shelves.

I got back in, using another browser, and then the pure evil of Google revealed itself!

After every book listing there is this button:

After getting back in, resuming my search, and getting to the fifth page of results, suddenly this happened:

Where the hell did the button go?

That’s Google, deliberately removing it.

It’s not some bug. It’s by design!

Rather than just throwing up its sham “Your computer might be harming our precious network” BS notice, it does something underhanded like that!

I’ve contacted Google more than once about lockouts.

No one is home! They don’t pay any attention to those submissions. No one cares, no one gives a damn.

Don’t believe Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” motto. It’s PR sham.

In Google Books over and over again, I’ve seen Google’s naked face of evil. And I want to punch it.


Filed under Google

25 responses to “Google’s Naked Face Of Evil

  1. D.R.

    No offense, but your use of the word evil in such a casual manner over such a minor issue trivializes real evil like Stalin and the Holocaust. But if anything qualifies as evil online, this isn’t it. There’s much worse things; look at Wikileaks jeopardizing the lives of our soldiers, look at [URL and site name redacted] encouraging people to post peoples secrets online, look at people on 4Chan posting horrible anime pictures or mocking people. That, if anything, is the type of thing that qualifies as evil online. Google’s a bit greedy, yeah, but we already knew that. There whole “do no evil” slogan is just a facade as everybody should realize.

    You’re mad, I get it. Breath in and out, count to 10, and realize that this isn’t quite as bad as you think.

    • mikecane

      Well, look, Google itself used the word “evil” so that’s what I had to throw back in their face. If their motto had been, “Don’t do any harm,” the post title would have been along the lines of “Google Harms Books” or somesuch. The post title is simply a refutation of Google’s own position, which they state as “not evil.”

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  3. Greg

    Agreed, Google is evil. Go to the library or bookstore and read everything you need.

    Seriously, take a deep breath and go enjoy some holiday cheer. Come back when it doesn’t mean so much to you.

  4. Zac

    dude… try the decaff

  5. basicxman

    “Google’s systems register millions of hits per second. ”

    With that many customers it’s going to take a while for them to contact you back, if they find it’s important.

    You’re complaining how a free service is locking you out after a certain amount of usage. Hm.

    • mikecane

      Google states if someone needs more access to contact them. I have. They never replied. What part of that is hard to understand? It seems the only way to get companies to do what they SAY they will do these days is to shriek out loud until they are publicly embarrassed into living up to their stated commitments.

  6. Don

    As someone who’s written automated scraping/pulling tools, I can tell you that I deliberately engineer-in seemingly human-speed requests so as not to appear like a “classical” bot hammering away blindly. In that sense, pulling tons of info (and no, I have no idea how much or what you pull) by hand probably makes you appear precisely like a quality, modern bot, which, in essence, you are.

    Beyond that, so far as I know, Google is not obliged to provide any of these books to you, but your previously unfettered access has given you a rather strong sense of entitlement. If the books you were accessing are still covered by copyright, and you’re manually trying to circumvent the limited access to in-copyright works (and again, I don’t know that you are), then I’d say Google is absolutely operating in good faith–to the publishers, i.e. the stakeholders–in being proactive about curtailing “suspicious” access and in no way showing a “naked face of evil”.

    Just my $0.02

    • mikecane

      The thing is this. There are volumes there from public libraries. These are NOT Google’s books. They are OUR books. Google stepped up and said, Hey, let us provide access. And they are not. *Generations* of money was spent to acquire and preserve these books before Google ever came along. Google owes the public free access for the free access it got to the books. As far as I know, zero payments were made to libraries. And, in fact, in contracts I have seen from Google *to* libraries, they want libraries to PAY to access the books.

      • Don

        I still contend that Google is in no way obliged to provide these books to you, regardless of what assertions they’ve made in the promotion of Google Books. You’re not engaged in a formal (monetary) business transaction with them, and their own TOS essentially say that they can, and will, do this sort of cutting-off at will if they deem behavior unacceptable. They don’t owe you this, whether you think they do or not. As far as their being non-communicative, a non-response in most cases indicates that they’re not going to give you what you want (i.e. it’s the default until you’re told otherwise). If I apply for a job and don’t get a rejection letter I don’t assume that prospective employer is evil because they didn’t reply, even if they put out a public call for applicants; I just assume I didn’t get the job.

        Additionally, your argument that these are “OUR” books sounds a lot like the various anti-piracy groups claiming that digital copies of software are depriving them of something. Those books you talk about; the ones in public libraries? They’re still there, in public libraries, waiting for you to walk, bike, or drive over there and check them out.

        I get that you’re frustrated (and I agree, it sucks that they did this) and that in many cases stirring things up online can sometimes help get a response from whoever has irked you (see the whole Cooks Source debacle), but consider this: every response to your post is effectively disagreeing with you using varying levels of sarcasm. Assuming Google even picks up on this, do you suppose they’ll care when, literally, everyone else is more-or-less saying, “so what?”

        On top of that, your argument hinges on a substantial devaluing (in, I suspect, most people’s estimation, if not just my own) of the word “evil”. If this is your notion of evil, you really need to see more of the world, or at least read some history.

      • mikecane

        >>>regardless of what assertions they’ve made in the promotion of Google Books.

        Then why should any company make any claim if they never intend to live up to it? Is that the kind of world you want to live in or actually advocate?

      • Don

        I don’t think they’re failing to hold up their end. They’re operating within their TOS, you just don’t like how it’s affected you.

        The beauty of the free market is: anyone can compete, and you can take your business (if you consider utilizing their service without compensation “business”) elsewhere.

        Also, I’m pretty sure those libraries haven’t disappeared yet.

      • mikecane

        “the free market” <- oh, have you ever seen one?

  7. Scott Siegling

    Steve Jobs called them out on the evil thing a long time ago.

  8. Lance Boyer

    The service Google provides clearly does not meet your expectations. I have not been able to reproduce your results despite the numerous books within my Google library. By not providing you with the service you want at your whim Google clearly commits an act of for-profit evil. Only a company bent on making money at the expense of sacred human life would prevent you from utilizing their free service.

    • mikecane

      That’s very coy and ignores what Google itself states: You need more access, contact us. I did. Several times. No reply. This has gone on for at least two years. Now I had to yell as loudly as I could. Thanks for listening/reading.

  9. kanzenryu

    You seem to be unaware of what actual evil is all about.

  10. stinky mcpoop

    So…how do you like Google Books?

  11. Erx

    Just create another account and restart your router, voila, brand new non flagged account :)

  12. Schmoo

    Awww, you poor thing.

    • mikecane

      First World Problem, yes, but how much do YOU need Google Books? When Google has something YOU use and then pulls this, come back and report.

  13. ben

    this definitely falls into the mildly irritating category. How old are you? Let’s remember that “Don’t be evil” is an unofficial motto coined by an engineer there, and adopted generally as the attitude of the organization, maybe. It is not a guarantee that you will love the way their systems work all the time, or that you are even important to them. Google is a private company which has absolutely no obligation to anyone outside itself (at least according to the framework of contemporary capitalism) and so maybe the realistic view is that they are a little better than most for-profit corporations.

    I also think that you might consider how nearly universally the sentiment here has been that you are losing your cool to no point or purpose. What is going to happen when something actually evil happens? And yes, I understand the rhetoric of using their own words, but man, this ain’t that. Take a deep breath and get some perspective; you’ll lead a richer life if being unable to grab up every book you want immediately all the time doesn’t flood your body with adrenaline.

    • mikecane

      My cool stayed for over two years of this crap, then my top blew. You guys must go around to other sites and do the same kind of posts. No one can bitch about anything. Amazing. If the world was in the hands of you lot, we’d have never progressed at all. Read some history. Progress is built by bitching, not complacency or apologizing for — or even trying to “understand” — the powerful.

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