Google And Facebook Are Forcing You To Have Sex With Your Cousin

Sweltering heat of the August sun was beating down on us like it knew it would have only few hours before we retreat into our caves not to be seen for weeks. But I was a geek amongst geeks, and sun or no sun, I was ecstatic that tonight I will finally get what I was longing for all summer long. Windows 95.

So, I got mine, Jack.

I unwrapped my shiny new 386 loaded with Windows 95, set it up, and called America Online to activate my 30 day free trial.

I had America Online (AOL to the noobs) for exactly 5 hrs before I figured out what it was about.

It was a human-moderated directory that would give you a heck of a time if you tried to access the actual World Wide Web.

Well, I uninstalled that shit really quick, canceled my account and went with Earthlink. F U AOL.

Why? 

For me, the Internet is beautiful exactly because it’s unmoderated.

Why would I want some human employed by a giant corporation to tell me what is suitable for mental consumption and what isn’t?

The TV sucks because FCC moderates the content and whitewashes it into blandness ’till there’s nothing left.

The Internet is awesome exactly because there are no arbiters of taste, morality and standards.

I want to explore and discover the nooks and crannies of the Interwebs on my own. I want to fail, and stumble, and catch something nasty so I can re-install. But maybe that’s just me…

Google and Facebook are Now AOL

What you may not realize is that Google and Facebook are doing the same exact thing AOL did back then.

When you search one of these giants, they are providing you with a human-moderated results.

The Big G and FB are little wiser than AOL of course. They are not employing a large staff of drones to filter what’s “inappropriate”, instead they are using your friends to figure out what search results you would like to see.

Search results I would like to see? WTF?

If you happen to be a Democrat and some of your friends have a Republican slant, Facebook will favor the newsfeed items by your Democrat-friends and obfuscate and suppress results returned by your Republican constituency.

Same is true of religion, brand awareness and everything else these algorithmic giants can figure out you would like to see instead of what it actually is.

This feels to me like Google and Facebook are forcing me to inbreed with like minded people. Not to mention that it skews the reality of my existence in a seemingly positive way while “protecting” me from bad people with differing opinions.

Two Systems, One Goal

This is absolutely disastrous behavior for us because two things are happening here.

On one hand, we are forced into groups of like minded people which results in our beliefs, opinions and realities confirmed and reflected by these like minded people.

This creates a pretty bubble of existence for us where none of our beliefs are tested, opinions questioned, and realities re-examined. If you like that sort of thing, then Google and Facebook are your thing, but…

On the other hand, forcing us deeper into one mindset separates us from people of a different mindset. If it ended there, that would be fine, but it doesn’t.

Studies were done where moderates (religious, political, etc) were placed with extremists for only few hours. Due to peer pressure, seeking of social proof and other psychological factors, these moderates were quickly converted into extremists.

The House Always Wins

The system always favors its creator.

Whether it’s a casino, the system of government, a religion or an online service, the system always favors its creator. And in order for the system to support itself, it needs to create a separation within a system, otherwise, the members of the system start to pay too much attention to the makers of the system and the system itself. And that is a huge threat to the system.

I forgot the details, but I saw this in an old documentary once. A member of Black Panther movement was receiving financial support from a corporation. The corporation figured as long as there is social unrest, the people and the government will have more immediate things to worry about than the questionable practices of the corporation. Clever little fucks, aren’t they?

My point?

As long as we are led into like-minded circles and given to reinforcement of our own beliefs, we are further taken away from opposing circles. This creates a chasm and this chasm is at the root of all conflicts.

Conflict however, favors the system for as long as there is conflict within the system, no one is minding the architect.

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi :-)

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  • http://DempseyMarketing.com/journal/ Robert Dempsey

    Very good point Dino. I know that both companies are trying to provide more “relevant” results to people, but as you say a nasty side effect of that is you see a very limited scope of information. Thankfully we can still communicate with people outside of these networks (and even in them) to find other interesting infos.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Wud up Rob!

      I was at a SM gathering and someone used the word “itinerant”, and so I repeated it back, then a 3rd person heard it started using it….I kept thinking “wish Rob was here” lol

      When are you going to be back in the states anyways?

      • http://DempseyMarketing.com/journal/ Robert Dempsey

        Hahha nice. Now THAT is branding my friend. As for when we’re coming back to the U.S., not sure when that is going to happen…life in Thailand for us is very good. So we’ll see.

        And I love you too Dino.

  • http://stanfaryna.wordpress.com Stan Faryna

    I missed you, Dino. WTH have you been? It’s like you dropped out for six weeks. You ok?

    Totally, dude. I’m with you all the way on this.

    The uber geeks got it all wrong. And the world sucks because of what they done. They got it wrong about relevancy. About being human. About life, the universe, and everything. On the other hand, I’m not surprised. There’s lots of things they don’t get when it comes to life outside two 20 inch monitors, overclocked work stations, and a six pack of cold, blue Bawls.

    Hopefully, we can stop them before WW3 unleashes out of the intolerance, prejudice, and all the hate they incubate through search and social.

    Stan

    Recently on my blog: The Economics of Friendship. And other social media DOHs! http://wp.me/pbg0R-oU

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Yo Stan-O :-)

      Been busy with Triberr stuff of course, also traveling a lot last couple of weeks, doing speaking engagements, and what not…Im pushing off for AZ in a few weeks as well…

      I like the changes you made to your blog…now all we need to do is get you off that wordppress.com nonsense lol

  • http://hypertransitory.com/ John Garrett

    Power to the people!! Black Panthers! Yeah!!

    Ok, got that out of the way. I noticed this with Facebook a while back. Sure someone might post something that I don’t want to see *at the moment*, but you click that “X” and it asks if you want to hide all posts by the person (or whatever it says). I’m like WHOA hold on, man. That person wouldn’t be on my list anyway if I didn’t want to hear what they have to say in general.

    If FB and Google are doing this stuff for you then pretty soon they’ll just start unfriending people for you. Then they’ll start blocking email from the undesirables, then they’ll figure out some way to physically erase these people from existence. We’ll all be looking around like “damn didn’t I used to have more friends?”

    When aliens come to make contact, they won’t be able to, since they won’t be in our Circles or on our Friends lists. Malevolent aliens will just blow us up after trying to use AOL email for a day or two. I wouldn’t blame them.

    Oh yeah, it took me a little longer than you to figure out AOL’s deal, but once I did they got kicked the $@#@$ to the curb. Although I never could figure out a way to stop those damn cd’s and mini-cd’s from coming to my house. I still got a bunch of ‘em. Aargh.

    I forgot where I was going with this. Aw, shucks. Anyway, great post man you really nailed it here.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Hi John,

      The key to those CDs is to call AOL and order the ones with the fancy DVD style box in bulk lol then use it for your other CDs and DVDs, or use them as packaging for your own music CD…anyways..thats what I did lol

  • Anonymous

    First of all — amazing headline, and it truly connects with the body of the article.

    OK, now here’s what I think: people aren’t really that different than they were 2, 3, 4,000 years ago. They very much want to see their biases validated and confirmed, which is something G+FB understand all too well. I must underscore all too well.

    Bubbles = easily defined markets = profit. Large corporations like Google and Facebook are all about dominating niches and micro-niches, and they have to walk on eggshells around you, because you (still) have the power to ditch them. You still have choice. But, if they isolate you in a bubble of your own making, and you have your POV & tastes validated or catered to every hour of the day, you’re much less likely to forgo their services. 

    They want your eyeballs, man. They don’t want you to experience real novelty, but they’ll throw a ton of shiny gewgaws at you to keep you interested. This too is bad news for traffic monopolists: if you insist on turning people into jackdaws, they will forsake you for the next shiny thing.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      You are absolutely right about easily defined and targeted markets. And you are also right about human proclivity for separation on one hand and grouping on the other.

      All we need now is a book or a movie that’s tapping into these sentiments and we can separate/group on those basis. I think Michael Moore is working on that one :-)

  • http://www.speakingoflove.net Sally Brown

    Really good article.  I can see your point and agree with you.  Whenever there is something that is making a lot of money, the powers that be will want to control it as much as possible.  I think is the nature of power and money.  However, it is not necessarily a  good thing.  I like people like you that will speak up!  Sally

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Thnx Sally,

      It’s the case of NOT putting people first. Which is too bad…these giants have the opportunity to do something amazing for the humanity and they are wasting it by doing something amazing for brands and marketers. #lame

  • http://viewsouthcarolinarealestate.com markbrian

    As much as I love my cousins….let me decide what I want. And it is neither sex with my cousins or search results that are manipulated by what my friends like/think/etc.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Check this out, Mark. Google will use over 50 data points to return results even after you sign out from it. They are trying to be more relevant but I just think the cost is too great.

  • http://www.realityburst.com Eugene Farber

    Fucking awesome!

    I was going to leave my comment just as that. But decided to go on. 

    It’s basically a big brother situation. They watch over you and re-confirm everything you believe. And that makes you happy. And if not happy, then at least satisfied that you have figured out everything there is to figure out. It gets even more fucked up when these huge corporations start playing political games (i.e. Google and Egypt). 

    It’s basically the way people watch the news (not that there’s actually any news in existence, that’s just not entertaining enough). They watch to re-confirm their own beliefs, not to challenge them and learn anything new. 

    To make things worse, people make personal information readily available to these corps, making it easy for big brother to control what they are seeing. Can’t remember if it was a Google or Facebook officer that claimed that they could know what people are thinking before people knew themselves.

    And unfortunately if you are in online biz, you don’t have much choice but to join the fiasco. 

    Ok, conspiracy theories done. :)

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Thats an interesting comparison. But it may be even worse than what Orwell had written.

      In his 1984 novel, Orwell writes about the big brother watching our every move. What these guys are doing is they are not only watching our moves (which they do both online and off) but they are also directing our moves.

      Which is exactly what you’re referring to when you say that they can predict what we’re going to do next. Its scary shit and I think Im moving into a jungle soon lol

  • http://twitter.com/mqtodd Michael Q Todd

    Yep yep I years onto FB day 1 3 years ago. Have never looked at the news feed. I just create my own content and wait for people to come to me. Like you Dino I like to mix it up and push some boundaries. Have you heard of Unthink? It is a new social network that has the members “control” it.
    “FU Facebook and Google+ -#Unthink The Revolution” http://fyre.it/uKz 

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Well Mike…I will say this. You are by far the greatest harbinger of social tools and trends I’ve ever met. No one has consistently turned me onto new things the way you have. Thnx for the unthink, it looks interesting, I’ve asked for an invite at the site, cant wait to explore it.

  • http://justavo.wordpress.com/ justavo

    That is one of the reasons Twitter rocks!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Twitter does give us more power to manage what we see for ourselves…wonder if/when they will change that…

  • Rick Demko

    Well said sir, and to think I was so blinded by FB. What we need is a FB version of AOHell ;-)

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Mike Q below mentions UnThink ..the new ind of social network…should be interesting to see what it is and how it works….

  • http://www.krisolin.com/ KrisOlin

    Great, agry post, Dino! It’s FU Time! 

    Check out this video from those clever people from UNTHINK. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxMqSdgB-uA Somehow I don’t believe this is the solution either. That whole video reeks corporate manipulation and big money. If you are wondering who’s behind Unthink it is Natasha Dedis, Panos Kontses and Spiro Verras from the Unthink Technologies corporation. Well, at lest it’s not News Corp after their bad spin with My Space!  

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      So they have a cute video with lots of psychological/emotional triggers in it…thats cool…what else they got? Is anyone on the inside? What are they doing different? I hope Unthink will get it right…someone ought to…

      I think the bigger story here might be that upstarts are taking swings at Facebook and its only a matter of time before one of the contenders gets a knock out.

      • http://www.krisolin.com/ KrisOlin

        Yes, I think they are playing with the same tools as FB, Big G and the rest. That is not the way to start a revolution.

        Dino, don’t you ever sleep, mate? It must be 2 in the morning or something over there? 

        • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

          I love working late at night. Less distractions, phone is not ringing, no one to bother me…Tis nice :-)

  • http://blog.esimplestudios.com Gabriele Maidecchi

    I am not sure I really get the whole point. Google and Facebook are commodities, and they offer a free service shaped in a way to have income from other sources. They “control” our moves to make revenue, that’s really the final goal. In their shoes, I would do exactly the same, I guess this is all that really matters: their behaviour isn’t really far off to what an average profit corporation would do in the exact same position (I actually *wish* I was in that position, and so most of you I presume).
    Now, personal taste is another matter. I never liked Facebook for various reasons, but I wouldn’t imagine not using Google, even if it came out they made a pact with the devil to sell him your soul.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled is to convince us he didnt exist.

    • http://www.TrafficGenerationCafe.com/ Ana | Traffic Generation Cafe

      I agree with your point, Gabriele. After all, we are not drones. Besides, from all the online arguments that I see, we are certainly not all in agreement with those in our clicks (pun fully intended)! 

      Catchy title though, Dino!

  • http://www.balancedworklife.com/blog Bryce Christiansen

    F U AOL, that’s hilarious. 

    Really good point about how Facebook and Google are doing the same thing.  They are just trying to keep it on the downlow.

    We do feel comfortable in our clicks, now we are making them an internet thing.

    Great post,

    Bryce

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn Nicander Mohr

    Hey Dino, great message, catchy title. I was recently contacted by a student from Cambridge University in England who was part of a group studying who people followed on Twitter. Most people follow only those who have similar views as they have. I was one of the few they found who followed people with all sorts of beliefs. I was asked why and I said that it’s important to understand all points of view.

    So I think people bring this upon themselves. If you’re “sleeping with your cousin” then examine who you’re connecting with on social media. Are they carbon copies of you or are you engaging in stimulating discussions with people who hold differing views from you? Reach out and engage to learn.

    Dino, as the founder of a growing social media site, do you think Triberr members will avoid this pitfall?

    Thanks so much, Dino, for a provocative, inspiring article!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      How interesting…I would love to know more about this study and especially your involvement in it.

      As for Triberr suffering from the Inbreeding issue, I think we’ve built diversity into the platform (despite the fact that we actually have a feature call Inbreeding :-)

      Here is how.

      When you get invited into a tribe, chances are you may not know people in it other than the Chief. So now you have to trust the Chief to pair you up appropriately.

      As you accept invites to existing/established tribes, this is even more true.

      Finally, since Triberr is a flow-through kind of platform -my content flows through you to your followers and vice versa- the danger of echo chamber effect is mitigated.

      All of this is in theory of course but it seams to be working so far :-)

      • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn Nicander Mohr

        The study was fascinating. Here is a link to the study: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~jac22/out/twitter-diverse.pdf and here is a link to the Business Week article summarizing the study: http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/apr2011/tc20110411_512316.htm 

        I was interviewed for the study and two of the quotes are mine, though I was not named. I think you will enjoy reading these due to your massive involvement with Twitter.

        Hey, I didn’t bring up inbreeding, you did in your title! :-) With Triberr, you can have diversity of opinions and styles, in fact that makes for a much more interesting tribe. But you can’t have diversity of values. You really have to trust in your tribe members that they are writing quality posts you would be proud to tweet. I am very fortunate to be in three such tribes. 

        Yes, Triberr is working great so far. Congratulations on your astounding success that is helping to bring success to many others as well. Great job.

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

    Most people don’t want to have to think so they are ok with being spoon fed thoughts, ideas and feelings.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Maybe that’s true….so here’s the question.

      Should we force them to NOT be spoon fed? Who has the right to do that? Under what circumstances?

      Maybe these questions are best left untackled.

  • http://clearlytoomuch.info Daniel

    Wow! I stumbled across this blog while reading another about Triberr. I scroll the main page and see a title I just had to click. I was literally LOLing clearly too much. I’m a Information Tech analyst and constantly have to monitor our company policies dealing with social media platforms. I’ve never been a fan of the likes of Facebook. I preach constantly how they are just building a huge database of information to market to the wrong people while monitoring everything people do from the time they wake up til then time they pass out. Now, they essentially have the world on a handful of sites just like the first ISP’s. The trolls are increasingly piercing through and maybe if I could go back in time before the popular social media networks grew I would have never left my channels of IRC. Yes, Facebook and Google are now the ones in charge I just wonder when the database is leaked/hacked to/for the wrong government. Now back to trying to figure out how to pilfer my way into Triberr.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      I’ve been thinking about where Triberr fits into all this and I think I got it…but thats a post for another time :-)

      You have a blog? Leave a link.

  • http://www.highballblog.com Constantin Gabor

    Politics, sociology and behavior science – this could be the tagline for this post. You’re a great thinker, Dino!

    Your voice is strong but is not loud enough. That’s why I’m gonna retweet this. 

    Now, how do we get you on TV and then how do we make them let you talk about stuff like this? You use heavy words there: system, government, social unrest…  

    How to get messages like this to the whole world ? That is the question. 

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Thnx dude,

      My voice doesnt have to be loud, as long as I can make the rest of us scream. And thats where Triberr comes in :-)

  • http://twitter.com/jedilost Kerem

    Really very good point, Dino.

    Actually, this is said to be one of the reasons why Anders Behring Breivik committed such a violant crime a few months ago in Norway. He was caught into the vicious circle of like-minded people with no room for any counter-opinion. It is quite a common habbit that people do try to find like minded people, but it gets alarming when Google and Facebook actually promote this whether intentionally or not.

    It is good to be aware of the trap, but is there a solid solution?

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      I think being aware of the pit falls is the first step in the right direction. The second step is to take personal responsibility for seeking out diversity. I dont expect to find it online, instead I look for it in books myself.

      Additionally, stop using google (very hard) and Facebook (not hard at all) and allow these business models to fail.

  • http://www.thewordchef.com tsilvestre

    As soon as I noticed that Google was returning search results skewed to what my friends/cousins have liked, I knew we were in trouble. Thanks for calling them out on this one. Hopefully, if enough of us tell them we don’t like this, they’ll stop doing it. (I can dream, can’t I?)

    • http://diyblogger.net/ dino_dogan

      Lately, it feels like everywhere I go, Im being followed by my friends. Google, Facebook, twitter, it never ends.

      Humans are novelty seeking animals. How am I supposed to discover something new if am bombarded with the same things people I already know like?

      But it makes it easier to market. So they do it.

      It’s a shame that google is capitulating it’s considerable innovative brainpower to make money, instead of aligning itself closer to true human nature. Money could easily be the byproduct of what they do. Instead, it’s the reason.

      @tsilvestre

  • http://netti-kasinot.net nettikasinot

    There is no way you can awoid theese conflicts, its just life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=749202393 Adam MacAdam

    You will find that the Internet is actually moderated, and quite heavily if you look deeply enough. and make a study of it. It is mostly self-policing, and there are elite squads of dedicated censors in every nation in the world. The Usenet is slightly less so, moderated mostly by prejudice and fear – but I say mostly. Packets disappear all the time. File part .001 can be awfully hard to find if the media or material is subversive. I think if there were a group of dedicated people who wanted to try an experiment in a truly free and tolerant internet they would do something like Darknet, but on its own dedicated wireless network. I suspect there are billions to be made by inventing and marketing privatize encrypted wireless public intranets – no node tracking, no tracking at all and owning the hardware lets you in. The inclusion of the other networks could be done via usenet spooling. A form of usenet subnet might survive the dedication of the censor. The censor is doomed if you are as dedicated, for he reveals his weakness in what he omits. You flood that which he removes and he loses his job and possibly his reality. Seek what you cannot find, for if you are seeking there are millions of others, maybe billions. We are more alike than we admit. I find this ugly truth to be the hardest thing to convey to Americans. Here we have 300,000,000 people staring supiciously at each other through cameras, each one prejudiced against the others and the world for what they themselves like to watch or do. . Try darknet, tor and think what YOU can do Einstein. Keep renaming files. Use fiction to tag. Be well.

    • http://twitter.com/dinodogan Dino Dogan

      I think you’re right. There needs to be totally anonymous, untrackable version of the internet. Im on it :-)