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Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:57 am
by Julie G
In a recent move, Google has begun using humans to redirect searches for health content. Historically, if you were to search “APOE4,” based on traffic, our site would be your first or second hit. Using the Google search engine, our position has now moved to page six. This is a clear form of censorship. You can read about Google’s motives and criteria for this change here and here. In an ironic twist, the mainstream is now moving towards many of the strategies that have improved the lives of our members to prevent/remediate Alzheimer’s. You can resist this authoritarian attempt to control your thinking by switching your main search engine to Bing, Yahoo, or DuckDuckGo.

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:46 am
by ru442
We show up #3 in Bing & DuckDuckGo, on Yahoo we don't show on the first page but it's suggests at the very top "Also try: apoe4.info,...."

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:58 am
by Julie G
We show up #3 in Bing & DuckDuckGo, on Yahoo we don't show on the first page but it's suggests at the very top "Also try: apoe4.info,...."

Hmmm, when you exclude ads, on my computer we show up as the top search for all three using "apoe4." What search criteria were you using RU?

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:12 am
by ru442
Julie G wrote: What search criteria were you using RU?

I was using "apoe4"... wasn't excluding anything, just a straight search on the main pages.

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:24 am
by Julie G
Hmmm, I played with Yahoo a few times and we got the #1 hit every other try. :shock: I'd be interested to see what others find when using the alternate search engines. FWIW, when you type in "apoe4 + (any other topic)" we still come up as #1 on Google.

It's interesting to see how this censorship is playing out. Knowing that Google is tampering with my ability to freely search has encouraged me to change my primary search engine so that I can still see top hits based on actual trends, free from bias.

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:30 am
by MarcR
I'm a heavy user of the Google ecosystem. Over the past year or two I have become increasingly uneasy about that, and this glaring and personally affecting example of Google Search malfeasance has pushed me over the edge.

I'm going to reduce my use of Google going forward. Steps:

  1. Change to another default search engine in all locations where that is configurable. I'm going to try DuckDuckGo.
  2. Switch my primary browser from Chrome to Firefox.
  3. Minimize use of Google services within Android. I'll start by replacing the launcher so I don't get the Google news feed.
  4. Replace Google Music with another provider. My Garmin watch supports Spotify, so that's probably what I'll choose.
  5. Replace Hangouts. My family is already moving to Telegram because of the impending retirement of Hangouts and the lack of a worthy Google replacement.
  6. Replace Drive / Docs / Sheets? I think Onedrive / Word / Excel may strike the right balance of compatibility, functionality, and cost for me, but this would be a difficult change.
  7. Replace Gmail? Eight people actively use my family's domain for email, so this also would be difficult.
I invite others who are also outraged by Google's heavy-handed behavior to join me. Perhaps we can use this topic to share our intentions and progress.

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:52 am
by ru442
MarcR wrote:I'm going to reduce my use of Google going forward...

I've never been a big fan of google products, I used business apps for a very short time mostly to protect devices in case of theft etc. (in order to remote wipe them), and manage my contacts across devices. I've since found other products that are much safer and better, and most phone providers offer the ability to remote wipe in case of theft or loss.

Never been a fan of Chrome, I've been a Firefox fan for years, and sometimes use Opera with VPN to check iffy sites. I use MS Office products out of necessity, so I don't use the Google Apps as I like real time apps and not web based ones.

I also use a product called AkrutoSync for my contacts and calendar sync to my device on my laptop. It's an inexpensive (Premium version is $2.99 per month), Exchange like app that allows you to sync your phone/tablets securely via your router. If you make a change in Outlook (contact or meetings etc.), it gets automatically updated on your phones/tablets and visa versa.

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:50 pm
by TheresaB
Looks like YouTube is also censoring folks. On Facebook, Jimmy Moore of Livin' La Vida Low-Carb, posted that, "YouTube had permanently terminated and deleted my account! Every single video I’ve ever created over the past 15 years was now completely gone. Everything. Millions of views. So much information. Wiped from existence. Deleted!"

Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Post on YouTube Censorship

Holy cow! I don't want to come across as a tinfoil hat conspiracy theorist, but I can't help but think Big Pharma and/or the Food industry is somehow behind these events..

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:29 pm
by MarcR
Ru442, I had forgotten about Contacts (and also Calendar). Thanks for the reminder and for the replacement ideas.

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:34 pm
by TheBrain
I haven't trusted Google for a long time.

I use DuckDuckGo as my default search engine on my iMac. I use Bing on my iPhone and iPad. I use Google on rare occasion, and then close the tab (or window) so Google hopefully can't track my activities.

So I just opened a tab and went to Google.com. I did a search on apoe4 by itself. For me, our site shows up on page 5, listed as #9 of 10 search results on that page.

In my DuckDuckGo search of apoe4 by itself, our site is the first result listed, just below one ad.