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

  • Published on Jan 22, 2019
  • - Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
    - Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
    - But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
    Follow Big Think here:
    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...

Comments • 117

  • AnthicusZithna
    AnthicusZithna 3 months ago

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

  • Summer Vibes
    Summer Vibes 3 months ago

    ayyyy Big Think finally getting some likes, good one

  • kuldeep
    kuldeep 3 months ago

    It's the way all business works. All things exist have side effects.

  • Ben Coles
    Ben Coles 3 months ago

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

  • ProtonCannon
    ProtonCannon 3 months ago +1

    Basically both Google and Facebook are big fat pathetic LIARS!

  • Frodo
    Frodo 3 months ago

    Big Think got this one right!

  • Number Eight
    Number Eight 3 months ago

    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...

  • Joseph Ayagaaq Gallaнorn Sr.


  • IOn Vash
    IOn Vash 3 months ago

    RU-clip needs their whole board of directors to see this video.

  • Enkeria
    Enkeria 3 months ago

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

  • Crukk - Gaming
    Crukk - Gaming 3 months ago

    The map becomes the territory. And that's when we all get lost.

  • Furry Days
    Furry Days 3 months ago

    Now we got proposed laws that will require legitamate ids to use the internert...fuck this.

  • WesIsaLeo
    WesIsaLeo 3 months ago

    Notice how ads nation-wide and local are taking over the FB space where your friends' posts used to be? You scroll through ten posts and four are ads. >(

  • Hey Guys, This Is My New Name

    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.

  • Tim Wu
    Tim Wu 3 months ago

    So exactly what idealistic society does your world run?

  • Steve Smith
    Steve Smith 3 months ago

    The G word .

  • killbotone
    killbotone 3 months ago

    More Libtards with a problem with Capitalism.

  • mostawesomedudeever1
    mostawesomedudeever1 3 months ago +11

    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.

  • ProjectVerb
    ProjectVerb 3 months ago

    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.

  • Hunterkane
    Hunterkane 3 months ago

    OMG!!! It's almost like you need to generate revenue if you want to stay in business.

  • Mayank Bhandare
    Mayank Bhandare 3 months ago

    "The map becomes the territory, and that's where everything is lost!"

  • John T
    John T 3 months ago

    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)

  • cool thanks
    cool thanks 3 months ago

    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.

  • MrNicoJac
    MrNicoJac 3 months ago

    This guy knows his Simon Sinek

  • Violet Fyxe
    Violet Fyxe 3 months ago

    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.

    • Violet Fyxe
      Violet Fyxe 3 months ago

      _"a less intuitive/useful operating system like linux"_
      Having complete control over a more versatile and secure system is hard to deal with, I must admit.

    • gc8972b
      gc8972b 3 months ago

      well, here we are, exchanging information and being powered by apple and microsoft. you can still do a lot of progress without having to downgrade to a less intuitive/useful operating system like linux. the day it becomes a real competitor against those other systems, people will naturally gravitate towards it. like with most human creations

  • Paul Malatesta
    Paul Malatesta 3 months ago

    Duckduckgo > google('s search engine)

  • Josh Philips
    Josh Philips 3 months ago

    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.

  • magicalgold010
    magicalgold010 3 months ago

    This guy is immature and probably suffering from some serious mental illness

  • holycrapchris
    holycrapchris 3 months ago

    When did Facebook say they wouldn't have advertising?

    • Fnidner
      Fnidner 3 months ago +1

      it was the cornerstone of their business model in the beginning

  • Thijs van Gisbergen
    Thijs van Gisbergen 4 months ago

    I was already lost before I made the map my territory, Hah!

  • Yogurt Balloon
    Yogurt Balloon 4 months ago +20

    People in this comment section defending billionaire CEO's and exploitative corps is mind bogling.

    • Hamza Bozbaş
      Hamza Bozbaş 2 months ago

      Lol , it shouldn't be that mind boggling when a ignorant guy talk in such great channel that had such a great consumers accordingly. So it is not directly those guys are trying to defend the CEO's or so(even nothing is wrong doing so), it is this guy is talking such a great bullshit that they feel must defend them.

  • Brenda Rua
    Brenda Rua 4 months ago +1

    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.

  • xPumaFangx
    xPumaFangx 4 months ago +2

    There is nothing noble about Facebook and google.

  • Christopher Brunty
    Christopher Brunty 4 months ago

    I dont mind ads for a free service n most the time its based off ur likes

  • Simple Guy
    Simple Guy 4 months ago +1

    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).

  • ⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻

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

  • Chuck-U Farly
    Chuck-U Farly 4 months ago +1

    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.

  • Erik Boq
    Erik Boq 4 months ago

    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

  • Chuck-U Farly
    Chuck-U Farly 4 months ago +3

    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.

  • Rock Star
    Rock Star 4 months ago

    Thumbs up if you really miss the first clean version of youtube/facebook/instagram/snapchat without the ads.

  • Jess Vermont
    Jess Vermont 4 months ago

    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.

  • New Mateo
    New Mateo 4 months ago +2

    Google provides its services for free...what did you expect? Thats the entire business model lol.

  • tw06le1
    tw06le1 4 months ago

    I know right, it's like they're trying to become a bigger "G" 🤣

  • Louix Griego
    Louix Griego 4 months ago +6

    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.

  • sypen1
    sypen1 4 months ago +2

    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.

    • Violet Fyxe
      Violet Fyxe 3 months ago +1

      Nothing says 'old and out of touch' like an active Facebook account.

    • sypen1
      sypen1 4 months ago

      Moshpittin' Kitten complain complain never have solutions.

    • Moshpittin' Kitten
      Moshpittin' Kitten 4 months ago +1

      sypen1 I didn't lie; you calling me a liar isn't necessary, I just disagree with you. If you're that desperate to "win" I hear there are participation rewards... *EDIT* Unlike you, I'm going to reply once so it's easy for you to see. I did see your 2nd reply back to back and I did see you're still being an âsshole and I still maintain that because of that you do not deserve my time beyond this.

    • sypen1
      sypen1 4 months ago

      Moshpittin' Kitten So how do you suppose they pay for it? They didn’t steal it btw they have a terms of service and you know exactly what using their service means yet you continue to use it so saying they are stealing it from you is flat out lie. You not being able to control you spending it not their fault. You don’t have to buy anything it’s your choice this is the exact same model as free to air tv where ads pay for the entertainment content. So please educate me on some magical business model that solves your issue. Easiest way to fix your problem to stop buying shit you don’t need and learn some self control.

    • sypen1
      sypen1 4 months ago

      Moshpittin' Kitten you do know even though net neutrality is overturned not one single ISP has actually done anything yet right don’t just make up lies. I’m not in favor of it and google wasn’t the one lobbying for it either. Go thank Ajit for that

  • Hummingbird Journey
    Hummingbird Journey 4 months ago +6

    People are ads.

  • Riri N
    Riri N 4 months ago

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

    • Violet Fyxe
      Violet Fyxe 3 months ago

      The difference is you couldn't just walk away from a world war. Well I guess you technically could, but you'd have been executed for it. 🤷‍♀

  • rtd1791
    rtd1791 4 months ago +1

    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.

  • Hamza Bozbaş
    Hamza Bozbaş 4 months ago

    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.

  • morten larsen
    morten larsen 4 months ago

    One word : greed !

  • Moshpittin' Kitten
    Moshpittin' Kitten 4 months ago

    Can we call a mulligan on how we handled net privacy & net freedom?

  • Lucas Kiyasu
    Lucas Kiyasu 4 months ago

    Leftists and yours delirious hahah

  • Kevin Thompson
    Kevin Thompson 4 months ago

    Google the other China....Facebook a place for derps

  • Erik S
    Erik S 4 months ago +19

    And to think, my great, great, great, grandparents worried about the potato harvest and storms while fishing at sea.

  • Adherent of Lady Columbia
    Adherent of Lady Columbia 4 months ago +6

    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.

    • PastPresented
      PastPresented 3 months ago

      Foreign laws can be applied for services to foreign countries:

  • bigbone06
    bigbone06 4 months ago +6

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

  • Victor0326
    Victor0326 4 months ago +7

    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,?

  • Mass Extinction
    Mass Extinction 4 months ago

    Before google 🕵️‍♂️

  • bigbone06
    bigbone06 4 months ago +3

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

  • Shalisha Porter
    Shalisha Porter 4 months ago

    I wanna hear more of what he has to say. Like his info* and approach!

    • rtd1791
      rtd1791 4 months ago

      Shalisha Porter Read “Team Human”

  • We Smoke Bitcoins
    We Smoke Bitcoins 4 months ago

    we're all fucked

  • Gulgathydra
    Gulgathydra 4 months ago +71

    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.

    • The Jackanapes
      The Jackanapes 3 months ago +1

      I think there is a lot of confusion over what it is to be conscious, and corporations are taking advantage of this. Nothing new, the whole of Human history is filled with a psychological warfare built on manipulating a sense of unitary self (an incoherent illusion).
      I agree that in practical terms - as things are *now* - one has to avoid a platform if they aren't satisfied with the arrangement.
      It's simply not necessary to engage in any form of predation. This is the problem, the way we rationalize unnecessary and abusive status quo...

    • Gulgathydra
      Gulgathydra 3 months ago +2

      +The Jackanapes
      This is a very complex and convoluted idea, so it is hard to explain in broad strokes.
      It is true, as you stated, that the platforms have only your metadata, and not your actual personhood. I was never claiming that your actual personal sovereignty is being commodified, that would be a strawman that I won't defend. (When I said you are the product, I meant your eyeballs; your attention; your interest. Not your body)
      However, your metadata has no power. Those paying for your metadata aren't generally interested in your data, for its own sake; they want something from you.
      Your metadata doesn't have access to your wallet. Your metadata doesn't
      get a vote (Cambridge Analytica). They are not paying for access to your metadata (which is what they receive), they are paying for access to *you.*
      You may believe that you are not affected by advertising, but there is literally a half a trillion dollars that says you are wrong (the annual aggregate advertising expenditures - not all of it on you, obviously). Maybe you are schizophrenic, autistic, or otherwise sufficiently cut off from the world at large to be affected by advertising, I don't know you. But the averages prove that advertising opens wallets.
      These platforms make money by providing access to your wallet. Generally to the highest bidder. Generally without your specific knowledge or consent. (Your blanket consent is included in the ToS that almost no one reads.) They also take things from you that you (as a user of the platform) probably don't realise they are taking. For example, when you post a picture to Facebook, you do not own that picture... Facebook does (and maybe can sell it if they want to).
      *My point* was that if you are not satisfied with that situation, you can stay away from it by avoiding platforms that use that method.
      That usually means a platform you pay for directly (even still, read that ToS agreement), or no platform at all. (No web browser, just you and the URL bar, have fun.)

    • The Jackanapes
      The Jackanapes 3 months ago +2

      Let me see if I understand correctly.
      The metadata of a person are valuable to a company, which offers a platform to collect said metadata.
      This somehow converts the person into a product. Not their metadata, but their personhood, sovereignty, legal rights, etc. And yes, fully acknowledged - terms of service/use are usually not read by persons using these platforms.
      Offering a platform aimed at collecting metadata with the intention of targeting agency-altering advertising at the person - rather than paying for the value of the metadata - is a legitimate business model, and not a form of entrapment or abuse?
      Seems oddly arbitrary and highly suspicious to me.

    • Gareth Ellis
      Gareth Ellis 3 months ago +1

      Nope, the product is money, users are simply part of the process.

    • Xario Withoutalastname
      Xario Withoutalastname 3 months ago +6

      Sorry, not "product", "resource" would be the correct term.

  • Shots Happen
    Shots Happen 4 months ago +18

    Google makes us bend over for our private information, just to use a search engine.

  • Inquisitour M29
    Inquisitour M29 4 months ago +4

    World needs singularity!!!

  • Anthonyzzz
    Anthonyzzz 4 months ago +16

    Capitalism devouring itself

    • Moshpittin' Kitten
      Moshpittin' Kitten 3 months ago

      Anthonyzzz Also true... we gotta hope for change though. Never give up hope.

    • Anthonyzzz
      Anthonyzzz 3 months ago

      +Moshpittin' Kitten All valid points. Not sure any of that contradicts my original point tho. The problem is that most industries tend to have some, many or most companies run in the interests of the few and not the many. Very few don't "lose sight of what really matters". Once a company goes public, it's legal obligation is to maximise profits for shareholders, not to make the world a better place.

    • Anthonyzzz
      Anthonyzzz 3 months ago

      +Violet Fyxe Polarised thinking

    • Violet Fyxe
      Violet Fyxe 3 months ago +2

      Something communism will never do.

      Because there's nothing to eat. 🤷‍♀

    • Moshpittin' Kitten
      Moshpittin' Kitten 4 months ago +1

      Anthonyzzz Money is the root. There's nothing wrong with working harder than others and getting more to show for it. Maybe we can try a different meritocracy system. One that counts for the mentally ill and disabled (without them losing their freedom to aspire into what they wanna be and do with what they're capable of)
      People, life, and culture is ever changing. We need an open and free internet. Maybe for our youth, tech companies can begin defaulting all settings on hardware/software to "mature +18" on devices so it requires an adult to unlock it to begin with (kids are being exposed to too much too fast. They're losing their innocence.) Kids wouldn't be able to access RU-clip for obvious reasons... but then we create various KidTubes that doesn't show graphic content, swearing, or other stuff.
      The problem is there's a massive monopoly and no other companies stand a chance. Google/Twitterbook/YT set their algorithms so you can't see competition, I'm assuming. It makes sense from a business perspective... but somewhere along the line they've lost sight of what really matters (mankind, our future)

  • Desert Vox
    Desert Vox 4 months ago +3

    The winning factor = GAIN the favor of the CIA as THE platform for spying on your users.

  • RonPaul Revered
    RonPaul Revered 4 months ago +6

    Advertising goods and services is anti human abuse?

    • RonPaul Revered
      RonPaul Revered 3 months ago

      +Blood Angel Ask a door to door salesman or a phone salesman. In all seriousness though; A lot. Individuals can always use an ad blocker if they don't want an advertisement.

    • Blood Angel
      Blood Angel 4 months ago +1

      How many people can you justify annoying just to find one person that might be interested in what is being advertised?

    • David Olsen
      David Olsen 4 months ago +2

      +RonPaul Revered It's Google's fault, dude.

    • RonPaul Revered
      RonPaul Revered 4 months ago

      +David Olsen Who is to blame for operation dragonfly? The Chinese government or google? No matter the search engine the Chinese government is going to force them to conform to their laws.

    • Moshpittin' Kitten
      Moshpittin' Kitten 4 months ago +1

      The more you know🌠

  • Aupoorbo Sarkar
    Aupoorbo Sarkar 4 months ago +2

    I like this guy

    DR BUILDDA WALL 4 months ago

    Facebook & Mark Suckercunt are shit!

  • Discover Your Awesomeness
    Discover Your Awesomeness 4 months ago +9

    *Aging is not 'lost youth,' but a new stage of opportunity and strength. ×*

    • c'est la vegan
      c'est la vegan 3 months ago

      Gulgathydra Yeah, sounds about right! So far I’m still living to be old lol

    • Gulgathydra
      Gulgathydra 3 months ago

      +c'est la vegan
      That's the conundum, isn't it?
      Live to be old... or die young?

    • c'est la vegan
      c'est la vegan 3 months ago

      No. It's not. I mean, there are some benefits to aging, but it mostly sucks. Nobody actually wants to get old; they just don't wanna die.