Google’s Been Putting Profit Before Ethics (petition)

Elephant tusks used to make ivory products - greenretreat.org

Elephant tusks used to make ivory products – greenretreat.org

 

Gator Woman, a blogger friend of mine, has blogged recently about Google’s deplorable practice of helping in the trafficking of illegal animal parts, including elephant tusk ivory. She found a petition asking for Google to stop this practice, but was unsure about the veracity of the petition’s claims. So she and I have done some research on it and have found that it is true. The following is some of the info we’ve found about Google.

According to The Guardian, a British newspaper that I greatly respect for publishing this story while American newspapers have not:

Google is helping to fuel a dramatic surge in ivory demand in Asia that is killing African elephants at record levels, a conservation group claimed on Tuesday.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) said there are some 10,000 ads on Google Japan‘s shopping site that promote the sale of ivory.

About 80% of the ads are for “hanko,” small wooden stamps widely used in Japan to affix signature seals to official documents. The rest are carvings and other small objects.

What’s worse is that The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has sent Google a letter asking that they stop promoting the sale of illegal animal parts such as ivory, but Google has not responded. The funny thing is that Google’s own policy states that it is against the practice, yet it still does it. Google says:

Google doesn’t allow the promotion of elephant ivory. Google doesn’t allow the promotion of whale products including bones, meat or oil. These restrictions are the same on Google’s wholly owned Japanese site.

The EIA says that Google has failed to enforce its own rules and has not responded at all to the EIA’s letter.

So what is a consumer of Google products such as Google Chrome internet browser, Google internet apps, and the Google search engine to do? Boycott!!! Stop using Google and start using alternative products. I have stopped using all three and now use Internet Explorer and Bing, which work just as well.

Google has also been caught red-handed delving into the personal info of their Gmail users and sharing that info with companies, thereby helping those companies tailor their ads to individuals based on what each individual searches for, buys and emails.

The only way that Google will cease these business practices is for consumers to stop using their products. The big dogs at Google may not care much for people’s right to privacy, the right to not be preyed upon by corporations, or the rights of endangered animals being killed for their parts by poachers, but any big corporation will always care about their profits. Only slumping sales will get them to pay attention and hopefully stop what they are doing.

It’s up to us to act and to force change. It won’t happen any other way.

To sign the petition against Google, go to action.sumofus.org. Thanks.

Advertisement

Your Personal Information Is No Longer Yours

I found this video on the blog, thisgotmyattention, who reblogged it from renardmoreau.

We all know that Facebook collects mounds of data on its users. The more you post, the more info they get from you. But just how much they get is staggering. The video reveals to unfortunate Facebook users that not only are their posts and pictures stored in some giant virtual vault, but that even deleted posts are kept in that giant virtual vault. Nothing you erase can really be erased, and if someone wants to get to it and use it, they can. Facebook also stores information from your Facebook friends, too, including their locations as they send you messages!

So what does Facebook do with all that info? They won’t tell.

And what about Google? A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how Google can not only find your blog through searches (which isn’t bad), but finds all the comments you post on other people’s blogs as well (which is terrible). What’s worse, Google has linked itself with tons of other social networking sites, as well as many other websites in which you have to enter a password to access. Have you noticed that to get into certain sites, you can just enter your Google password? That’s an example. It’s dizzying to think how much information Google can amass through not only its own records on us, but through the records kept by all the sites it’s linked to.

Complicating matters even more is what the federal government is doing with our information through it’s spy programs that mercilessly mine through our internet data.

So what do we do? Should we just stop using the internet? Some have already come to this conclusion. But should we have to? Or do we have a right to use the Web without looking over our shoulders?

Tell Google to Cease All Funding to Climate Change Deniers! (petition)

Photo courtesy of bgr.com

Photo courtesy of bgr.com

 

From SumofUs.org:

Earlier this month, Google hosted a $2,500-a-plate fundraiser for one of the world’s most powerful climate change deniers, Senator Jim Inhofe.

And just two weeks before that, Google poured $50,000 into the coffers of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a right-wing think tank that is also funded by the likes of the Koch brothers and ExxonMobil to put out faux “studies” that are used by policy-makers to deny climate change exists.

Simply put, Google is actively helping to fund the re-election of a senator who dismisses climate change as a “hoax”, and who even goes to far as to say that global warming, should it exist, is actually good because it adds to our economy.

Google’s support of CEI is just as harmful; the institute once ran ads saying that carbon dioxide is a positive factor in the environment and is best known for arguing that global warming is not a concern. CEI also launched multiple lawsuits aimed at discrediting the science behind climate change.

This is ridiculous! Almost all scientists agree that global warming/climate change is real and is happening as we speak. There is an enormous amount of data supporting global warming, and more being amassed daily. So why is Google doing this? Maybe to secure kickbacks from the ultra-wealthy, be they climate deniers or not. Either way, what they’re doing will have a detrimental impact on the environment. Let’s tell them that we know it’s wrong.

Tell Google: Stop funding climate change deniers. Sign the petition at action.sumofus.org.

Google Searches Can Find ALL Your Comments…

Image from "The Matrix" movie, courtesy of wallpaperbeautiful.com

Image from “The Matrix” movie, courtesy of wallpaperbeautiful.com (This whole thing reminds me of The Matrix!)

A few days ago, I decided to take the advice of one of my journalism teachers and do a Google search of myself, using my full name. My teacher told us that when companies these days are looking at job applicants, they sometimes will do web searches of them to find out what can be dug up. Apparently it helps them narrow down job applicants.

So I did just that- I typed my full name into Google. I didn’t assume to find anything particularly weird or negative (things like pictures of me with my top off in a bar; drunk, torrid rants on Facebook about an ex; you get the idea). I don’t do that stuff. So I figured I had nothing to worry about.

But what I did find made me very uneasy. There were search result entries of every comment I’ve made on anyone’s blog! I wasn’t surprised to find my own blog, but I didn’t expect to find my comments on other people’s blogs!

When I contacted the WordPress Help section to ask if comments could be blocked from search results, they said no because it’s Google that’s doing it, not WordPress. WordPress doesn’t have control of that. Even worse, those search results don’t ever go away! It’s all archived, I guess.

That’s why I’ve decided to no longer use my full name as my username. Now, I just use my blog’s name as my username, Illuminate by Tanya. (The username is the name seen when someone posts a message on their own blog or someone else’s blog, not the name of the actual blog). For those of you who do use your real names, I suggest using a different name from now on. At least that way, it will be more difficult for someone to track all of your comments if they tried.

Does this make anyone else uncomfortable? If so, maybe we can all try to contact WordPress to see if they can find a way to block Google. With Google being such an effective search engine, however, it may be out of WordPress’s hands. But we should try, anyway. If enough people complain, they’ll be more likely to do something to remedy the situation.