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Are Google and Apple the New Bad Guys?

Mar 10, 2011, 17:04 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Serdar Yegulalp)

"The sheer size of an outfit, the raw scope of its ambitions, and the very nature of what they do make a path from Good Guy to Bad Guy seem all but inevitable. When you're that successful, it's all too easy to eventually become too smart, or powerful, or just plain too big for your own good.

"It sounds like a handy explanation, doesn't it? But the problem is, it explains little. For one, it's too deterministic: it implies that anyone who shoots for the stars is going to land in the gutter at least once. It absolves Google and Apple -- and anyone else who might be named in the same breath -- of any real responsibility for what they do.

"There are few entities that wield as much power as they do. Google and Apple are, to some degree, aware of that. But in my eyes they're not veering toward "bad guy" status merely because they're big. It's also because they're not compensating enough for their overweening power. For too long, both of them have not thoroughly examined the consequences of their actions. The results raise questions in various quarters, including among some of their biggest fans."

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