Criticism of Google includes concern for tax avoidance, misuse and manipulation of search results, its use of others' intellectual property, concerns that its compilation of data may violate people's privacy and collaboration with Google Earth by the military to spy on us , censorship of search results and content, and the energy consumption of its servers as well as concerns over traditional business issues such as monopoly, restraint of trade, antitrust, "idea borrowing", and being an "Ideological Echo Chamber".
Alphabet Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program.
Google's stated mission is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful"; this mission, and the means used to accomplish it, have raised concerns among the company's critics. Much of the criticism pertains to issues that have not yet been addressed by cyber law.
Google has been accused by a number of countries of avoiding paying tens of billions of dollars of tax through a convoluted scheme of inter-company licensing agreements and transfers to tax havens. For example, Google has used highly contrived and artificial distinctions to avoid paying billions of pounds in corporate tax owed by its UK operations. On May 16, 2013, Margaret Hodge, the chair of the United Kingdom Public Accounts Committee, accused Google of being "calculated and [...] unethical" over its use of the scheme. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has claimed that this scheme of Google is "capitalism", and that he was "very proud" of it.
Google cut its taxes by $3.1 billion in the period of 2007 to 2009 using a technique that moves most of its foreign profits through Ireland and The Netherlands to Bermuda. Afterwards, the company started to send £8 billion in profits a year to Bermuda. Google's income shifting—involving strategies known to lawyers as the "Double Irish" and the "Dutch Sandwich"—helped reduce its overseas tax rate to 2.4 percent, the lowest of the top five U.S. technology companies by market capitalization, according to regulatory filings in six countries.
On 10 December 2018, a New Zealand court ordered that the name of a man accused of murdering British traveller Grace Millane be withheld from the public. The next morning, Google named the man in an email it sent people who had subscribed to "what's trending in New Zealand". Lawyers warned that this could compromise the trial, and Justice Minister Andrew Little said that Google was in contempt of court. Google said that it had been unaware of the court order, and that the email had been created by algorithms.
According to Joe Wilcox of Microsoft-Watch, Google has increased its dominance of search, becoming an information gatekeeper, despite the conflict of interest between information gathering and the advertising surrounding that information. His colleagues do not share the same view.
In the case of the now-defunct Google-Yahoo! deal of 2008—a pact for Google to sell advertising on Yahoo! search pages—the U.S. Department of Justice found that the deal would be "materially reducing important competitive rivalry between the two companies" and would violate the Sherman Antitrust Act.
In testimony before a U.S. Senate antitrust panel in September 2011, Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman, said that "the Internet is the ultimate level playing field" where users were "one click away" from competitors. Beyond the existence of alternatives, Google's large market share was another aspect of the debate, as this exchange between Senator Herb Kohl and Mr. Schmidt at the September Senate hearing illustrates:
In testimony before the same Senate panel, Jeffrey Katz and Jeremy Stoppelman, the chief executives from Google's competitors Nextag and Yelp, said that Google tilts search results in its own favor, limiting choice and stifling competition.
In October 2012, it was reported that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission staff were preparing a recommendation that the government sue Google on antitrust grounds. The areas of concern include accusations of manipulating the search results to favor Google services such as Google Shopping for buying goods and Google Places for advertising local restaurants and businesses; whether Google's automated advertising marketplace, AdWords, discriminates against advertisers from competing online commerce services like comparison shopping sites and consumer review Web sites; whether Google's contracts with smartphone makers and carriers prevent them from removing or modifying Google products, such as its Android operating system or Google search; and Google's use of its smartphone patents. A likely outcome of the antitrust investigations is a negotiated settlement where Google would agree not to discriminate in favor of its products over smaller competitors. Federal Trade Commission ended its investigation during a period which the co-founder of Google, Larry Page, had met with individuals at the White House and the Federal Trade Commission, leading to voluntary changes by Google; since January 2009 to March 2015 employees of Google have met with officials in the White House about 230 times according to the Wall Street Journal.
On April 20, 2016, the European Union filed a formal antitrust complaint against Google's leverage over Android vendors, alleging that the mandatory bundling of the entire suite of proprietary Google software, hindered the ability for competing search providers to be integrated into Android and that barring vendors from producing devices running forks of Android both constituted anti-competitive practices. In June 2018, the European Commission determined a $5 billion fine for Google regarding the April 2016 complaints.
In 2006/2007, a group of Austrian researchers observed a tendency to misuse the Google engine as a "reality interface". Ordinary users as well as journalists tend to rely on the first pages of Google search, assuming that everything not listed there is either not important or simply does not exist. The researchers say that "Google has become the main interface for our whole reality. To be precise: with the Google interface the user gets the impression that the search results imply a kind of totality. In fact, one only sees a small part of what one could see if one also integrates other research tools".
Eric Schmidt, Google's chief executive, said in a 2007 interview with the Financial Times: "The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask the question such as 'What shall I do tomorrow?' and 'What job shall I take?'". Schmidt reaffirmed this during a 2010 interview with the Wall Street Journal: "I actually think most people don't want Google to answer their questions, they want Google to tell them what they should be doing next."
Numerous companies and individuals, for example, MyTriggers.com and transport tycoon Sir Brian Souter have voiced concerns regarding the fairness of Google's PageRank and search results after their web sites disappeared from Google's first-page results. In the case of MyTriggers.com, the Ohio-based shopping comparison search site accused Google of favoring its own services in search results (although the judge eventually ruled that the site failed to show harm to other similar businesses).
The page ranking algorithm of Google can and has been manipulated for political and humorous reasons. To illustrate the view that Google's search engine could be subjected to manipulation, Google Watch implemented a Google bomb by linking the phrase "out-of-touch executives" to Google's own page on its corporate management. The attempt was mistakenly attributed to disgruntled Google employees by The New York Times, which later printed a correction.
Daniel Brandt started the Google Watch website and has criticized Google's PageRank algorithms, saying that they discriminate against new websites and favor established sites. Chris Beasley, who started Google Watch-Watch, disagrees, saying that Mr. Brandt overstates the amount of discrimination that new websites face and that new websites will naturally rank lower when the ranking is based on a site's "reputation". In Google's world a site's reputation is in part determined by how many and which other sites link to it (links from sites with a "better" reputation of their own carry more weight). Since new sites will seldom be as heavily linked as older more established sites, they aren't as well known, won't have as much of a reputation, and will receive a lower page ranking.
In testimony before a U.S. Senate antitrust panel in September 2011, Jeffrey Katz, the chief executive of NexTag, said that Google's business interests conflict with its engineering commitment to an open-for-all Internet and that: "Google doesn't play fair. Google rigs its results, biasing in favor of Google Shopping and against competitors like us." Jeremy Stoppelman, the chief of Yelp, said sites like his have to cooperate with Google because it is the gateway to so many users and "Google then gives its own product preferential treatment." In earlier testimony at the same hearing Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman, said that Google does not "cook the books" to favor its own products and services.
In late May 2012, Google announced that they will no longer be maintaining a strict separation between search results and advertising. Google Shopping (formerly known as Froogle) will be replaced with a nearly identical interface, according to the announcement, but only paid advertisers will be listed instead of the neutral aggregate listings shown previously. Furthermore, rankings will be determined primarily by which advertisers place the highest "bid", though the announcement does not elaborate on this process. The transition will be complete in the fall of 2012.
As a result of this change to Google Shopping, Microsoft, who operates the competing search engine Bing, launched a public information campaign titled Scroogled. The ad campaign was developed by leading political campaign strategist Mark Penn.
It is unclear how consumers have reacted to this move. Critics charge that Google has effectively abandoned its "Don't be evil" motto and that small businesses will be unable to compete against their larger counterparts. There is also concern that consumers who did not see this announcement will be unaware that they are now looking at paid advertisements and that the top results are no longer determined solely based on relevance but instead will be manipulated according to which company paid the most.
Google's ambitious plans to scan millions of books and make them readable through its search engine have been criticized for copyright infringement. The Association for Learned and Professional Society Publishers and the Association of American University Presses both issued statements strongly opposing Google Print, stating that "Google, an enormously successful company, claims a sweeping right to appropriate the property of others for its own commercial use unless it is told, case by case and instance by instance, not to."
In a separate dispute in November 2009, the China Written Works Copyright Society (CWWCS), which protects Chinese writers' copyrights, accused Google of scanning 18,000 books by 570 Chinese writers without authorization, for its Google Books library. Toward the end of 2009 representatives of the CWWCS said talks with Google about copyright issues are progressing well, that first they "want Google to admit their mistake and apologize", then talk about compensation, while at the same time they "don't want Google to give up China in its digital library project". On November 20, 2009, Google agreed to provide a list of Chinese books it had scanned, but did not admit having "infringed" copyright laws. In a January 9, 2010 statement the head of Google Books in the Asia-Pacific said "communications with Chinese writers have not been good enough" and apologized to the writers.
Search engines such as Google's that link to sites in "good faith" fall under the safe harbor provisions of the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act which is part of DMCA. If they remove links to infringing content after receiving a take down notice, they are not liable. Google removes links to infringing content when requested, provided that supporting evidence is supplied. However, it is sometimes difficult to judge whether or not certain sites are infringing and Google (and other search engines) will sometimes refuse to remove web pages from its index. To complicate matters there have been conflicting rulings from U.S. courts on whether simply linking to infringing content constitutes "contributory infringement" or not.
The New York Times has complained that the caching of their content during a web crawl, a feature utilized by search engines including Google Web Search, violates copyright. Google observes Internet standard mechanisms for requesting that caching be disabled via the robots.txt file, which is another mechanism that allows operators of a website to request that part or all of their site not be included in search engine results, or via META tags, which allow a content editor to specify whether a document can be crawled or archived, or whether the links on the document can be followed. The U.S. District Court of Nevada ruled that Google's caches do not constitute copyright infringement under American law in Field v. Google and Parker v. Google.
Google Map Maker allows user contributed data to be put into the Google Maps service, similar to OpenStreetMap it includes concepts such as organising mapping parties and mapping for humanitarian efforts. It has been criticised for taking work done for free by the general public and claiming commercial ownership of it without returning any contributions back to the commons as their restrictive license makes it incompatible with most open projects by preventing commercial use or use by competitive services.
Google's March 1, 2012 privacy change enables the company to share data across a wide variety of services. This includes embedded services in millions of third-party websites using Adsense and Analytics. The policy was widely criticized as creating an environment that discourages Internet innovation by making Internet users more fearful online.
In December 2009, after privacy concerns were raised, Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, declared: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines—including Google—do retain this information for some time and it's important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities."
Privacy International has raised concerns regarding the dangers and privacy implications of having a centrally located, widely popular data warehouse of millions of Internet users' searches, and how under controversial existing U.S. law, Google can be forced to hand over all such information to the U.S. government. In its 2007 Consultation Report, Privacy International ranked Google as "Hostile to Privacy", its lowest rating on their report, making Google the only company in the list to receive that ranking.
At the Techonomy conference in 2010, Eric Schmidt predicted that "true transparency and no anonymity" is the way forward for the internet: "In a world of asynchronous threats it is too dangerous for there not to be some way to identify you. We need a [verified] name service for people. Governments will demand it." He also said that "If I look at enough of your messaging and your location, and use artificial intelligence, we can predict where you are going to go. Show us 14 photos of yourself and we can identify who you are. You think you don't have 14 photos of yourself on the internet? You've got Facebook photos!"
Google has been criticized for various instances of censoring its search results, many times in compliance with the laws of various countries, most notably while it operated in China from January 2006 to March 2010.
As of December 12, 2012, Google's SafeSearch feature applies to image searches in the United States. Prior to the change three SafeSearch settings—"on", "moderate", and "off"—were available to users. Following the change, two "Filter explicit results" settings—"on" and "off"—were newly established. The former and new "on" settings are similar, and exclude explicit images from search results. The new "off" setting still permits explicit images to appear in search results, but users need to enter more specific search requests, and no direct equivalent of the old "off" setting exists following the change. The change brings image search results into line with Google's existing settings for web and video search.
Some users have stated that the lack of a completely unfiltered option amounts to "censorship" by Google. A Google spokesperson disagreed, saying that Google is "not censoring any adult content," but "want to show users exactly what they are looking for—but we aim not to show sexually-explicit results unless a user is specifically searching for them."
Google has been involved in censorship of certain sites in specific countries and regions. Until March 2010, Google adhered to the Internet censorship policies of China, enforced by filters colloquially known as "The Great Firewall of China". Google.cn search results were filtered to remove some information perceived to be harmful to the People's Republic of China (PRC). Google claimed that some censorship is necessary in order to keep the Chinese government from blocking Google entirely, as occurred in 2002. The company claims it did not plan to give the government information about users who search for blocked content, and will inform users that content has been restricted if they attempt to search for it. As of 2009, Google was the only major China-based search engine to explicitly inform the user when search results are blocked or hidden. As of December 2012, Google no longer informs the user of possible censorship for certain queries during search.
Some Chinese Internet users were critical of Google for assisting the Chinese government in repressing its own citizens, particularly those dissenting against the government and advocating for human rights. Furthermore, Google had been denounced and called hypocritical by Free Media Movement for agreeing to China's demands while simultaneously fighting the United States government's requests for similar information. Google China had also been condemned by Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
In 2009, China Central Television, Xinhua News Agency, and People's Daily all reported on Google's "dissemination of obscene information", and People's Daily claimed that "Google's 'don't be evil' motto becomes a fig leaf". The Chinese government imposed administrative penalties to Google China, and demanded a reinforcement of censorship.
In 2010, according to a leaked diplomatic cable from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, there were reports that the Chinese Politburo directed the intrusion of Google's computer systems in a worldwide coordinated campaign of computer sabotage and the attempt to access information about Chinese dissidents, carried out by "government operatives, public security experts and Internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government." The report suggested that it was part of an ongoing campaign in which attackers have "broken into American government computers and those of Western allies, the Dalai Lama and American businesses since 2002."
In response to the attack, Google announced that they were "no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all." On March 22, 2010, after talks with Chinese authorities failed to reach an agreement, the company redirected its censor-complying Google China service to its Google Hong Kong service, which is outside the jurisdiction of Chinese censorship laws. From the business perspective, many recognize that the move was likely to affect Google's profits: "Google is going to pay a heavy price for its move, which is why it deserves praise for refusing to censor its service in China." However, at least as of March 23, 2010, "The Great Firewall" continues to censor search results from the Hong Kong portal, www.google.com.hk (as it does with the US portal, www.google.com) for controversial terms such as "Falun gong" and "the June 4 incident" (Tiananmen Square incident).
Google has been involved in censorship of Google Maps satellite imagery countrywide affecting Android and iOS apps using .com, .tr, and .tld automatically. Desktop users can easily evade this censorship by just removing .tr, and .tld from the URL but the same technique is impossible with smartphone apps.
In February 2003, Google stopped showing the advertisements of Oceana, a non-profit organization protesting a major cruise ship operation's sewage treatment practices. Google cited its editorial policy at the time, stating "Google does not accept advertising if the ad or site advocates against other individuals, groups, or organizations." The policy was later changed.
In April 2008, Google refused to run ads for a UK Christian group opposed to abortion, explaining that "At this time, Google policy does not permit the advertisement of websites that contain 'abortion and religion-related content.'" The UK Christian group sued Google for discrimination, and as a result in September 2008 Google changed its policy and anti-abortion ads were allowed.
In August 2008, Google closed the AdSense account of a site that carried a negative view of Scientology, the second closing of such a site within 3 months. It is not certain if the account revocations actually were on the grounds of anti-religious content, however the cases have raised questions about Google's terms in regards to AdSense/AdWords. The AdSense policy states that "Sites displaying Google ads may not include […] advocacy against any individual, group, or organization", which allows Google to revoke the above-mentioned AdSense accounts.
In May 2011, Google cancelled the AdWord advertisement purchased by a Dublin sex worker rights group named "Turn Off the Blue Light" (TOBL), claiming that it represented an "egregious violation" of company ad policy by "selling adult sexual services". However, TOBL is a nonprofit campaign for sex worker rights and is not advertising or selling adult sexual services. In July, after TOBL members held a protest outside Google's European headquarters in Dublin and wrote to complain, Google relented, reviewed the group's website, found its content to be advocating a political position, and restored the AdWord advertisement.
In June 2012, Google rejected the Australian Sex Party's ads for AdWords and sponsored search results for the July 12 by-election for the state seat of Melbourne, saying the Party breached its rules which prevent solicitation of donations by a website that did not display tax exempt status. Although the Sex Party amended its website to display tax deductibility information, Google continued to ban the ads. The ads were reinstated on election eve after it was reported in the media that the Sex Party was considering suing Google. On September 13, 2012 the Party lodged formal complaints against Google with the US Department of Justice and the Australian competition watchdog, accusing Google of "unlawful interference in the conduct of a state election in Victoria with corrupt intent" in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
YouTube is a video sharing website acquired by Google in 2006. YouTube's Terms of Service prohibits the posting of videos which violate copyrights or depict pornography, illegal acts, gratuitous violence, or hate speech. User-posted videos that violate such terms may be removed and replaced with a message stating: "This video is no longer available because its content violated YouTube's Terms of Service".
YouTube has been criticized by national governments for failing to police content. For example, videos have been critically accused for being "left up", among other videos featuring unwarranted violence or strong ill-intention against people who probably didn't want this to be published. In 2006, Thailand blocked access to YouTube for users with Thai IP addresses. Thai authorities identified 20 offensive videos and demanded that YouTube remove them before it would unblock any YouTube content. In 2007 a Turkish judge ordered access to YouTube blocked because of content that insulted Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, which is a crime under Turkish law. On February 22, 2008, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) attempted to block regional access to YouTube following a government order. The attempt inadvertently caused a worldwide YouTube blackout that took 2 hours to correct. Four days later, PTA lifted the ban after YouTube removed controversial religious comments made by a Dutch Member of Parliament concerning Islam.
YouTube has also been criticized by its users for attempting to censor content. In November 2007, the account of Wael Abbas, a well known Egyptian activist who posted videos of police brutality, voting irregularities and anti-government demonstrations, was blocked for three days.
In February 2008, a video produced by the American Life League that accused a Planned Parenthood television commercial of promoting recreational sex was removed, then reinstated two days later. In October, a video by political speaker Pat Condell criticizing the British government for officially sanctioning sharia law courts in Britain was removed, then reinstated two days later. YouTube also pulled a video of columnist Michelle Malkin showing violence by Muslim extremists. Siva Vaidhyanathan, a professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia, commented that while, in his opinion, Michelle Malkin disseminates bigotry in her blog, "that does not mean that this particular video is bigoted; it's not. But because it's by Malkin, it's a target."
In December 2018, a channel called Mumkey Jones was taken down by YouTube due to receiving three community guidelines strikes because of videos documenting and commenting on Elliot Rodger, the perpetrator of the 2014 Isla Vista killings, being considered hate speech. However, one of the strikes was on a private video with zero views with the title "elliott amv" leading many viewers to believe that YouTube had struck down the channel in an act of censorship.
In 2013, Google successfully prevented the Swedish Language Council from including the Swedish version of the word "ungoogleable" ("ogooglebar") in its list of new words. Google objected to its definition (which referred to web searches in general without mentioning Google specifically) and the Council was forced to remove it to avoid legal confrontation with Google. They also accused Google of "trying to control the Swedish language".
Since 2015, Google restricts access to software in Crimea and Sevastopol after the United States issued sanctions against the Russian government due to the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine.
Former Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work in 2018 criticized Google and its employees have stepped into a Moral Hazard for themselves as not continuing Pentagon's artificial intelligence project while helping the autocratic communist China's AI technology that could be used against the United States in a conflict. He described Google as hypocritical, given it has opened an AI center in China and “Anything that’s going on in the AI center in China is going to the Chinese government and then will ultimately end up in the hands of the Chinese military." Work said. “I didn’t see any Google employee saying, ‘Hmm, maybe we shouldn’t do that.'” Google's dealings with China is decrying as unpatriotic.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford also criticizes Google as "it’s inexplicable" that it continue investing in autocratic communist China, who uses censorship technology to restrain freedoms and crackdown people there and has long history of intellectual property and patent theft which hurts U.S. companies, while simultaneously not renewing further research and development collaborations with the Pentagon. He said “I’m not sure that people at Google will enjoy a world order that is informed by the norms and standards of Russia or China.” He urges Google work directly with the U.S. government instead of making controversial inroads into China. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) criticized Dragonfly evidences China's success at "recruit[ing] Western companies to their information control efforts" while China exports cyber and censorship infrastructure to authoritarian regimes like Venezuela, Ethiopia, and Pakistan.
Google has been criticized for the high amount of energy used to maintain its servers, but was praised by Greenpeace for the use of renewable sources of energy to run them. Google has pledged to spend millions of dollars to investigate cheap, clean, renewable energy, and has installed solar panels on the roofs at its Mountain View facilities. In 2010, Google also invested $39 million in wind power.
In late 2013, activists in the San Francisco Bay Area began protesting the use of shuttle buses by Google and other tech companies, viewing them as symbols of gentrification and displacement in a city where the rapid growth of the tech sector has driven up housing prices.
On August 15, 2007 Google discontinued its Download-to-own/Download-to-rent (DTO/DTR) program. Some videos previously purchased for ownership under that program were no longer viewable when the embedded Digital Rights Management (DRM) licenses were revoked. Google gave refunds for the full amount spent on videos using "gift certificates" (or "bonuses") to their customers' "Google Checkout Account". After a public uproar, Google issued full refunds to the credit cards of the Google Video users without revoking the gift certificates.
For some search results, Google provides a secondary search box that can be used to search within a website identified from the first search. It sparked controversy among some online publishers and retailers. When performing a second search within a specific website, advertisements from competing and rival companies often showed up together with the results from the website being searched. This has the potential to draw users away from the website they were originally searching. "While the service could help increase traffic, some users could be siphoned away as Google uses the prominence of the brands to sell ads, typically to competing companies." In order to combat this controversy, Google has offered to turn off this feature for companies who request to have it removed.
According to software engineer Ben Lee and Product Manager Jack Menzel, the idea for search within search originated from the way users were searching. It appeared that users were often not finding exactly what they needed while trying to explore within a company site. "Teleporting" on the web, where users need only type part of the name of a website into Google (no need to remember the entire URL) in order to find the correct site, is what helps Google users complete their search. Google took this concept a step further and instead of just "teleporting", users could type in keywords to search within the website of their choice.
Google's Street View has been criticized for providing information that could potentially be useful to terrorists. In the United Kingdom during March 2010, Liberal Democrats MP Paul Keetch and unnamed military officers criticized Google for including pictures of the entrance to the British Army Special Air Service (SAS) base, stating that terrorists might use the information to plan attacks. Google responded that it "only takes images from public roads and this is no different to what anyone could see travelling down the road themselves, therefore there is no appreciable security risk." Military sources stated that "It is highly irresponsible for military bases, especially special forces, to be pictured on the internet. [...] The question is, why risk a very serious security breach for the sake of having a picture on a website?" Google was subsequently forced to remove images of the SAS base and other military, security and intelligence installations, admitting that its trained drivers had failed to not take photographs in areas banned under the Official Secrets Act.
Despite being one of the world's largest and most influential companies, unlike many other technology companies, Google does not disclose its political spending. In August 2010, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio launched a national campaign urging the corporation to disclose all of its political spending.
Google sponsors several non-profit lobbying groups, such as the Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec) in the UK. Google has sponsored meetings of the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute who have had speakers including libertarian Republican and Tea Party member, and Senator for Kentucky, Rand Paul.
In 2013, Google joined the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). In September 2014, Google chairman Eric Schmidt announced the company would leave ALEC for "lying" about climate change and "hurting our children".
Peter Thiel stated that Google had too much influence on the Obama administration, claiming that the company "had more power under Obama than Exxon had under Bush 43". There are many revolving door examples between Google and the U.S. government. This includes: 53 revolving door moves between Google and the White House; 22 former White House officials who left the administration to work for Google and 31 Google executives who joined the White House; 45 Obama for America campaign staffers leaving for Google or Google controlled companies; 38 revolving door moves between Google and government positions involving national security, intelligence or the Department of Defense; 23 revolving door moves between Google and the State Department; and 18 Pentagon officials moving to Google.
On February 16, 2016, internet reviewer Doug Walker (The Nostalgia Critic) posted a video about his concerns related to YouTube's current copyright claiming system apparently being tipped in favor of claimants rather than creators, despite many of those videos being reported as covered under Fair Use laws. The video featured stories of other YouTubers' experiences with the copyright system, including fellow Channel Awesome producer Brad Jones, who received a strike on his channel for uploading a film review that took place in a parked car and contained no footage from the film itself. In the video, Walker encouraged others to spread the message using the hashtag #WTFU (Where's the Fair Use?) on social media. The hashtag spread among multiple YouTubers, who gave their support to Walker and Channel Awesome and relaying their own stories of issues with YouTube's copyright system, including Dan Murrell of Screen Junkies, GradeAUnderA, and Let's Play producers Mark Fishbach (Markiplier) and Seán William McLoughlin (Jacksepticeye).
Ten days later, on February 26, 2016, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki tweeted a link to a post from the YouTube Help Forum and thanked the community for bringing the issue to their attention. The post, written by a member of the YouTube Policy Team named Spencer (no last name was given), stated that they will be working to strengthen communication between creators and YouTube Support and "improvements to increase transparency into the status of monetization claims."
Most YouTube videos allow users to leave comments, and these have attracted attention for the negative aspects of both their form and content. In 2006, Time praised Web 2.0 for enabling "community and collaboration on a scale never seen before", and added that YouTube "harnesses the stupidity of crowds as well as its wisdom. Some of the comments on YouTube make you weep for the future of humanity just for the spelling alone, never mind the obscenity and the naked hatred". The Guardian in 2009 described users' comments on YouTube as:
Juvenile, aggressive, misspelled, sexist, homophobic, swinging from raging at the contents of a video to providing a pointlessly detailed description followed by a LOL, YouTube comments are a hotbed of infantile debate and unashamed ignorance – with the occasional burst of wit shining through.
In September 2008, The Daily Telegraph commented that YouTube was "notorious" for "some of the most confrontational and ill-formed comment exchanges on the internet", and reported on YouTube Comment Snob, "a new piece of software that blocks rude and illiterate posts". The Huffington Post noted in April 2012 that finding comments on YouTube that appear "offensive, stupid and crass" to the "vast majority" of the people is hardly difficult.
On November 6, 2013, Google implemented a new comment system that requires all YouTube users to use a Google+ account to comment on videos, thereby making the comment system Google+-orientated. The corporation stated that the change is necessary to personalize comment sections for viewers, eliciting an overwhelmingly negative public response—YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim also expressed disdain by writing on his channel: "why the fuck do I need a Google+ account to comment on a video?". The official YouTube announcement received over 62,000 "thumbs down" votes and only just over 4,000 "thumbs up" votes, while an online petition demanding Google+'s removal gained more than 230,000 signatures in just over two months. Writing in the Newsday blog Silicon Island, Chase Melvin noted: "Google+ is nowhere near as popular a social media network as Facebook, but it's essentially being forced upon millions of YouTube users who don't want to lose their ability to comment on videos." In the same article Melvin adds:
Perhaps user complaints are justified, but the idea of revamping the old system isn't so bad. Think of the crude, misogynistic and racially-charged mudslinging that has transpired over the last eight years on YouTube without any discernible moderation. Isn't any attempt to curb unidentified libelers worth a shot? The system is far from perfect, but Google should be lauded for trying to alleviate some of the damage caused by irate YouTubers hiding behind animosity and anonymity.
On July 27, 2015, Google announced that Google+ would no longer be required for using various services, including YouTube. Users are now able to delete their Google+ profile without losing features or content.
On April 1, 2016, the Mic Drop April Fools' joke in Gmail caused damage for users who accidentally clicked the button Google installed on that occasion.
A widely circulated internal memo, written by senior engineer James Damore, Google's Ideological Echo Chamber, sharply criticized Google's political biases and employee policies. Google said the memo was "advancing harmful gender stereotypes" and fired Damore. After which some argued that Google proved itself to be political, and some even demanded the resignation of its CEO Sundar Pichai for mishandling the case 
Ads criticizing Pichai and Google for the firing were put up shortly after at various Google locations. Some have called to boycott Google and its services, with a hashtag #boycottGoogle coming up on Twitter. A rally against Google alleged partisanship was planned as "March on Google", but later cancelled due to threats and the Charlottesville mayhem. 
Arne Wilberg, an ex-YouTube recruiter, claimed he was fired in November 2017 when he complained about Google's new practices in not hiring white and Asian men to YouTube in favor of women and minority applicants. According to the lawsuit, an internal policy document stated that for three months in 2017, YouTube recruiters should only hire diverse candidates.
The NYT reported that Google has pressured the New America think tank which is supported by it, to remove a statement supporting the EU anti-trust fine against Google. After Eric Schmidt voiced his displeasure from the statement, the whole research group involved were sidelined in the New America think tank, which gets funding from Google.  Consequently, the Open markets research group went to open their own think tank, which will not get any funding from Google.
Wide attention in Polish media has resulted from Google's attempt to patent video compression application of ANS coding, which is now widely used in products of e.g. Apple, Facebook and Google. Its author has helped Google in this adaptation for 3 years through public forum, but was not included in the patent application. He was supported in fighting this patent by his employer: Jagiellonian University.     
Google's huge share of spatial information services, including Google Maps and the Google Places API, has been criticised by activists and academics in terms of the cartographic power it affords Google to map and represent the world's cities. In addition, given Google and Alphabet Inc.'s increasing involvement with urban planning, particularly through subsidiaries like Sidewalk Labs, this has resulted in criticism that Google is exerting an increasing power over urban areas that may not be beneficial to democracy in the long term. This criticism is also related to wider concerns around democracy and Smart Cities that has been directed to a number of other large corporations.
On November 1, 2018 approximately 20,000 employees of Google engaged in a worldwide walkout to protest the way in which the company has handled sexual harassment, and other grievances.
Jie Qi, PhD student from MIT Media Lab was invited by Google ATAP for job interview in 2014, where she talked with its management, among others Regina E. Dugan, about her work on interactive book. In 2016 she has found that Google has filed a patent on it a few months after the interview. The patent was finally rejected by USPTO.
Google is 'flying a banner of doing no evil, and then they're perpetrating evil under our noses,' said Abraham J. Briloff, a professor emeritus of accounting at Baruch College in New York who has examined Google's tax disclosures. 'Who is it that paid for the underlying concept on which they built these billions of dollars of revenues?' Briloff said. 'It was paid for by the United States citizenry.'
Basically, Google licenses foreign rights to its intellectual property to an Irish subsidiary known as Google Ireland Holdings, and this outfit owns a separate subsidiary known as Google Ireland Limited. It's Google Ireland Limited – the second subsidiary – that actually sells advertising across the globe. Last year, it accounted for 88 per cent of Google's $12.5 billion in non-U.S. sales.
[Google's] Dublin-based advertising team replied: At this time, Google policy does not permit the advertisement of websites that contain 'abortion and religion-related content.'
"Don't be evil" was a motto used within Google's corporate code of conduct.
Following Google's corporate restructuring under the conglomerate Alphabet Inc. in October 2015, Alphabet took "Do the right thing" as its motto, also forming the opening of its corporate code of conduct. The original motto was retained in Google's code of conduct, now a subsidiary of Alphabet. In April 2018, the motto was removed from the code of conduct's preface and retained in its last sentence.Dragonfly (search engine)
According to press reports, Dragonfly was an Internet search engine app being prototyped by Google that was designed to be compatible with China's state censorship provisions. . The public learned of Dragonfly's existence in August 2018, when The Intercept leaked an internal memo written by a Google employee about the project. Months later, Dragonfly had "effectively been shut down" after a clash with members of the privacy team within Google.Elsagate
Elsagate is a neologism referring to the controversy surrounding videos on YouTube and YouTube Kids that are categorized as "child-friendly," but which contain themes that are inappropriate for children. Most videos under this classification are notable for presenting content such as violence, sexual situations, fetishes, drugs, alcohol, injections, toilet humor, and dangerous or upsetting situations and activities.The videos often feature popular characters from family-oriented media, sometimes via crossovers, used without legal permission; the term itself is composed of Elsa (a character from the Disney animated film Frozen, who is frequently depicted in such videos) and -gate (a suffix for scandals). However, the Elsagate controversy has also included channels such as Toy Freaks that don't feature child-/family-friendly characters but real children, and have raised concern about possible child abuse.
Most videos in this category are either live action films or crude digital animations, although a few channels have been using more elaborate techniques such as clay animation. Despite YouTube's age restriction policies, these videos are sometimes tagged in such a way to circumvent the inbuilt child safety algorithms, even making their way into YouTube Kids, and are thus difficult to moderate due to the large scale of the platform. In order to capture search results and attract attention from users, their titles and descriptions feature names of famous characters, as well as keywords like "education," "learn colors," "nursery rhymes," etc. They also include automatically-placed ads, making them lucrative to their owners and YouTube. Despite the objectionable and often confusing nature of these videos, many attract millions of views.While criticism of the channels themselves has existed since at least 2014, public awareness of the phenomenon grew in 2017, as it became part of a broader controversy about child safety on YouTube. That year, after reports by several media outlets, YouTube adopted stricter guidelines regarding children's content. In late November, the company started to mass delete channels and videos falling into the Elsagate category, as well as large amounts of other inappropriate videos or user's comments relating to children.FairSearch
FairSearch is a group of organizations that lobby against Google's market dominance in online search and related practices. The group is controlled by Oracle and Naspers executives and has been characterized as a consumer protection organization, a Google watchdog, as well as a front group for Microsoft. Many of its other members are also Google competitors, such as Expedia and Oracle.Established in October 2010, FairSearch was formed by travel verticals and online travel agencies to oppose Google’s acquisition of travel software firm ITA followed by Microsoft in December that same year. In September 2012 Oracle and Nokia joined in filing a complaint regarding Android with the European Commission, alleging that its free-of-charge distribution model constituted anti-competitive predatory pricing.From at least 2011 to at least 2014, former Attorney General of Rhode Island Patrick Lynch was working with the Digital Citizens Alliance, sending messages to US attorneys and encouraging them to investigate Google.Google
Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies, alongside Amazon, Apple and Facebook.Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University in California. Together they own about 14 percent of its shares and control 56 percent of the stockholder voting power through supervoting stock. They incorporated Google as a privately held company on September 4, 1998. An initial public offering (IPO) took place on August 19, 2004, and Google moved to its headquarters in Mountain View, California, nicknamed the Googleplex. In August 2015, Google announced plans to reorganize its various interests as a conglomerate called Alphabet Inc. Google is Alphabet's leading subsidiary and will continue to be the umbrella company for Alphabet's Internet interests. Sundar Pichai was appointed CEO of Google, replacing Larry Page who became the CEO of Alphabet.
The company's rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions, and partnerships beyond Google's core search engine (Google Search). It offers services designed for work and productivity (Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides), email (Gmail/Inbox), scheduling and time management (Google Calendar), cloud storage (Google Drive), social networking (Google+), instant messaging and video chat (Google Allo, Duo, Hangouts), language translation (Google Translate), mapping and navigation (Google Maps, Waze, Google Earth, Street View), video sharing (YouTube), note-taking (Google Keep), and photo organizing and editing (Google Photos). The company leads the development of the Android mobile operating system, the Google Chrome web browser, and Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system based on the Chrome browser. Google has moved increasingly into hardware; from 2010 to 2015, it partnered with major electronics manufacturers in the production of its Nexus devices, and it released multiple hardware products in October 2016, including the Google Pixel smartphone, Google Home smart speaker, Google Wifi mesh wireless router, and Google Daydream virtual reality headset. Google has also experimented with becoming an Internet carrier (Google Fiber, Project Fi, and Google Station).Google.com is the most visited website in the world. Several other Google services also figure in the top 100 most visited websites, including YouTube and Blogger. Google is the most valuable brand in the world as of 2017, but has received significant criticism involving issues such as privacy concerns, tax avoidance, antitrust, censorship, and search neutrality. Google's mission statement is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful", and its unofficial slogan was "Don't be evil" until the phrase was removed from the company's code of conduct around May 2018.Google's Ideological Echo Chamber
Google's Ideological Echo Chamber, commonly referred to as the Google memo, is an internal memo, dated July 2017, by United States-based Google engineer James Damore () about Google's culture and diversity policies. The memo and Google's subsequent dismissal of Damore in August 2017 became a subject of interest for the media.
The company fired Damore for violation of the company's code of conduct. Damore filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, but later withdrew this complaint. A lawyer with the NLRB found his firing to be proper; however such a decision is not legally binding. After withdrawing this complaint, Damore filed a class action lawsuit, retaining the services of attorney Harmeet Dhillon, alleging that Google was discriminating against conservatives, whites and Asians, and men.Google Buzz
Google Buzz was a social networking, microblogging and messaging tool that was developed by Google and integrated into their web-based email program, Gmail. Users could share links, photos, videos, status messages and comments organized in "conversations" and visible in the user's inbox.On October 14, 2011, Google announced that it would discontinue the service and that the existing content would be available in read-only mode. Buzz was discontinued on December 15, 2011 and superseded by Google+.Buzz enabled users to choose to share publicly with the world or privately to a group of friends each time they posted. Picasa, Flickr, Google Latitude, Google Reader, Google Sidewiki, YouTube, Blogger, FriendFeed, identi.ca and Twitter were integrated. The creation of Buzz was seen by industry analysts as an attempt by Google to compete with social networking websites like Facebook and microblogging services like Twitter. Buzz also included several user interface elements from other Google products (e.g., Google Reader), such as the ability to "like" a post.
Google executive Sergey Brin said that by offering social communications, Buzz would help bridge the gap between work and leisure, but the service was strongly criticized when it was introduced for insufficient attention to users' privacy.Google Desktop
Google Desktop was a computer program with desktop search capabilities, created by Google for Linux, Apple Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows systems. It allowed text searches of a user's email messages, computer files, music, photos, chats, Web pages viewed, and the ability to display "Google Gadgets" on the user's desktop in a Sidebar.
In September 2011, Google announced it would discontinue a number of its products, including Google Desktop. The reason given was that "In the last few years, there’s been a huge shift from local to cloud-based storage and computing, as well as the integration of search and gadget functionality into most modern operating systems. People now have instant access to their data, whether online or offline. As this was the goal of Google Desktop, the product will be discontinued".Google Earth
Google Earth is a computer program that renders a 3D representation of Earth based primarily on satellite imagery. The program maps the Earth by superimposing satellite images, aerial photography, and GIS data onto a 3D globe, allowing users to see cities and landscapes from various angles. Users can explore the globe by entering addresses and coordinates, or by using a keyboard or mouse. The program can also be downloaded on a smartphone or tablet, using a touch screen or stylus to navigate. Users may use the program to add their own data using Keyhole Markup Language and upload them through various sources, such as forums or blogs. Google Earth is able to show various kinds of images overlaid on the surface of the earth and is also a Web Map Service client.
In addition to Earth navigation, Google Earth provides a series of other tools through the desktop application. Additional globes for the Moon and Mars are available, as well as a tool for viewing the night sky. A flight simulator game is also included. Other features allow users to view photos from various places uploaded to Panoramio, information provided by Wikipedia on some locations, and Street View imagery. The web-based version of Google Earth also includes Voyager, a feature that periodically adds in-program tours, often presented by scientists and documentarians.
Google Earth has been viewed by some as a threat to privacy and national security, leading to the program being banned in multiple countries. Some countries have requested that certain areas be obscured in Google's satellite images, usually areas containing military facilities.Google Glass
Google Glass is a brand of smart glasses—an optical head-mounted display designed in the shape of a pair of eyeglasses. It was developed by X (previously Google X) with the mission of producing a ubiquitous computer. Google Glass displayed information in a smartphone-like, hands-free format. Wearers communicated with the Internet via natural language voice commands.Google started selling a prototype of Google Glass to qualified "Glass Explorers" in the US on April 15, 2013, for a limited period for $1,500, before it became available to the public on May 15, 2014. It had an integral 5 megapixel still/720p video camera. The headset received a great deal of criticism and legislative action due to privacy and safety concerns.
On January 15, 2015, Google announced that it would stop producing the Google Glass prototype, to be continued in 2017 tentatively. In July 2017, it was announced that the Google Glass Enterprise Edition would be released.Google Groups
Google Groups is a service from Google that provides discussion groups for people sharing common interests. The Groups service also provides a gateway to Usenet newsgroups via a shared user interface.
Google Groups became operational in February 2001, following Google's acquisition of Deja's Usenet archive. Deja News had been operational since 1995.
Google Groups allows any user to freely conduct and access threaded discussions, via either a web interface or e-mail. There are at least two kinds of discussion group. The first kind are forums specific to Google Groups, which act more like mailing lists. The second kind are Usenet groups, accessible by NNTP, for which Google Groups acts as gateway and unofficial archive. The Google Groups archive of Usenet newsgroup postings dates back to 1981. Through the Google Groups user interface, users can read and post to Usenet groups.In addition to accessing Google and Usenet groups, registered users can also set up mailing list archives for e-mail lists that are hosted elsewhere.Google Scholar
Google Scholar is a freely accessible web search engine that indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines. Released in beta in November 2004, the Google Scholar index includes most peer-reviewed online academic journals and books, conference papers, theses and dissertations, preprints, abstracts, technical reports, and other scholarly literature, including court opinions and patents. While Google does not publish the size of Google Scholar's database, scientometric researchers estimated it to contain roughly 389 million documents including articles, citations and patents making it the world's largest academic search engine in January 2018. Previously, the size was estimated at 160 million documents as of May 2014. An earlier statistical estimate published in PLOS ONE using a Mark and recapture method estimated approximately 80–90% coverage of all articles published in English with an estimate of 100 million. This estimate also determined how many documents were freely available on the web.
Google Scholar has been criticized for not vetting journals and including predatory journals in its index.Google Search
Google Search, also referred to as Google Web Search or simply Google, is a web search engine developed by Google LLC. It is the most used search engine on the World Wide Web across all platforms, with 92.74% market share as of October 2018, handling more than 3.5 billion searches each day.The order of search results returned by Google is based, in part, on a priority rank system called "PageRank". Google Search also provides many different options for customized search, using symbols to include, exclude, specify or require certain search behavior, and offers specialized interactive experiences, such as flight status and package tracking, weather forecasts, currency, unit and time conversions, word definitions, and more.
The main purpose of Google Search is to hunt for text in publicly accessible documents offered by web servers, as opposed to other data, such as images or data contained in databases. It was originally developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1997. In June 2011, Google introduced "Google Voice Search" to search for spoken, rather than typed, words. In May 2012, Google introduced a Knowledge Graph semantic search feature in the U.S.
Analysis of the frequency of search terms may indicate economic, social and health trends. Data about the frequency of use of search terms on Google can be openly inquired via Google Trends and have been shown to correlate with flu outbreaks and unemployment levels, and provide the information faster than traditional reporting methods and surveys. As of mid-2016, Google's search engine has begun to rely on deep neural networks.Competitors of Google include Baidu and Soso.com in China; Naver.com and Daum.net in South Korea; Yandex in Russia; Seznam.cz in the Czech Republic; Yahoo in Japan, Taiwan and the US, as well as Bing and DuckDuckGo. Some smaller search engines offer facilities not available with Google, e.g. not storing any private or tracking information.
Within the US, as of July 2018, Microsoft Sites handled 24.2 percent of all search queries in the United States. During the same period of time, Oath (formerly known as Yahoo) had a search market share of 11.5 percent. Market leader Google generated 63.2 percent of all core search queries in the United States.Is Google Making Us Stupid?
Is Google Making Us Stupid? What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (alternatively Is Google Making Us Stoopid?) is a magazine article by technology writer Nicholas G. Carr, and is highly critical of the Internet's effect on cognition. It was published in the July/August 2008 edition of The Atlantic magazine as a six-page cover story. Carr's main argument is that the Internet might have detrimental effects on cognition that diminish the capacity for concentration and contemplation. Despite the title, the article is not specifically targeted at Google, but more at the cognitive impact of the Internet and World Wide Web. Carr expanded his argument in The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, a book published by W. W. Norton in June 2010.
The essay was extensively discussed in the media and the blogosphere, with reactions to Carr's argument being polarised. At the Britannica Blog, a part of the discussion focused on the apparent bias in Carr's argument toward literary reading. In Carr's view, reading on the Internet is generally a shallower form in comparison with reading from printed books in which he believes a more intense and sustained form of reading is exercised. Elsewhere in the media, the Internet's impact on memory retention was discussed; and, at the online scientific magazine Edge, several argued that it was ultimately the responsibility of individuals to monitor their Internet usage so that it does not impact their cognition.
While long-term psychological and neurological studies have yet to yield definitive results justifying Carr's argument, a few studies have provided glimpses into the changing cognitive habits of Internet users. A UCLA study led some to wonder whether a breadth of brain activity—which was shown to occur while users performed Internet searches in the study's functional MRI scans—actually facilitated reading and cognition or possibly overburdened the mind; and what quality of thought could be determined by the additional presence of brain activity in regions known to control decision-making and complex reasoning skills.NexTag
Nextag was an independent price comparison service website for products, travel, and education. It started originally as a website where buyers and sellers could negotiate prices for computers and electronics products. since 2000, the current business model has focused on comparison shopping. NexTag also owns Hamburg, Germany based Guenstiger.de. It provides unique and accurate functionality of tracking historical prices of a product across various sellers.In June 2007, Providence Equity Partners purchased a two-thirds majority of the company. Los Angeles based private equity firm Regent purchased the company in March 2015.
Nextag provides merchants with various services including automated ROI tracking system, promotional messaging platform for easy implementation of voucher codes and marketing messages, and Buyer Reviews and Trusted Seller program.Nextag's headquarters are in Redwood Shores, California. Additional offices are in Hamburg, Germany, Los Angeles, California, Tokyo, Japan, and Gurgaon, India.The Nextag.com web site went offline on 28 December 2018.Outline of Google
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Google:
Google – American multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products that include online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, software, and hardware.Robert Epstein
Robert Epstein (born June 19, 1953) is an American psychologist, professor, author, and journalist. He earned his Ph.D. in psychology at Harvard University in 1981, was editor in chief of Psychology Today, a visiting scholar at the University of California, San Diego, and the founder and director emeritus of the Cambridge Center
for Behavioral Studies in Concord, MA.Epstein has been a commentator for National Public Radio's Marketplace, the Voice of America, and Disney Online. His popular writings have appeared in Reader's Digest, The Washington Post, The Sunday Times (London), Good Housekeeping, Parenting, and other magazines and newspapers. An autobiographical essay documenting his long involvement with the media was published in 2006 in the academic journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.San Francisco tech bus protests
The San Francisco tech bus protests were a series of community-based activism held by residents of the San Francisco Bay Area beginning in late 2013, when the use of shuttle buses employed by local area tech companies became widely publicized. The tech buses have been called "Google buses" although that term is pars pro toto, in that many other tech companies such as Apple, Facebook, Yahoo and Genentech also pay for private shuttle services.The buses are used to ferry only tech company employees from their homes in San Francisco and Oakland to corporate campuses in Silicon Valley, about 40 miles south. The people involved in the protests viewed the buses as symbols of gentrification and displacement in a city where rapid growth in the tech sector and insufficient new housing construction has led to increasing rent and housing prices.In reaction to the protests, the City of San Francisco began provisional regulation of the shuttle services in August 2014, with some of the shuttle stops being closed or reassigned to other locations within the city. A permanent solution, known as the Commuter Shuttle Program, took effect on 1 February 2016. This subjected the shuttle services to regulatory processes and monetary compensation requirements, imparting greater legitimacy upon their use. Owing to these new regulations, by May 2017 the protests had largely abated.YouTube headquarters shooting
On April 3, 2018, at 12:46 p.m. PDT, a shooting occurred at the headquarters of the video-sharing website YouTube in San Bruno, California. The suspect was later identified as 38-year-old Nasim Najafi Aghdam, who entered through an exterior parking garage, approached an outdoor patio, and opened fire with a Smith & Wesson 9 mm caliber semi-automatic pistol. Aghdam wounded three people, one of them critically, before killing herself.San Bruno police said that "the investigation is now looking into a website that appears to show the same woman complaining about YouTube stifling traffic and suppressing videos."The shooting was a rare example of an active shooter incident committed solely by a woman; a 2014 FBI study reported that women perpetrated just six out of 160 active shooter incidents in the United States between 2000 and 2013.
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