What happened to that wonderful method of connecting humans so tightly that the earth became a village? The detours to the misinformation superhighway. Look at what has become of that precious jewel. It’s a toxic cesspool of misinformation dominated and shaped by one major entity. No, it’s not Apple.
Clean, Meet Dirty
Allow me to admit that Google does not control the internet. But no other entity controls as much of the internet as Google. If you want to find the most salacious p-o-r-n available? Google it. If you want to dig into the dark web and learn how to harm humanity you can. Google it. Google is both home and purveyor of all the sins mankind has laid bare on the misinformation superhighway.
Wait. What? Hey, isn’t Google trying to clean up the web with more secure HTTPS connections? Isn’t Google trying to clean up the web by blocking nefarious malware posing as advertising?
Yes. Yet consider such actions as more beneficial to Google than to those among humankind who dare to traverse the interwebs via a search engine. Google shapes the internet far more than most of us realize, thanks to ranking search engine results however it damn well pleases, rather than through a judicious consideration of search intent vs. results.
There are times when I ask a question in Google because I want an answer, and Google responds with search results that are little more than other people asking the same question on a website or forum somewhere out there (and not receiving an answer).
What’s with that, Google?
Yes, Google shapes the internet. So does Apple.
Our favorite iPhone maker is accused by members of the technorati elite politburo because the company created a walled garden for customers; a Disneyesque locale where malware is minimized, where news and information is curated by humans, and protections are built-in to help customers avoid the seedier and more sinister locations where Google allows you to tread because advertising.
Apple put a stop to Alex Jones’ Infowars nonsense because, as CEO Tim Cook said:
We only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division, and violence: You have no place on our platforms. You have no home here.
Am I still free to cross the tracks to the wrong side of town? Yes. But Apple refuses to bring the dark side to my doorstep.
You know what?
I’m OK with that.
In an age where anything and everything goes, I find it refreshing that someone with both personal and position power steps up and isn’t afraid to say when something is wrong.
If we can’t be clear on moral questions like these, then we’ve got big problems. I believe the most sacred thing that each of us is given is our judgment, our morality, our own innate desire to separate right from wrong. Choosing to set that responsibility aside at a moment of trial is a sin.
Apple and Cook’s moral answers may differ from mine, possibly from yours, but let’s face it. Cess pools that spread across the land are not good for humanity. Cook and Apple cannot control every facet of misinformation because it arrives in abundance daily, but it can make the part where we live and work a much better place.
I’m OK with that.
Let Google shape the internet into an image that blends dark and light. But what happens when you have a glass of clear water and mix it with a glass of mud? You get mud. Clean and clear water must be segregated from dirty water.
Apple is doing just that.