We seem to have lost all concept of what evil is. In the tech blogosphere we throw the word around as if it is some sort of weapon. Google is evil, Facebook is evil, advertising is evil, marketers are evil.
Open isn’t evil. As long as it is the freetard version of Open – anything else is evil. Free isn’t evil but anything else is evil. Free access to the news isn’t evil but paywalls are evil.
The psychology of words is fascinating especially when it comes to propaganda. Evil, good, have very definite connotations which are being manipulated on a daily basis. If what is going on doesn’t match up with what we think is the right; or good way to do things then out comes the word – evil.
You want to talk about what evil is?
Hitler was evil. Bundy was evil. Pedophiles are evil. Evil is something that rocks you to your very soul. Evil is something you can taste in the back of your mouth as you find yourself unable to move. Those are the faces of evil.
We like to paint corporations that are willing to forfeit our future in exchange for obscene amounts of money as being evil but they are not. They are a business and at its roots business is all about making money regardless of the cost. Businesses can be bad – but again that is a subjective term – and businesses can be good but no matter how much you try and twist ideologies business is not evil.
Facebook is doing what any company would do in its position - solidifying its reach by whatever means it can. Google would do the same regardless of their tired old motto. Microsoft got hammered for years for doing what businesses do.
Sure we would all hope that businesses would do good things but the reality is that any business will do whatever it has to do to survive. That doesn’t even come close to meeting the the sniff test for evil.
I know in the past I have made the same error and tossed in the word evil without a thought; besides it is always good for pageviews right. Well no more – at least here because this is the only place that I have control on what gets posted. No more branding companies as being evil because one of these days someone could come along who truly deserves that title. The problem is that the word – the emotion – the fear – will have been so watered down that it won’t have the same needed impact.
So call Facebook bad, call Google bad but save evil for something that truly is.
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