F*ck You, Google

Illustration for article titled F*ck You, Google

I use my private Gmail account to email my boyfriend and my mother. There's a BIG drop-off between them and my other "most frequent" contacts. You know who my third most frequent contact is. My abusive ex-husband.

Which is why it's SO EXCITING, Google, that you AUTOMATICALLY allowed all my most frequent contacts access to my Reader, including all the comments I've made on Reader items, usually shared with my boyfriend, who I had NO REASON to hide my current location or workplace from, and never did.

My other most frequent contacts? Other friends of Flint's.

Oh, also, people who email my ANONYMOUS blog account, which gets forwarded to my personal account. They are frequent contacts as well. Most of them, they are nice people. Some of them are probably nice but a little unbalanced and scary. A minority of them - but the minority that emails me the most, thus becoming FREQUENT - are psychotic men who think I deserve to be raped because I keep a blog about how I do not deserve to be raped, and this apparently causes the Hulk rage.

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I can't block these people, because I never made a Google profile or Buzz profile, due to privacy concerns (apparently and resoundingly founded!). Which doesn't matter anyway, because every time I do block them, they are following me again in an hour. I'm hoping that they, like me, do not realize and are not intentionally following me, but that's the optimistic half of the glass. My pessimistic half is of the abyss, and it is staring back at you with a redolent stink-eye.

Oh, yes, I suppose I could opt out of Buzz - which I did when it was introduced, though that apparently has no effect on whether or not I am now using Buzz - but as soon as I did that, all sorts of new people were following me on my Reader! People I couldn't block, because I am not on Buzz!

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Fuck you, Google. My privacy concerns are not trite. They are linked to my actual physical safety, and I will now have to spend the next few days maintaining that safety by continually knocking down followers as they pop up. A few days is how long I expect it will take before you either knock this shit off, or I delete every Google account I have ever had and use Bing out of fucking spite.

Fuck you, Google. You have destroyed over ten years of my goodwill and adoration, just so you could try and out-MySpace MySpace.

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Harriet Jacobs is the nom de plume of the author of Fugitivus. She's a mid-twenties white girl living in the Midwest, working at a non-profit that assists families and deals with a lot of racial politics. Harriet has had a fucked-up life, and Fugitivus
—fugitive—is her space to talk, where the fucked-up people who did the fucked-up things couldn't find her and be creepy.

Bad Valentine is our own special take on the beauty—and awkwardness—of geek love.

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Update: The original blog posting has been updated and made private.

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DISCUSSION

I just got buzzed or, Help! I am being followed!

If Google went down tomorrow, I'd pretty much have to kill myself. I use Gmail for my business because it available to me anywhere, and my ability to organize and integrate it with my other data and apps is stunningly useful. And no spam.

I use Google Street View to check out businesses that might have a use for my rear projection digital signage business line, which is designed to be displayed in windows. I "go" down the street looking for businesses that have a suitable window and then I contact them. Saves hours of riding around, and it's free.

I have a lot of my business information and important documents stored on Google docs, which I also use to collaborate on projects. My blog, [eyestir.blogspot.com], is on you guessed it, Google. I use their calendar, the "to do" list. It just goes on and on.

Today I hooked up Google Buzz, it was easy, too easy, just like the rest of the Google happy dust. To my surprise (shock?) I am being "followed" by someone I don't know - but who once posted on this blog. And with several hundred other "contacts" I am sure that this is just the beginning.

What can he see? According to Google:

"Your Google Reader shared items, Picasa Web public albums, and Google Chat status messages will automatically appear as posts in Buzz. To edit your connected sites or change privacy settings, view connected sites."

Is even this too much? Sure I have public Picasa albums, I use Google reader (Feedly actually, but they are integrated into the matrix, sorry Google), but I don't know... this just feels invasive.

What really bothers me though, is that unlike our other shadowy masters, Steve and Bill, I know nothing about about Sergei and Larry, other than they are very smart and very very rich. Jesus, they might even be Republicans! Are you scared yet?

"Don't be evil", Google motto.

Larry and Sergei have information, lots of it. Absolute power and all that.

Google indexes every word on every web page in the world.

Google, or "The Google" as I like to call them - is a problem.

Every email I send, they store. Every email I get, they store. Their robots read my mail to serve me ads. You too. Is that all they do? Who knows? Google does!

Has Barak Obama ever visited bigtits.com, or made some intemperate remarks about white people in his emails? I have no idea, but Sergei and Larry do, and if he did, they own him now. You too of course, same for all the senators and congressscum, one false step on line and the Google has got your number.

They have all the passwords. They know where you went and what you searched for. And it's not going away.

If you don't believe me, just Google it.