10 Things You Can Do to Mitigate’s Alphabet’s Domination on the Web
Alphabet is the umbrella company that has Google as a subsidiary. Alphabet is the company that cashes in all the profits from the ads from the world's favorite search engine yield, as well as all the revenue from YouTube, goes. But it's not just these two services. And it's not just the most popular tech company today (at least on the world wide web). It is also one of the darkest entities on the planet, a company that is the equivalent of cancer when it comes to your privacy, your online identity, and your online liberties. What fascists throughout history have failed to do, Alphabet is attempting, though on a different level, and under means that appear to be lawful (at the time of this writing). If you see merit in this thesis, here is what you can do to veer from this malignant tumor that is Alphabet Inc.
1. Use alternative search engines, particularly those that respect your privacy or mask your PII through various means. Search engines like Searx (a meta-search engine that’s decentralized and designed with privacy in mind), DuckDuckGo (which is also a browser app on mobile devices), Groot (not the character from the Marvel Universe, but the Ssuiteoffice application for web searching), among others can provide a decent list of websites to match your query, without having to sell your private data to any company.
2. Use alternatives to YouTube for video sharing and viewing. Places like BitChute, Vimeo, and Dailymotion, can host your vids, while they have lots of videos on them already. They may not be as refined or feature-rich as YouTube, but they at least respect your privacy and don't censor whatever they disagree with.
3. Check and double-check whatever online source you come across. Even if you don't use Google, others may still do, so whatever link you find on social media may have come from a Google search engine results page (SERP). This may have happened for various reasons since no one is certain about what drives the algorithm behind that search engine. So, just because something makes it to one of the first SERPs, it doesn't mean that it's the most credible source of information.
4. Use alternative website analytics services. Yes, Google Analytics may have become synonymous with website analytics, but there are other similar services too that you can rely on to monitor your website's performance. Just because Google Analytics is the most popular, it doesn't mean it's the most viable option.
5. Avoid Google Pay whenever possible. Whenever you use this payment gateway, Alphabet gets a cut, just like any other such mediator between you and the merchant. Just because it has a recognizable brand, it doesn't mean that this is the best way to pay for things online. Other payment gateway companies, such as Square, can accomplish the same task without making Alphabet richer.
6. Avoid Google Drive at all costs. Anything you share on the Google cloud is accessible to that company, and chances are they have plausible deniability for harnessing whatever information or metadata it can. Nothing is free in this world, so it's best to be suspicious of companies that offer lots of free storage on the cloud. If you must use cloud storage, consider a smaller company that's bound to be liable if things go sour (e.g., Box, Dropbox, etc.)
7. Download and re-upload any videos you come across on YouTube, which you believe ought to be shared with others and which are under CC license (i.e., they are not copyright OR the content creator has given others expressed permission to use them however they see fit). This way, if YouTube takes them down, you can at least have a copy on your device and possibly on the web elsewhere.
8. Share links to sites or webpages that you enjoy via Wakelet collections. This way, if these sites are blacklisted by Google, others can still find them in a curated list that you can share with others. I mention Wakelet here because I've used it for a while, and it's been proven to be a solid option. However, other sites may offer similar services that can facilitate this task.
9. Use alternatives to Google Meet for your VoIP communications. Places like Zoom, Jitsi, Signal, etc., offer reliable video communication with others over a secure connection. Alright, maybe Zoom isn't the most secure option out there, but it's good enough for most calls. It's important to note that none of these services collect your data, while security is something they are quite serious about (esp. Signal).
Beyond these simple things, you can do a whole lot more. However, I focused on things that are easy to do and don't require changing your regular workflow too much. Also, be sure to do your own research on alternative services you can use to veer from the web of privacy violations that is Alphabet. If there is something on this list that you find particularly useful and would like to learn more about, be sure to put something in the comments. Cheers!
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