A friend recently sent me an email about boycotting Google. Although he cleaned it up a bit, I believe it was one of those forwards that got forwarded. To tell the truth, I followed the link in the email and it made me laugh out loud. But I decided to investigate this.
First of all, let me say that I like Google. In all honestly, I would be hard pressed to follow through with such a boycott. You’re reading this blog because Google owns blogger. I YouTube a little. Youtube is owned by Google. I use Google Analytics and Google’s webmasters tools. I search primarily on Google and I also have several Google alerts.
And Google set up shop not too long ago in Michigan. In this day and age when Michigan is suffering so much economically, Google stepped into our fair state and brought some jobs. I thank God for this, and I thank the Google Guys as well. In fact, Google Ann Arbor is hiring. . . I just checked!
So, Boycott Google? Why, at this point in life, it would not only be a life-altering experience, it would mess a little bit with my sense of justice.
The reason for the boycott is a website that claims Google is God and has established a Church of Google. As I said, I followed the link and really thought the whole thing was a joke. Now, I’m the first one to say that we need to be careful about such things. I mean, if the church is sacred, then She is sacred and we ought to treat Her as such. But really, we do need to poke fun and laugh at things every now and again. Poking fun and enjoying a good laugh is not necessarily the same as sacrilege. So. . . what of this site?
I decided to do some research of my own.
TheChurchOfGoogle.org is, in fact, NOT owned by Google at all. If those suggesting we boycott Google read the fine print at the bottom of the page, they would have realized this. I debated about whether or not I should put that link in. I don't suggest anyone join the church of google or anything like that. . . But I mean, even the "Googlism" at the top of the page isn't quite the Google Logo. And even I, a non-graphic artist, can see that.
Alas, sometimes we are so quick to forward things, not realizing the harm this may cause. And to tell the truth, this is beginning to anger me. But I digress.
That website states that the Church of Google was founded by someone named MacPherson of Ontario. The domain, however, is registered to someone named Leudy. Now, I won’t list details on this blog because that would just be wrong. But a little e-investigation and one can find out all sorts of information about website owners.
For example, the domain name was purchased at GoDaddy.com. Now, all things considered, would Google buy a domain at GoDaddy?? Come on, folks. Let’s get real here.
But there are a few lessons to be learned here.
You know, we tell our kids to be careful on MySpace. We tell them to avoid chat rooms. At my house, no one clears the URLs but me, The Mom. I decide when PC cleaners are run. . . .I know where you’ve been online. I know what your doing. I’m The Mom. That’s my job.
But you know, sometimes it’s the adults who just don’t get it. We must remember that what we write in our emails can be announced to the world. Cut and Paste. Fowards. It’s just too easy. Before we really forward information about a boycott we’d better be sure we have all of our facts straight. Anything less is, in fact, less than Christian behavior.
The other thing that is a little frightening is that the person who purchased this domain name didn’t bother with a privacy certificate. Domains by Proxy is an excellent service. But she didn’t bother. Sadly, she’s probably going to get inundated with all sorts of hate mail. . .both snail mail and electronic mail. I was able to find an email address, a street address, phone number. . . .it’s just too scarey. And all I did was search. I mean, I’m not black hat or white hat (probably closer to red hat!). My point is, it’s just too easy to find private info if one isn’t careful. You don’t need to be technically gifted at all.
See what I mean?
We try to teach our kids about online safety, when we aren’t practicing it ourselves. If you’re going to buy a domain for personal use, register for privacy. If it’s for a business and you want your business info out there, make sure you register with business address and information.
And for goodness sakes, if you’re going to forward information about a boycott make sure you’re boycotting what you’re boycotting for the right reasons. Do the research. Anything less is gossip. Period.
Google isn’t god, but is an internet giant. I’m certain that Google and the Google Guys don’t need me defending them. I’m certain Google has top-notch lawyers for that.
But I will defend my faith. And my beliefs are as such that I won’t forward a forward of a forward regarding any boycott until I investigate it for myself. It’s a justice thing. It’s the moral thing. It’s the right thing. It’s the Christian thing.