Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, recently made headlines when he quite frankly remarked that systems like Facebook and Apple are a threat to web freedom, apart from governmental censorships and the craving of content producers to somehow gain the powers to ban websites. Now, Brin has stated that his comments towards Facebook and Apple had rather been distorted by reporting.
When Sergey Brin spoke to The Guardian earlier, he had said that, ‘You have to play by their rules, which are really restrictive. The kind of environment that we developed Google in, the reason that we were able to develop a search engine, is the web was so open. Once you get too many rules that will stifle innovation.’
He was also quite vocal against Facebook and Apple, some analysts having speculated that this was a result of Google’s Android and Google+ stakes. Nonetheless, Brin has now backtracked a part of his earlier statement. According to him, he has great admiration for both Facebook and Apple and that, in fact, he wrote the entire Google+ post on an iMac.
Brin particularly wanted to clarify in his post that he didn’t think a closed digital system was as dangerous as government censorship. He wrote, ‘Likewise, Facebook has helped to connect hundreds of millions of people, has been a key tool for political expression and has been instrumental to the Arab Spring. Both have made key contributions to the free flow of information around the world.’
Brin wrote that his sole contention is that due to such closed digital systems, innovation has been stifled. No one can just get up and start a tech venture because he has to pay a rather huge price for it, ‘Today, starting such a service would entail navigating a number of new tollbooths and gatekeepers.’ In a way, Brin is quite right in saying that.