I’ve mentioned in the past that Google was going to step into it’s own poop with their “Do No Evil” nonsense. Well, one way to help things along is to ban a well-recognized publication from talking to you for a year.
Google has decided to stop talking to CNet after a News.com story highlighted how easy it is to dig up personal information on someone through Google. To illustrate, they Googled Eric Schmidt, their CEO.
In response, Google has decided that CNet will not be spoken to for one year. Lovely.
Of course, this story has seeped out of the blogosphere and into the mainstream press, which generally speaking, loathes this sort of arbitrary boycotting. The New York Times as well as the major news wires have picked it up.
Now, the metaphysical question we’re left with is: Did Google do something evil? Who are we to draw that sort of conclusion? It seems like a bit of an over-reaction; bordering on almost childish behavior. Does it merit all this press and attention? Probably not. Which I think leads us to the real problem for Google: it ain’t about what you did, it’s about perception. Their cheery, almost candy-like image is going to actually work against them when issues like this arise.
Hey, we didn’t raise the (perceived) bar. They did.
In other news, Howard Stern(?) has filed a class action suit against Google for allegedly fudging around with AdWords fees. Read all about it.