Originally posted on ZDNet by Ross Rubin
Facebook and Google share the same fundamental business model of charging companies for
ads that can be highly targeted due to a wide range of behavioral and inferred consumer attributes. And yet, as I wrote two years ago, there is a wide gap between public perceptions of the two companies.
Certainly, part of this can be attributed to Google not succumbing to the range of scandals that have hounded Facebook since the 2017 Cambridge Analytica bombshell. Furthermore, Google’s position is likely elevated in that many people don’t closely identify it with YouTube,
the part of Google’s business that has most commonly grappled with disinformation issues.
(Conversely, despite the recent experimental documentary work of Nick Bilton in HBO Max’s Fake Famous, Instagram doesn’t seem to share Facebook’s negative reputation.)
But what if we were to wipe the slate clean for a moment and just judge the companies based
on their reactions to two recent conflicts, the battle with the Australian government over
forced negotiations with news publishers and the required opt-in to user tracking
2/3 necessitated by Apple for app developers who want to use Apple’s Identification for
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