11 December 2009

That’s Disgusting Google!

Any of you use iGoogle on your daily internet perusing? I almost like it as much as I love Smashing Magazine Monthly Desktop Wallpapers. iGoogle allows me to add my own theme (currently Food Networks, 12 Days of Cookies) and a myriad of gadgets to make my day more exciting. I love the themes that change when you leave Google for awhile and then come back, like Google’s Asian Fox Tea House. With Gadgets, at a single click of the mouse I can see my email inbox in condensed form, a new Word-of-the-Day, the weather and time, and even be like a virtual Josh and Chelsea and keep track of a “pet turtle” on my iGoogle. Not quite as cool as Franklin the tortoise, but Scott can have his Donatello.

Well, about a month ago I decided I needed to update my work computer by adding a festive Thanksgiving desktop wallpaper from Smashing and a new iGoogle theme. I clicked on the hyperlink to change my theme, and the most popular themes came up first. To my shock, in the middle of the usual Google pop-up of themes was photo of a woman in the nude covering herself with her hands. Sitting amongst my coworkers on the honor code campus of BYU, I quickly changed my screen. How embarrassing! I don’t want anyone to think I am purposefully looking at porn EVER, much less at work. That is definitely a personal violation, AND violation of company policy as an employee. I’m surprised BYU internet would even let an image like that pass through. Sure there are a billion pornographic images on the internet; in fact it is unfortunately one of the most profitable internet industries and often on the top search topic list, but I was not expecting nor did I want to see pornography on my iGoogle.

As I considered how I should navigate iGoogle themes without having to again encounter this woman in need of clothes, I realized the implications of this theme. How many other average American employees are changing their iGoogle this very second and violating company policy by accident? How many thousands of children look at iGoogle, and click on that link to change their theme? No one should be forced to unknowingly pull-up and view pornography, especially children. I was disappointed in Google for allowing this theme to be published, and thought much less of the company for having placed it on the home page where there is no choice to censor.

I became determined to write about it. Google should know that they violated my rights and that my opinion is not as positive as it once was. Not many had commented on the theme when I wrote my comment, so I added my meager voice to those who had already spoken against the home page appearance and hoped that Google would make a change in their policy.

Today I decided to change my iGoogle theme again, and again I was disappointed and disturbed by woman without wearings. I decided to check on my comment to see if Google had responded, or if it was deleted. It was not deleted, but rather followed up by many new comment threads most of which were not in conjunction with my thoughts on the theme. One person told me to get a life. One person called me a Boob and said “of all the wrong, misery, evil, and pain in the world, you want to complain about the side of a breast?” Another added a comment, “its not like kids dont see a lot of nudity. i am sher thay see it all the time. And posting bad comments about it is not going to do anything. And kids will see nudity eventually.”

Now I’m disappointed in Google AND the world! Who’s teaching literacy in America?! And more importantly, why don’t we consider pornography to be among all the wrong and evil in the world when the addiction to pornography can “undermine social stability.” Why is the world okay with exposing the next generation to pornography at an early age, because “they’ll see it eventually”; risking their distortion of relationships and family, and the addiction and violence that is likely to ensue?

In conclusion, one of the most recent commenters said that only non-good looking people would make a comment like mine. To that commenter I’d like to say

Take That!
WoRk IT!


Obviously these commenters don’t have their facts straight.