For having access to all of our data, giant tech companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google sure don’t know us as well as they think. They may know what we want to search, buy, hate, etc. But they fall laughably short when they try to engage us. Consider the Microsoft AI that was trolled into Tweeting anti-semitic nonsense within hours of going live.
Now Google is giving the internet a literal blank canvas that will inevitably be used for drawing phallic symbols, Nazi flags, and other unsavory imagery in the name of childish fun. And because it’s Google, we know they’ll be watching us. Palms firmly affixed to their heads.
What’s Wrong with a Blank Canvas?
Google just wanted to engage us. Yet the move is reminiscent of such stunts like Microsoft’s ill-fated AI Twitter bot and Mountain Dew’s Dub the Dew campaign that rose to internet infamy by asking for public opinion for a new flavor name online and getting wildly inappropriate responses like “Hitler Did Nothing Wrong,” “Fapple,” and many variations of “Gushin’ Granny.” Internet users rightfully dismiss these engaging activities as naked PR stunts or something even shadier.
Google’s nakedness comes in the form of yet another power grab in its effort to assert dominance in the browser wars. Chrome’s dominance may have killed Microsoft Edge, some say by continually adjusting code on its popular websites like YouTube. And the canvas app appears to be another ploy to get you to exclusively use Chrome. The application, which is native to Google’s browser, Chrome, cannot be enjoyed by the likes of me, a lowly FireFox user.
These devious deeds by corporate monopolies are why the internet community is full of jaded assholes. Instead of being engaged, we’ll act on our most immature impulses to prove yet again why we can’t have nice things and why corporate giants shouldn’t bother.