We are where we are, because most users have gotten us there.
> Pretending that Google is merely passively reflecting user preferences rather than actively shaping them makes no sense.
It has content and advertising just like a gas station does.
It's a market. Literally, it's a market.
Except that the NYT and Safeway don’t pretend that their product isn’t the result of curation.
There is nothing ‘organic’ about organic search results.
But I agree that there are comparisons with a Gas station.
A gas station is there for one reason - to sell you what the owners find profitable. What is sold and what is displayed are chosen for that reason only.
Google is exactly like this.
What it is not, is a responsible organizer of the world’s information or a search service, or in any way responsible to the interests of searchers unless they align with the interests of advertisers.
A) Information is not Soda, it's not an arbitrary choice
B) Soda is also a physical distribution business - Coke and Pepsi dominate physical distribution, shelf space etc. - these problems don't really exist in news, or rather, in totally different ways.
So - 1) they are different kinds of 'products' in terms of their civil relation (i.e. we don't care about gossip information), and 2) the businesses are actually different.