but he's in today's New York Times anyway, with an op-ed headlined "You Can't Say That on the Internet", wherein he preaches the doom-and-gloom cyber-dystopianism that has become his shtick. His thesis: Silicon Valley corporatism "often masks deeply conservative, outdated norms that digital culture discreetly imposes on billions of technology users worldwide."
Eek! A bold claim! What's Evgeny's Exhibit One?
Gosh. That's sad. Because if you can't see naked cartoon nipples on Facebook, I'm unsure where on the Internet you could look instead. I'm stumped about how to even begin.
Evgeny's remaining examples are:
A company is developing real-time filtering software to detect
"all kinds of harmful content";
Apple renders the word "vagina" as "v****a" on iTunes, which
risked perhaps hundreds of milliseconds of confusion for
dozens of its customers as they viewed the entry for Naomi Wolf's
Autocomplete features in the search boxes on a lot of Internet sites
fail to work on many of George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say
(No I am not making this up. Evgeny considers this to be a real problem.)
[Update: so here I am reading an article at the New York Times website that gripes how awful those other sites are for failing to autocomplete the Carlin Seven in their autocomplete-search function.
A couple hours after the initial posting it occurred to me to ask: So how many of those words does the New York Times search function autocomplete?
You almost certainly guessed correctly: zero point zero.]
The website that live-streamed the Hugo Awards thought it auto-detected
a copyright violation in the streaming content and shut down the
And one more thing about Google's variety of
autocomplete: it can be gamed by crafty activist clickers, and
some people don't like the results. (Evgeny mentions
Bettina Wulff, but not Rick Santorum.)
The upshot, according to Evgeny:
Yeah, if those are your strongest examples, probably not.
But the point of the exercise is:
Or: "Let's take a look at that code, geek."
Basically, Evgeny doesn't like the judgment calls that companies make to govern the content they provide. Would he simply do away with "prudishness", and eliminate (say) Facebook's Community Standards" completely? Nah, Evgeny would simply like the power to replace those judgments with his own.
Why bother making a strong argument? What Evgeny really wants is to force people into seeing and doing things his way.