For over two decades, Google has been the undisputed “king” of the internet, with its influence spanning various sectors of the online space. According to Internet Live Stats in 2022, Google processes over $8.5 billion in daily search queries on its search engines. With over 122 million daily users on Youtube and its position as one of the top 3 cloud providers with Google Cloud in the cloud computing space, Google’s dominance in the tech industry is undeniable.
However, controversies have continued to arise as Google’s rapid growth has led to claims of content censorship, ad monopolization, and de-platforming, raising concerns about the dangers of a tech behemoth operating on a centralized architecture.
Don’t Be Evil Again:
The story of Google begins in 1998 when Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded it in a dorm room as an innovation-driven company with a mission to promote a more accessible web. Displayed conspicuously in Google’s code of conduct were the famous lines going to chart the company’s course; ‘Don’t Be Evil,’ a mantra that highlighted Google’s original dream to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
And Google toed this line…
But not for long.
Say hello to the rolling wheels of corporatism and big business. At first, the changes were slight — a few ad-censorship complaints here and there but nothing quite major.
One significant turning point was Google’s involvement in “The Great Firewall of China” when search results were filtered and removed according to the demands of the Chinese Government. Google justified this move as an alternative to risking a ban from the government, but it was widely criticized for aiding the government in repressing its citizens. This was especially concerning since Eric Schmidt, then CEO of Google, had once stated, “The prize is a world where every human starts life with the same access to information, learning opportunities, and communication power. I believe that is worth fighting for.”
There have also been privacy concerns associated with Google’s services, such as the case of Disha, a young Indian environmental activist who was arrested after Google shared her document on Google Docs with the Delhi police. Gradually, Google’s vision of a free web became overshadowed by numerous other policies.
The 2017 failure of Amazon Web Services, which caused a massive internet outage, revealed a harsh reality for many businesses and services that relied on centralized infrastructure: they were at the mercy of corporate giants.
De-platforming and More Censorship
In 2016, following a controversy, Parler was kicked off the internet and App stores by the likes of Amazon, Google, and Apple. However, for many observers in the tech ecosystem, it signaled the beginning of a new kind of threat that could redefine or restrict the freedom of expression on social media.
Content censorship has also been on the rise, with Google accused multiple times of excluding search results in a bid to comply with government regimes, a clear departure from the original stance it once held. On the privacy end, evidence points to Google going as far as obfuscating cookies policies to increase their acceptance by unsuspecting users.
Google’s centralized architecture means it operates on a single point of failure, which can disrupt every platform running on its service if anything goes wrong. For instance, Google experienced one-hour downtime in 2020 due to an “authentication system outage,” highlighting this vulnerability. Building truly decentralized platforms and applications on a centralized infrastructure is practically impossible, as demonstrated by companies like Metamask, which have taken this approach with ConsenSys Infura and have started to restrict users in some countries, going against the values that Web3 stands for.
So what is the way out?
True Decentralization–The Flux Approach
The future of the internet, free from censorship, sanctions, and single points of failure, lies in decentralized infrastructure. Only when underlying operations and processes are decentralized can applications truly claim to be free from the pitfalls of centralization.
This is what Flux offers.
Since its launch, Flux has prioritized the ideology of a free web built “for the people, by the people.” Leveraging the inherent advantages of blockchain technology, Flux operates a decentralized network of nodes spanning across geographies and operations, with over 14,000 nodes on the Flux network. This infrastructure provides transparency, security, and automatic redundancy, eliminating any single point of failure. Flux also includes geolocation support to deliver content to any location or country without fear of censorship or restriction.
Furthermore, the massive computational power available on the Flux network makes it an ideal platform to host Web3 applications, game servers, websites, or blockchain nodes. The Flux Marketplace currently boasts almost a hundred products running on this infrastructure.
Proof of Useful Work:
Blockchain technology comes with unique challenges, particularly in the choice of consensus mechanisms. Proof of Work (used by Bitcoin), while renowned for its high-security capabilities, has been criticized for its high energy consumption. On the other hand, Proof of Stake (recently embraced by Ethereum) still retains certain vulnerabilities that can compromise chain security.
Proof of Useful Work (PoUW). A consensus mechanism that optimizes environmental sustainability and allows real-life projects to be powered with hash power. This sphere is not new to Flux, during the Covid-19 era, Flux partnered with Folding@homes, which utilizes protein-folding for medical research to fight against Covid-19.
It has also explored the vast potential of PoUW with the University of Geneva and even powers a medical A. I tool. High-end graphics rendering, gamer-server hosting, and medical research projects are all fertile grounds that can be shaped using PoUW technology.
Pricing remains a critical factor for Big Tech, often used as a tool to stifle competition. For example, in 2021, the French Competition Authority fined Google $220 million for abusing its dominant position in the ad-tech world for anti-competitive purposes.
Transparency in pricing is also an issue. On Google Cloud, a machine with 2Vcore, 8GB RAM, and 100GB storage costs $177!
Flux approaches pricing differently with the motto “Affordable is better.” Lower prices translate to increased availability of cloud services, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses. For context, the same machine on Flux would only cost $5.54.
One Decentralized Cloud for All.
Earlier this year, Flux also announced the full launch of Flux Cloud, a suite of decentralized solutions that allows developers to deploy and monitor their applications from an easy-to-use interface. The decentralized version of WordPress, a content management software that powers over 40% of all online websites, is also available on Flux Cloud.
Another problem that Flux Cloud solves is that of Cloud storage. Recently, Google Docs users got the nightmare of their lives when hackers exploited a vulnerability in the comment feature to bombard them with phishing links.
Flux offers a different solution; FluxDrive.
FluxDrive is a decentralized cloud storage system that allows users to securely store their data in the cloud, accessible only to them and the people they choose to share it with. FluxDrive is available as a quick “drag and drop” application on mobile and desktop, making it easy to store pictures, documents, and more for everyday cloud storage needs. Developers can also store their assets directly on FluxDrive and access them using embedded links.
Flux is redefining the world of cloud infrastructure and storage by empowering users to fight against big-tech corporatism that aims to exploit their data. We are building the future of the web, one decentralized step at a time.
To learn more about Flux, please join our Discord and check our official website. Visit our marketplace to easily host and run front-ends, nodes, block books, crypto projects, and games easily with just a few clicks.