It’s starting to be clearer for everyone that the GAFA are not “startups” anymore, but incumbents in defensive mode. While I was exploring this as an early signal in mid-2018, the platforms’ dark patterns are now shamelessly visible. Just recently, Google has been tweaking the way we see search results.

What is information or promotion is brazenly obfuscated with a clear intent, making us falling in content traps:

https://twitter.com/alexhern/status/1220271858152550402

For anything digital, it is now critical to wrap your head around how these few private US companies control the way we communicate, exchange, and sell. This is not only a matter of managing ads. Google is trying to keep advertising as the central engine of the digital economy. So much so, that sorting out information from promotion is adversary to their vision.

The opportunity here ouf course is that they are opening up an entire playfield for newly fangled startups that will oppose them.