Google and Its Rise in Controversy


Photo by Aiden McKinney

A black Google Chromebook displaying the Google Chrome search bar.

Aiden McKinney, Staff Writer

Think about the last time you searched something online. Whether it be the weather, news, a recipe, a song or anything else, chances are you used Google. A staple of many lives internationally, it remains a multi-billion dollar company, creating everything from GPS systems to phones to virtual documents for millions to use. While Google has helped many and revolutionized the way the Internet works, no good deed goes unpunished, and this could not be more true than with Google. 

On January 24th, 2023, an antitrust lawsuit was filed against Google by the Justice Department (as well as Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia). This lawsuit came to be through many accusations of trying to create an ad monopoly, as Google would purchase its competitors and force the use of its own first-party tools. 

 “Today’s complaint alleges that Google has used anti-competitive, exclusionary, and unlawful conduct to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, according to the Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs. 

    Through acquiring competitors and forcing users to use Google-created tools, the entire ad field leans heavily in Google’s favor, to the point of an unfair advantage. This can be incredibly dangerous, not only from a monopoly standpoint, but also an economic and ethical standpoint, as the online ad market has the potential to become disrupted by such a controlling, billion-dollar company. 

However, Google’s recent controversy does not end there. In recent years, many large tech-companies have had mass-layoffs, and Google is no stranger to this unfortunate trend. On January 20th, 2023, over 12,000 Google employees were informed they would be laid off. The layoff epidemic was randomized, seemingly as an attempt to avoid personal grievances, however, this resulted in many dedicated and multi-decade serving employees being laid off after doing nothing of offense.

According to NPR’s “Google is cutting 12,000 jobs, adding to a series of Big Tech layoffs in January.” (Mary Yang) CEO Sundar Pichai said, “Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.” 

However, most employees feel that the entire process is unfair. While they are now allowed to work from home to “process,” many feel the mass layoff shows how little Google values their employees. 

While Google has experienced much controversy and backlash recently, it remains to be seen if the lawsuit will be won by the Justice Department, and if any more mass layoffs are in the company’s future.