Please stop calling Google "goolag"

In the community here the historically absolutely wrong and absolutely dangerous equation of Google with a GULag is used quite often. In my opinion this is a mockery of the victims of the Stalinist regime, it is pubertal, stupid, populist, wrong and leads in terms of content in a completely wrong direction. I would ask not to use this expression anymore.
To remember what a GULag was (translated from german wikipedia per deepl):

The abbreviation Gulag refers to the network of penal and labor camps in the Soviet Union. In a broader sense, it stands for the entire Soviet forced labor system, which, in addition to camps and forced labor colonies, also included special camps, special prisons, forced labor obligations without detention, and, in post-Stalinist times, a number of psychiatric clinics as places of detention. In the broadest sense, the entire Soviet repressive system is meant.
[…] From 1930 to 1953, at least 18 million people were imprisoned in the camps. More than 2.7 million died in the camps or in exile.

Does anyone really see parallels here? Seriously?


No absolutely not, i have used it myself a couple of times and did not think about it. I.will not use it anymore, sorry if i hurt people when using the term. Thanks for sharing, it opened my eyes. Now, we do need a term for Google to express our fealings about it, any suggestions?


English article:

1 Like

I wasn’t sure if I should “stir this pot” here but I never liked the frequent use of that word from day one joining this forum. Now that someone else stepped up I can say I wholeheartedly agree to not use that word!
Even in the early 2000s I found it quite childish and immature that grown-up men used “internet exploder” or “nutscrape” as derogative aliases in the browser wars. Or “windoze” in the OS wars. I thought we had grown past that.


Welcome to the desert of the real. :wink:

Totally agree on this point. If you do not like a product or company stop using it. Abusing it or making up names about it does not help anyone.


Come on guys, by now the term has entered into common use in the language tech-nerd… seems a bit 'exaggerated now censor its use… and come on!!! :flushed:



Well, the presence in spoken language doesn’t make an expression a good one. And it simply does not hit the core.
And language works back into reality. Trump talks about fake news and stolen elections, and the constant repetition leads 70% of Republicans to believe the election was stolen.
In 2015, German right-wingers called the fugitives “wave”, and politicians eventually took over, repeated the phrase and people acted accordingly. So what will happen if a company is paralleled to a regime killing hundreds of thousands of people? I don’t want to find out.
Besides: nobody censors or asks for that. Censorship is a state act. If /e/ would decide to ban the word, they would at most exercise their domestic authority. But I am not even asking for that. I ask the participants here for more sensitivity and to refrain from historically inappropriate parallels and disparagement of the victims.


Please avoid overtly political posts on the forum. Naming politicians or parties is the last thing we need on this forum.This will take the discussion in a totally different direction.


The politician and the party were just an example, but I will do as you say.
[Edit: editorial changes]

Does this mean you will also start enforcing this in the chat? There’s a certain person who even after I told them about this term who still insists on using it. Really only a single person, but using it absurdly commonly.

I can’t remember if I ever used this term myself. But the fact that people who use Google services are working, unpaid, for Google, and Google’s practise of doing everything in it’s power to know everything about everybody seems not a million miles from what went on in the USSR. I won’t be using the term myself in the future but, with the parallels already outlined, I understand, and will not condemn, those who do.


Hi @dalas.revo,

I don’t use this expression, but I understand it make sense.
Yes it is a mockery !
but not an insult against the victims of the USSR dictature, the mockery is for the silicon valley’s libertariens who projects to put others in digital jail.

I use “Gogol” and don’t think it is an insult for the famous autor,
or in French a terrible mockery or an insult against trisomic people.


There is no question of enforcing it. I would prefer users on both sides of an argument to be mature and behave like adults if possible .


So what you’re saying in practice is that the /e/ team does not think this is inappropriate and that @dalas.revo’s (and apparently 11 others who liked it) request for it to be stopped will not be honored in any way (given one user in question has been asked to stop by me before and has made clear to have no intention to). Disappointing to me, but it’s your community I guess.

But sorry guys, the forum has been active for more than two years, and only now You realize that the term goolag is so offensive to cause outrage in many people?

Is it possible that nobody noticed it before?

Yet it’s always been used, both here and on other privacy-oriented sites without causing all this fuss!

And instead now everyone wakes up and feels the term “offensive”?

Eh no, I don’t buy it, I don’t like ‘last-minute morality’…


Have you considered that maybe not everyone has been on the forum since the day it started? Claiming that someone’s concerns aren’t valid because they’re only raised now means that nobody is allowed to have any opinion unless they were here since day 1 and that’s just obviously nonsensical.


Ciao Sylvia!

Okay, You are the last ones here and You are perhaps more sensitive than the others about this topic, maybe because You have had some descendants who have been there, and if so I’m really sorry for it…

but this term has been cleared for some time now, even in many other alternative technology/privacy/security sites;

so it seems anachronistic to me now to raise an issue that was already self-defined some time ago!


11 people liked this statement and now you demand /e/ team to “enforce” the censorship of this mockery? In what world do you live in exactly? Orwell’s 1984?
You are not entitled to make such demands. If people like it, which apparently they do, they’ll keep on referring to google as “goolag”. As some already explained, it is quite an appropriate mockery in the sense that google tries to keep its users locked in its ecosystem, that it exploits them and even mess with their psychology to some extent.
It was never meant to be a literal comparison with soviet concentration/labour camps and if you are not able to understand that then it is not the responsability of the people who use this term but yours since the problem is with your perception. Still, it is your right to find this mockery inappropriate and to point it out (as it is for others to use it) but you don’t have the right to demand people to stop using it, stepping on their freedom of speech. If you don’t have the emotional intelligence to bear it, then you should be cautious on internet and stick to highly washed out/censored “safe spaces”.
I’m sorry if you find my comment offensive but I find such demands against people’s freedom exagerated, authoritarian, vain and counterproductive.


This isn’t about me though. And neither is it about freedom of speech. It’s about being a welcoming community. There is nothing wrong with using kinder language as to create a more welcoming space, instead of seeming like extremists. This is the same problem the Free Software community has: by being so confrontational new possibly interested people are pushed away. Is that what we want to be? The OS for people who want to casually relate things to concentration camps and shun everyone else for being “too sensitive” or do we want to be the OS for everyone? The goal of the /e/ team seems to be the latter and being needlessly offensive and confrontational really does not fit in that I feel. Confrontation is sometimes necessary, but being confrontational just because you can never helps anyone.