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Mercola Natural Health Articles

Vitamin C protects against water pollution

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In 1996, the little town of Hinkley, California, won a massive arbitration against Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). You might recall the story as the basis for the movie “Erin Brockovich,” in which a single mother and small-town attorney went up against a utility company that had been dumping hexavalent chromium into an unlined pond.1

At the time of the settlement, the case was the largest payout ever awarded for a direct-action lawsuit and environmental advocates were excited about the possibilities. Unfortunately, Hinkley has become a ghost town and hexavalent chromium has continued to contaminate water supplies across the U.S.

Back in Hinckley, a resident found levels of hexavalent chromium had recently increased in her water supply. Upon investigation, she discovered the plume had grown over the last 15 years, stretching miles from the original contamination site. In 2014, a feasibility study from PG&E found eliminating the chromium from the hardest hit areas may take up to 50 years.2

In the meantime, town properties have been classified as uninsurable wasteland. Hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, is a carcinogen.3,4 While Hinkley struggles with contamination of their water supply, researchers have found varying levels of chromium-6 in the water sources of more than 250 million Americans.5

Although there are current water regulations for total chromium level exposure, despite a well-publicized lawsuit and full knowledge of the devastation caused by chromium-6, there are not yet permissible exposure limits for this carcinogen.6

In a study undertaken by researchers at Olivet Nazarene University, data demonstrated antioxidants, such as vitamin C, may help reduce the effects of hexavalent chromium commonly found in drinking water.7,8

Vitamin C and tea may mitigate water pollution

The research paper was presented at the Experimental Biology 2019 conference9 held in Orlando, Florida. The thesis paper was supervised by Ryan Himes, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Life and Health Sciences at Olivet University.

The allowable concentration of hexavalent chromium in drinking water is currently under review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The study was designed to determine how antioxidants might prevent cell toxicity when two types of human cells were exposed to different concentrations of chromium-6.10

Chromium-6 is a known powerful oxidizing agent, although the specific mechanism through which it causes cancer has not yet been determined.11 There has been no known preventive treatment for exposure. Researchers tested the hypothesis chromium-6 cytotoxicity might be prevented using antioxidants.12

They exposed human embryonic kidney and human intestinal epithelial cells, finding chromium-6 was significantly toxic in cell culture at concentrations of 200 parts per billion (ppb) and higher.13 The researchers found toxicity was blocked by vitamin C at 10 parts per million (ppm) or the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the primary antioxidant in green tea, at 15 ppm.

The researchers found the cytotoxic effect was blocked by vitamin C or EGCG alone. They then exposed bacteria to 20 ppb or more of chromium-6 and observed DNA mutations. However, when the bacteria were also treated with 20 ppm of vitamin C, the cytotoxic effect was again blocked.

Water pollution affects millions in the US

In 2010, the Environmental Working Group (EWG)14 published an executive summary showing at least 74 million U.S. citizens in 42 states were drinking tap water contaminated with chromium, much of it likely in the form of cancer-causing hexavalent chromium.

By 2016 the number had jumped to 200 million15 and, according to researchers at Olivet Nazarene, 250 million Americans are currently drinking water contaminated with hexavalent chromium.16 In 1972, the U.S. Clean Water Act17 was supposed to ensure clean water for swimming, fishing and drinking. Unfortunately, after nearly five decades of regulation, waterways are in serious jeopardy.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 2 billion people worldwide do not have safe drinking water.18 Forced to drink contaminated water, hundreds of thousands die from preventable diseases.

U.S. drinking water is contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, antibacterial products and medications.19 In one ambitious project,20 researchers gathered samples from the Hudson River to measure levels of pharmaceutical pollution.21

Past testing had detected antidepressants, blood pressure medications, decongestants and other drugs. Unlike the volumes of information available on the effect of pathogens, the science on long-term exposure to slight amounts of a chemical soup mixture of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals is still in its infancy.

Where is the chromium?

Keeping the public in the dark is not new. A report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease registry showed widespread water contamination near military bases, chemical plants and elsewhere. They warned these chemicals could harm health at levels significantly lower than those deemed safe by the EPA.22

According to Politico,23 which obtained internal EPA emails, the report had been kept from the public for months to prevent a “potential public relations nightmare.” Although hexavalent chromium occurs naturally in the environment, high amounts are produced through industry.

Even in small amounts, it may trigger skin burns, pneumonia and complications during childbirth. You may search your county for chromium-6 testing using the EWG interactive map.24 During their evaluation, EWG found Oklahoma, Arizona and California have the highest averages; Phoenix has the highest level of any city.

Past EPA assistant administrator of toxic substances, Dr. Lynn Goldman, told PBS,25 “There should be no carcinogen in water. The overall problem here is, what does it take for EPA to speed up its standard-setting process?”

In a press release from the EWG announcing their interactive map, they stated two-thirds of American water supplies have levels above what scientists say are safe for hexavalent chromium. Of the more than 60,000 water samples collected between 2013 and 2015, more than 75% contained hexavalent chromium. Consumer advocate Brockovich commented on the results:26

“Houston, we have a problem. More than 20 years ago, we learned that this dangerous chemical poisoned the tap water of California communities, and now these tests and EWG’s report show that roughly 218 million Americans are being served drinking water polluted with potentially dangerous levels of this known carcinogen.

But in that time the EPA hasn't set drinking water standards for any previously unregulated contaminant, and there are disturbing signs the agency may again do nothing about chromium-6. This is an abject failure by the EPA, including members of Congress charged with overseeing the agency, and every American should be outraged by this inaction.”

Vitamin C may also reduce the effects of air pollution

Vitamin C is a water-soluble micronutrient humans do not have the ability to synthesize and must get from their diet.27 It is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymatic reactions and there is some evidence to suggest it may be useful as an adjunct to conventional medical practices to reduce heart injury and arrhythmia after a cardiac procedure.28

Oregon University29 reports no evidence that large amounts, up to 10 grams per day in adults, will have any toxic effect. However, 2 grams per day and greater may trigger diarrhea or gastrointestinal disturbances in some adults. The usefulness of vitamin C is related to its ability to donate electrons and reduce oxidative stress.30

In this manner it contributes to your immune system, supporting various cellular functions and epithelial barrier function against pathogens. While a gross deficiency results in scurvy, functional deficiency will impair the immune system31 and leave you susceptible to infection.

In addition to helping protect cells against water pollution as demonstrated in the featured study on hexavalent chromium,32 vitamin C may also help to mitigate oxidative stress response to air pollutants. There is substantial evidence particulate matter air pollution increases oxidative stress and those with higher dietary intake of specific vitamins may experience a lower negative response.33

The WHO34 places air pollution as one of the world's largest environmental health risk factors. In one meta-analysis,35 the review found evidence for vitamin supplementation in reducing the effects of pollution on asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases, including supplementation with carotenoids, vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids.

More benefits from antioxidants in tea

The featured study also found EGCG, an antioxidant found in green tea, was effective against the cytotoxic effects of chromium-6. Green tea has been prized for generations in China, Japan and Britain. It has also made a name for itself in the U.S., where many drink it daily to enjoy the many health benefits attributed to EGCG.

Studies have found EGCG increases fat oxidation36 and may help prevent obesity.37 It may also improve exercise performance38 and lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.39 However, not all green teas are created equal.

If you drink it, you probably assume you're getting the same dose with each cup, but an analysis of strength and purity of 105 products found the levels varied widely from product to product.40 It is important to seek out high quality green tea to enjoy some of the additional health benefits.

These benefits include inhibiting bacterial and viral growth,41 protecting against oxidation in the brain and liver,42 improving mental alertness43 and reducing blood pressure.44 The type of tea you purchase may make a difference in the amount of beneficial antioxidants and flavor.

There's also an art to brewing tea using loose leaves that brings out full flavor and reduces your exposure to unwanted additives, which I discuss in my previous article, “What's in your green tea?

Vitamin C potent adjunct to cancer treatment

Vitamin C has also been shown to be selectively cytotoxic to cancer cells when administered intravenously or in liposomal form in high doses. The presence of vitamin C generates hydrogen peroxide, which is ultimately what kills the cancer cells.45

Normal tissue is unharmed46 by high levels of hydrogen peroxide as they have several ways of removing it before it builds to toxic levels.47 High doses of vitamin C administration in combination with chemotherapy and radiation may also significantly improve the effectiveness of these treatments.48

Cancer cells have unstable iron particles, also known as redox active iron molecules, making them more vulnerable to oxidative damage triggered by high dose vitamin C. Hydrogen peroxide is generated when the redox active iron reacts with the vitamin C, subsequently damaging the cancer cells’ DNA and making them more vulnerable to chemotherapy and radiation.49

Administration of vitamin C also helps those suffering from cancer by lowering levels of inflammation, a hallmark of cancer. Vitamin C appears to slow the growth of liver and lymphoma cancers in animal studies.50




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Google buries Mercola in their latest search engine update, Part 1 of 2

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Over the years, the government and business monopolies, including the likes of Big Tech, have formed a global alliance hell-bent on protecting and concentrating member profits. The price for keeping business going as usual is personal liberty and freedom of speech that may impact these fascist government-industrial complexes.

The major industries colluding to take over the government and government agencies include banking, military, agriculture, pharma, media and Big Tech.

The leaders of these industries have organized strategies to buy off politicians through lobbying and to capture regulatory agencies through revolving door hiring strategies and paid-for media influence through advertising dollars.

Big Tech has joined the movement, bringing in a global concentration of wealth to eliminate competition and critical voices — voices that bring awareness to the frightening future as our rights, freedoms and competition erode into a fascist sunset, all disguised as a means to protect you from "misinformation."

This year, we've seen an unprecedented push to implement censorship across all online platforms, making it increasingly difficult to obtain and share crucial information about health topics. If you've been having difficulty finding articles from my website in your Google searchers of late, you're not alone.

Google traffic to Mercola.com has plummeted by about 99% over the past few weeks. The reason? Google's June 2019 broad core update, which took effect June 3,1 removed most Mercola.com pages from its search results. As reported by Telaposts.com:2

"The June 2019 Google Broad Core Algorithm Update impacted the rankings of websites in Google's Search Engine Results Pages. Several aspects of the algorithm were changed which caused some sites to gain visibility and others to lose visibility.

Generally speaking, sites negatively impacted will see a drop in rankings for many or all of important keywords or key phrases which they used to rank well for … The June 2019 Google Broad Core Algorithm Update impacted sites across the web, however, I am personally seeing the most impact on News and Health sites."

Mercola.com targeted in Google's latest core algorithm update

Now, any time you enter a health-related search word into Google, such as "heart disease" or "Type 2 diabetes," you will not find Mercola.com articles in the search results. The only way to locate any of my articles at this point is by searching for "Mercola.com heart disease," or "Mercola.com Type 2 diabetes."

Even skipping the ".com" will minimize your search results, and oftentimes the only pages you'll get are blogs, not my full peer-reviewed articles. Negative press by skeptics has also been upgraded, which means if you simply type in my name none of my articles will come but what you will find are a deluge of negative articles voicing critiques against me in your searches. Try entering my name in Yahoo or Bing and you will see completely different results.

As explained by Telapost,3 a core update "is when Google makes several changes to their main (core) algorithm." In the past, Google search results were based on crowdsource relevance. An article would ascend in rank based on the number of people who clicked on it.

Traditionally, if you produced unique and high-quality content that matched what people were looking for, you were rewarded by ranking in the top of search results. You would find Mercola.com near the top of nearly any health search results.

So, let's say one of my articles on diabetes was seventh on the page for your search; if more people clicked on that link than, say, an article listed in third or fifth place, my article would move up in rank. In a nutshell, Google search results were, at least in part, based on popularity.

That's no longer the case. Instead, Google is now manually lowering the ranking of undesirable content, largely based on Wikipedia's assessment of the author or site.

Wikipedia's founder and anonymous editors are well-known to have extreme bias against natural health content and authors. Google also contributes heavily to funding Wikipedia, and Wikipedia is near the top of nearly all searches — despite the anonymous aspect of contributors. Who better to trust than a bunch of unknown, unqualified contributors?

Wikipedia's co-founder even admits these bad actors have made it a "broken system."4 Why would Google give such credibility to a platform that even its own founder says is broken and overrun with bad actors?

Google's new quality rater guidelines are a death knell for experts whose views threaten industry profits

Another major change was Google's 2019 quality rater guidelines,5,6 released May 16. What are these guidelines? As explained by Telapost:7

"Google hires 'quality raters,' people who visit websites and evaluate their quality. Their feedback doesn't directly impact your site; it goes to engineers who update the Google algorithm in an effort to display great websites to their users. The guidelines give us great insight as to what Google considers a quality web page."

One significant change: Google now buries expert views if they're deemed "harmful" to the public. As explained by The SEM post:8

"There has been a lot of talk about author expertise when it comes to the quality rater guidelines … This section has been changed substantially … [I]f the purpose of the page is harmful, then expertise doesn't matter. It should be rated Lowest!"

Google used to rank pages based on whether an author could prove their expertise based on how many people visited a page or the number of other reputable sites that linked to that page. No more.

As you may have noticed, we've stayed on top of this, even creating a peer review panel of medical and scientific experts that review, edit and approve most articles before they're published. This is in addition to my own medical expertise as a board-certified physician.

My articles are also fully referenced, most containing dozens of references to studies published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Alas, none of this now matters, as the very fact that the information I present typically contradicts industry propaganda places me in the lowest possible rating category.

Bait and switch

Different perspectives are essential to a healthy debate of ideas. When our voices are censored humanity loses and fascism wins. Pinterest has banned me, Google has mostly erased my information and many others are experiencing this same censorship. What makes me so dangerous to these industries that they need to censor me from those looking for my information?

Google had the brilliant idea of utilizing crowd sourcing, providing the best answers to your questions by pushing the most frequently selected content to the top of the search results — a truly democratic system to reward people for sharing information, and helping you locate this information by essentially sharing the most popular, highest quality content.

My information was frequently at the top of many health searches, because many people like you found it to be the most valuable. But as Google's power grew to enormous proportions, the goal of providing this service to you changed. The goal now is to become even more powerful by uniting with other powerful industries and government to force their beliefs on the masses and manipulate the future itself.

Crowd sourcing has become crowd control. Google began by giving you everything you want so it can now take everything you have. Google has changed from looking at users as customers and giving them what they want, to making users custodians of their will — essentially making you a host of a virus to carry out their agenda.

Google has become the ultimate puppet master, infecting people and manipulating them without even knowing it. Their true goal is to be in complete control of all of us, directing our behavior — and should we rebel, they also have partnered with the military to create drones utilizing artificial intelligence to ensure resistance will be defeated.

This is eerily reminiscent of many science fiction books and productions, but we have proof of what Google is doing — and we cannot go along with it. Google refers to the goal of controlling humanity as "The Selfish Ledger," described in the video below. Our lives are being exploited by Google and other large tech companies, and you have no idea how far they have come or where they are going. The truth is, they can already predict and control your behavior.

Natural health and healing threaten drug and vaccine industry profits

This sentence in the SEM Post article9 cited earlier is key to understanding what's going on: "If the purpose of the page is harmful, then expertise doesn't matter." In other words, if a page is deemed harmful to the public, it gets the lowest possible rating regardless of expertise. And if pages don't vanish automatically in the new algorithm, quality raters will go in and manually manipulate crowdsourced relevance to bury the page or pages.

Just what might Google and its industrial and government/military allies deem "harmful"? In short, pretty much anything that presents views differing from the PR created by said allies, and that most certainly includes alternative and holistic health, and articles revealing the truth about toxic industries, including the drug and vaccine industries.

Indeed, Telapost lists10 Mercola.com as one of the biggest losers in Google's June 2019 core algorithm update, along with other natural health sites and Vimeo — a direct competitor to Google's Youtube video platform. The article also notes that:11

"In the QRG [quality rater guidelines], Google notes that raters should conduct 'research on the reputation of the website or creator of the main content.'

Later they say '… Wikipedia articles can help you learn about a company and may include information specific to reputation, such as awards and other forms of recognition, or also controversies and issues.' If a news style website has a poor reputation, factors on their site could correlate with what Google is trying to push down in search results."

I will delve into Wikipedia's role in this censorship movement in Part 2 of this article, which will be published tomorrow.

Google is undoubtedly one of the largest and clearest monopolies in the world. In fact, the company monopolizes several different markets, including search and advertising. Bing, its closest search competitor, has just 2% of the market — hardly a significant threat to Google's 90%.12 Google also controls about 60% of the global advertising revenue on the internet.

So, with this core algorithm update, Google is very effectively preventing a majority of people worldwide from learning about how to protect and support their health, which is nothing short of an attack on your civil liberties and right to pursue health and happiness.

I've written about the dangers of monopolies within the drug and agricultural industries on numerous occasions, but Google is without a doubt the greatest monopoly that has ever existed on the planet, and most people don't even realize it.

The technology giant has injected itself ever deeper into our day-to-day lives, from childhood education to Android phones, to patented meat substitutes13 and health care. Google's internet monopoly combined with its creepy personal information tracking and sharing poses a very unique threat to public health, privacy and well-being.

Anyone concerned about their health, food or environment and their ability to obtain truthful information about any of those issues needs to understand the role Google plays, and whose side Google is really on. I'll delve further into this in part 2.

Who are the Google quality raters?

So, just who are these quality raters Google hires to decide who's who and what's what, and manually rank pages higher or lower? Ars Technica has written articles about the poor working conditions of these raters. In April 2017, senior tech culture editor for Ars Technica, Annalee Newitz, reported:14

"Few people realize how much these raters contribute to the smooth functioning act we call 'Googling.' Even Google engineers who work with rater data don't know who these people are. But some raters would now like that to change. That's because, earlier this month, thousands of them received an e-mail that said their hours would be cut in half, partly due to changes in Google's staffing policies.

Though Google boasts about its army of raters, the raters are not Google employees. Instead, they are employed by firms who have contracted them to Google, full time, for years on end. These raters believe that Google has reaped significant benefits from their labor without ensuring their jobs are secure and stable. That's why 10 raters came to Ars Technica to tell the story of what their lives are really like."

At the time, Leapforce — which was incorporated in 200815 — was one of the largest companies supplying Google with raters. Most raters work from home and virtually everyone, including managers, use online pseudonyms, preventing employees from knowing who they're really working with.

"To get a task, raters log into Raterhub and see what's available. Some days plenty of tasks exists; on others, a rater might wait hours and be offered nothing … A typical task takes anywhere from 30 seconds to 15 minutes, and the amount of time the rater can bill for the task is pre-determined by Google," Newitz writes.16

In 2017, the hourly pay for a rater ranged between $13.50 and $17.40.17 Effective June 1, 2017, Google raters working in the U.S. could no longer bill for more than 26 hours a week, which meant those working full-time (about 20% of Leapforce raters) were reduced to part-time to minimize employee benefits.

In response to panicked workers, Leapforce founder and CEO Daren Jackson18 told the raters "this is not a change we are able to control," and that the abolishing of full-time work was due to "risk mitigation" related to "regulations."

According to Newitz, a new Google policy stipulated they wanted to work with employee-based workforces, so to keep its contract, Leapforce converted its raters from independent contractors to employees. It was very likely unlawful to have so many people independently contracted for these positions in the first place.

However, Jackson told Newitz he couldn't convert his full-time contractors to full-time employees "because Leapforce couldn't afford health care for all of them," as required under the Affordable Healthcare Act. After speaking to Ars about their work conditions, three of the raters were fired by Leapforce, Newitz reported in a subsequent article.19

Leapforce founder is a former Google employee

While Jackson claimed Leapforce had other clients beside Google (which he would not name when asked by Ars Technica), Google certainly appeared to be its largest. It should come as no surprise then that Jackson and Leapforce didn't just appear out of the blue. In fact, as reported by Newitz, Jackson used to work for Google. She writes:20

"Jackson told Ars that he started Leapforce in 2008 after quitting Google, where he had been working on a project called EWOQ. EWOQ is the precursor to Raterhub, though its origins are shrouded in secrecy. We do know that, as early as 2004, Google had a quality rater tool … At that time, raters were hired directly by Google …

But by the time Google purchased the website Raterhub.com in 2012, all of Google's raters were coming from contracting companies like Leapforce, Lionbridge, Appen, and ZeroChaos. Many of Leapforce's raters still call the tool they use at Raterhub 'EWOQ,' though one told me that they have no idea why, nor what it stands for."

In essence, the separation between Leapforce and Google appears to have been little more than a legal fiction that shielded Google from any legal liabilities for the way this workforce was treated.

In a subsequent article,21 published May 2, 2017, Newitz pointed out that Jackson had just created yet another rating company called RaterLabs,22 and was in the process of transferring raters from Leapforce to RaterLabs, but at reduced pay rates.

As reported by Newitz in a third article,23 published December 1, 2017, Leapforce/RaterLabs were ultimately acquired by a top competitor, Appen.24 She also reported that several Leapforce raters had filed complaints with employee rights groups. Two of the raters fired after speaking to Ars Technica filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board. Both cases were reportedly settled.

Google is not an independent actor in its censorship movement

While some argue that Google, being a private company, has the right to do whatever it wants, even if that means creating algorithms that censor important and relevant news and health insights while manually burying "undesirable" pages to protect the profits of its advertisers and other financial stakeholders.

However, being one of the biggest monopolies in the world, one could argue Google has really become more of a utility (like gas, water and electric utilities), and as such has a responsibility to serve the people. In fact, last year, U.S. House Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, suggested Google and Facebook be turned into, and regulated as, public utilities.25

After all, if you want to find an answer on the web what do you do? You Google it, you don't just "search." Google worked for many years to earn your trust, but it was just setting a trap to twist that trust into powerful control.

Unfortunately, even if such an idea were to gain traction (which it has not), it still wouldn't solve the problem, as Google is not acting independently, but rather is merely fulfilling a role within a much larger complex that includes the U.S. government, its military and national security apparatus, as well as several of the wealthiest and most powerful industries on the planet. I'll delve into these issues in part 2 tomorrow.

All of these "partners" have a vested interest in censoring information addressed by yours truly on a daily basis; information relating to nondrug options for the prevention and treatment of disease and/or warnings about dangerous treatments, drugs and vaccines, for example, or the benefits of regenerative agriculture over conventional farming and fake meat, or the hazards of toxic chemicals found in everyday products and food.

Again, as explained earlier, Google's latest core algorithm update and quality rater guidelines bury all of this information, favoring instead information relayed by sites that are either part of this industrial-technological-military-government complex, or that peddle the desired talking points.

It doesn't matter that I'm reporting on and referencing publicly available peer-reviewed research and have a whole panel of medical and scientific experts reviewing much of the information, because the science I highlight is the science industry doesn't want you to see.

Few are ever going to take the time to dig up these studies even though they're readily available, and thus by censoring me and other online sources like myself, the industrial-technological-military-government complex's task of social engineering is significantly simplified.

The information I share about pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, GMOs, pesticides, junk food, fake meat, artificial sweeteners and other dangerous additives are prime targets for censorship for the simple reason that when you take control of your health, they LOSE control over you. By being informed, you take their power over you away from them.

What can you do?

I have been writing about Google for years because I knew this day would come. June 3, 2019, Google predictably removed my website and several other health sites from its search results.

It's a wakeup call for everyone, and now more than ever we must work together to share this information with others by word of mouth, by text and email. We have built in simple sharing tools at the top of each article so you can easily email or text interesting articles to your friends and family.

My information is here because all of you support and share it, and we can do this without Big Tech's support. It's time to boycott and share! Here are a few other suggestions:

Become a subscriber to my newsletter and encourage your friends and family to do the same. This is the easiest and safest way to make sure you'll stay up-to-date on important health and environmental issues.

If you have any friends or relatives that are seriously interested in their health, please share important articles with them and encourage them to subscribe to our newsletter.

Use the internal Mercola.com search engine when searching for articles on my site. Nearly all major search websites except Yahoo! and Bing still use Google as their primary engines and have their own privacy issues. Then you have sites like StartPage and DuckDuckGo, which provide greater privacy than Google, but rely on Google's search results.

Boycott Google by avoiding any and all Google products:

Stop using Google search engines. Alternatives include DuckDuckGo26 and Startpage27

Uninstall Google Chrome and use Brave or Opera browser instead, available for all computers and mobile devices.28 From a security perspective, Opera is far superior to Chrome and offers a free VPN service (virtual private network) to further preserve your privacy

If you have a Gmail account, try a non-Google email service such as ProtonMail,29 an encrypted email service based in Switzerland

Stop using Google docs. Digital Trends has published an article suggesting a number of alternatives30

If you're a high school student, do not convert the Google accounts you created as a student into personal accounts

Sign the "Don't be evil" petition created by Citizens Against Monopoly




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