View Full Version : Google Censors Chinese Operation


WG774
25th Jan 2006, 12:53
Not content with being worth $16BN outside of China, Google can't help but bow to pressure from Bejing and remove certain web-pages from its Chinese servers.

Can anyone explain this comment from Google:
"While removing search results is inconsistent with Google's mission, providing no information (or a heavily degraded user experience that amounts to no information) is more inconsistent with our mission."
???? Do Google use the same press-officer as Jim Hacker MP?

http://www.cnn.com/2006/BUSINESS/01/25/google.china/index.html?section=cnn_latest

http://technology.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,1694294,00.html

Interview with Google's founder late '04: http://www.google-watch.org/china.html

"Don't be evil" is Google's motto... Can anyone spot the inconsistency?

A grim day for anyone who thought Google possessed corporate ethics :yuk: :yuk: :yuk: :yuk:



ORAC
25th Jan 2006, 12:55
Corporate ethics = oxymoron. :hmm:

makintw
25th Jan 2006, 14:20
Well, the headline in the wee bit on the right drudgereport.com sums it up

COMMUNIST GOOGLE: SEARCH GIANT AGREES TO CENSOR RESULTS IN CHINA

Corporate hypocrisy at it's best.:yuk:

Hot on the heels of Yahoo and Microsoft.

Seem to remember Billy Boy Clinton giving permanent most favoured trading status that was meant to engage them there butchers in Beijing. Naiive or what?

As if Google sticking their head up the CCP derriere will bring about change.

Never mind, I'm sitting a couple of miles away from a Taiwan airbase, so sure hope some of those 700+ Commie missiles pointing our way are targeted accurately.

Now back in the 80's would Ronnie and Maggie allowed every man and his dog to pile into the USSR to find their pot of gold???

WG774
25th Jan 2006, 14:46
I can see Orac's point in respect to "ethics" and corporate profit being mutually-exclusive; however, a small part of me wanted to think that Google was *different* to the likes of Murdoch and Gates, whose Chinese policies came as no surprise.

What gets me about this is the way that Google have traded for years on their "don't be evil" slogan; blatant hypocrisy, as Mak suggests :yuk:

Grainger
25th Jan 2006, 15:18
Hang on - what exactly are they supposed to do ? They have to comply with the laws of each country they operate in. Whether we agree with those laws or not is a separate issue.

Presumably if they refused to co-operate, they would be blocked completely and the Chinese would have no internet search at all !

Quoting "Do no evil" is a bit unfair - Google are not the source of the censorship. They have to choose the lesser of two evils - not the same thing at all.

WG774
25th Jan 2006, 15:46
Presumably if they refused to co-operate, they would be blocked completely and the Chinese would have no internet search at all !


China has numerous search engines - Baidu (as mentioned in the Grauniad link) is one of them. Considering Google has blocked political links, they're competing in China purely on a commercial basis.

Taken from link: Executives have grudgingly accepted that this is the ethical price they have to pay to base servers in mainland China, which will improve the speed - and attractiveness - of their service in a country where they face strong competition from the leading mandarin search engine, Baidu.

But Google faces a backlash from free speech advocates, internet activists and politicians, some of whom are already asking how the company's policy in China accords with its mission statement: to make all possible information available to everyone who has a computer or mobile phone.


If a privately-owned company is worth $16Billion, couldn't you argue that said company might be able to afford to have ethics?

It's about time the West started opening up its eyes to what's going on in China; the abuses of human rights we see in our media are only the tip of the iceberg - ask anyone who's been to China and dared to tread off-the-beaten-visitor-track...

Although I don't agree with censorship in any form, I can understand the removal of porn / militant etc links, but we're talking about the BBC here...

By abstaining from entering the Chinese market, Google would make a highly-publicised statement to the world that they didn't agree with the dictatorship's policies, a statement that might actually do some good, as opposed to just filling pockets...

airship
25th Jan 2006, 15:54
Life was much simpler in the days before businesses started having ethics. Back then, everyone knew they were in it for the money only. These days, businesses supposedly have ethics but rob you of your pension entitlements nevertheless... :rolleyes: :yuk:

WG774
25th Jan 2006, 19:15
Interestingly, 62% of the readership of a newspaper whose main purpose is to report on corporate affairs - the FT - believe Google's censorship decision is "evil": http://forums.ft.com/2/OpenTopic

If the above link doesn't work, click via this page: http://news.ft.com/cms/s/ac208de0-8da6-11da-8fda-0000779e2340.html

The FT page has a host of thought-provoking links, the quote below comes from This Blog (http://citizensband.blogspot.com/2006/01/google-china-and-do-no-evil.html)

Necessary evil? It's debatable. I've blogged about this topic before in connection with Yahoo! and Shi Tao, and realize there are no easy answers. But what makes this news all the more disheartening is that it flies contrary to the company's famous and long-standing philosophy of "Do No Evil." One of the chief aspect's of Google was its reputation as a white knight of industry that led by example. On Google's homepage, you can look up their corporate philosophy, which they sum up in a list of "Ten things". The list, by the way, includes the following:

4. Democracy on the web works.

6. You can make money without doing evil.
And my favorite:

8. The need for information crosses all borders.

It's good to know that the FT's readers see the hypocrisy in Google's decision; to my knowledge, your typical FT-reader isn't renowned for his / her "humanitarian" ethos when it comes to making a quid...if they can see the contradiction...

ExSimGuy
25th Jan 2006, 19:34
Next headline will be "Christian Sites Blocked to Certain Middle-East Countries"

(although, to be fair, they have their own "firewalls", and porn or terrorism is blocked, but you can get results and pages for Christian Sites with no problem - much to my surprise when the Internet arrived here!)

Ping times to Google or alltheweb may be in the order of half a second, but they don't need servers here - we just search the US/European ones, and if we then click on sites that are "not appropriate" (only porn or terror-related, as far as I can see) you don't get the feed, just a polite Arabic/English page that informs you the site is blocked and asks if you would like to explain why it might have been blocked in error