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Wired News has posted about Google’s response to criticism that they caved to Chinese censorship and also announced the creation of a Beijing research center. There are several excerpts of note which I will comment on below:

He said Google had to accept restrictions in order to serve China, which has the world's second-largest population of internet users after the United States, with more than 111 million people online.

This is the Internet morons… how is it that Google has to accept those restrictions? Google is not bound by Chinese law. Google is not forced to have a physical presence in order to offer results to China. Google only has to comply with undemocratic laws in order to make certain that Google’s sites are not blocked at the physical level by the Chinese government. Google caved to the restrictions so that people could see Google’s bits more easily – $$.

Schmidt also announced the creation of a research center in Beijing that he said should have 150 employees by mid-2006 and "eventually thousands of people." He said the center is meant to create products for markets worldwide, though he said planning was still in such an early stage that he didn't know what they might be.

Me thinks their is something else to this… Do no evil?

Schmidt was speaking at a ceremony to announce Google's Chinese-language brand name — "Gu Ge," or "Valley Song," which the company says draws on Chinese rural traditions to describe a fruitful and rewarding experience.

I would think a better name might be “Klu Dge” – meaning “kludge” which I say draws on an old coder tradition of doing what you can to make the dumb thing work.

Talking to reporters later, Schmidt said Google's managers were stung by criticism that they accepted Chinese censorship, but said they haven't lobbied Beijing to change its rules.

I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with filtering the results from Google China and making sure that Google is in compliance with Chinese law for the sake of money. I do, however, have a problem when what Google is doing goes completely against their corporate culture and mission. While Google may not be doing evil directly, they are certainly bowing to an authority who is evil… very evil. Perhaps Google should get back to “their philosophy”. Item’s of note from their philosophy:

#4) Democracy on the web works. (unless you are in China)
#5) You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer. (unless you are in China)
#6) You can make money without doing evil. (but you can make more money in China by cohorting with those that do evil)
#7) There is always more information out there. (unless it contains the word Tibet in China)
#8) The need for information crosses all borders. (unless it is the border of China and Tibet)

And how about some snips from Google’s software principles:

GoogleChinaCLEAR BEHAVIOUR: Applications that affect or change your user experience should make clear they are the reason for those changes… Applications should not intentionally obscure themselves under multiple or confusing names… [I don’t have the Chinese character set installed on my machine, but I don’t think that those little ???s say anything about why a Chinese Netizen can’t find good links on Job openings in Taiwan]

KEEPING GOOD COMPANY: Application providers should not allow their products to be bundled with applications that do not meet these guidelines… [but it’s not really bundling when it includes the entirety of the web]

Would you filter searches for apartheid for Google South Africa? Would you filter searches for genocide for Google Sudan? No. Why not? Because they don’t have 111 million potential adsense viewers.

Original Post - please comment there

Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006 11:06 AM | Back to top


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