Sunday, February 19, 2006

Google's Memory Hole

(I wonder if posts like this will get this blog shut down, since it runs on Google's Blogger service? Anyway...)

Here's an example of what Google's doing in China. Remember the Tiananmen Square Massacre of '89? This is what Americans see when we search for images of "Tiananmen." ...Compare that to what the Chinese see.

It would be more socially responsible to provide China no service at all than a censored service. In an information vacuum, at least people know the truth is being hidden. With censorship, it's easier to fool the people into believing they know all there is to know.

No American company - especially one that considers itself progressive - should be providing this kind of Orwellian service for a repressive government unless they want us all to wonder whether Winston Smith has a cubicle in their offices.



10 comments:

Shamick said...

I agree but apparently MONEY loving USA, after "globalizing" the whole world, is too weak to stand up to China, or most other countries, as "thanks" to Globalization, we - the companies - are at mercy of other countries and if they do not follow the rules, the "Globalization" will eat them alive. Congratulations everybody, soon we will, like the other 3rd world countries, just be glad if the master on plantation gives us $.50 an hour and no one will be dreaming of health care and such a silly thing that USA used to enjoy as Privacy, Integrity, VALUES!

Anonymous said...

Staggering differences in the searches for "tiananmen" with the Chinese google vs. American google. Also notice the sites from where images are pulled. In china most of them are chinabroadcast.cn, or a .edu site. On the U.S. Google we see a lot of independent organizations (freedomtocare.org and freerepublic.com) and a lot of blogs (independent publishing) along side cnn.com and .edu sites.

Anonymous said...

Give me a break. Our government trades with China to the tune of Billions of dollars each year, they are a most favorite trade nation, we are alloing them to step in witht he north korean talks, walmart supports china (meaning the general american idiot public supports china) and the phone companies have done much the same thing google and the rest are doing. my thoughts, limited google is better than no google. there are ways around it.

don't sound so sanctimonious. when the us gives up its addiction to china and its billion dollars worth of support we get each day to keep our government running, then we can all chide google.

Darrin Bell said...

I was wondering when a Google employee (or shareholder) would show up...

I've admired Google since its creation, and its decision to censor itself in China is dissapointing. "Limited Google" is not better than no Google at all, for the reason I've already stated. Google didn't have to do this. I don't buy the argument that they were simply trying to better serve the Chinese people. The Chinese had full access to Google.com before they set up google.cn. The only reason they needed to place servers inside Chinese territory was to increase their profit potential.

I agree with you that our reliance on China for cheap labor and to finance our debt is insane, but that has no bearing on Google's (and Yahoo's, and Microsoft's) behavior. If a friend of yours spied on your brother's Internet searches, and your brother complained, you wouldn't tell him "Don't sound so sanctimonious. When the government stops spying on your Internet searches, then you can chide my friend." ...Or maybe you would, I don't know.

Anonymous said...

Google Hong Kong (www.google.com.hk) does show the tank pictures, and the first website they list is christusrex.org.

The CCP said they wouldn't mess with Hong Kong, and maybe it's true. (Some of it. Some of the time. When the world is watching. Or could watch if it wanted to.)

Rick Stabile said...

Hmmm, go figure that Firefox and Opera redirected me to google.com (as opposed to google.cn) when I tried looking at the Chinese version. They probably read my locale and said "Whoa!"

I had to resort to Internet Explorer to see the censored versions.

What's happening? Are they trying to censor the censorship? ;-)

Thanks for the thought-provoking post, Darrin.

- Rick S.

Anonymous said...

Come on Darrin! You should be happy that the CEO of Google.com reads your strip and blog. By the way, why is it when I google 'Candorville' I get redirected to the 'Baby Blues' site? ;) (Just kidding!)

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