Google is getting some well-deserved flak for emasculating the Chinese version of Google News by suppressing headlines that point at things the government of China doesn’t want its citizens to read. I didn’t think it worth ranting about, but this pathetic apologia on the Google blog adds insult to injury. Let’s be clear here: the Chinese government is trying to create the impression that it’s normal and acceptable for a large, well-educated, economically-growing modern nation to have an authoritarian one-party system of government. They’re not subtle, they simply forbid news that contradicts their desired impression. By suppressing the headlines that point at forbidden material, Google is actively aiding and abetting the Chinese government’s marketing program. And please, please, can we lose the nauseating twaddle about how it’s OK to suppress the truth because it’s “less than two percent of Chinese news sources”? What do you bloody well expect when the government of China is actively engaged in suppressing such news? The reason why that number is low is because too many other people are doing what Google is. Someone at Google may really believe the platitudes in that blog entry, but in effect the company is engaged in kissing the wrong kinds of asses. This is not good. [Update: Someone named Didier is flaming me for hypocrisy because he claims Sun sells computers that are part of the problem. Normally not worth highlighting, mais en français... tordant! (On n’a pas un mot pour “marketing”? Hmmm)]

author · Dad
colophon · rights
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September 28, 2004
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