Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Don't do evil?

Google is one the biggest and most widely used sources of information on the internet in America. Now they're making the move to China, where freedom of speech is thrown out the window, and Google has agreed to allow censorship.

Today, I typed "Tiananmen Square" into the new Chinese website, www.google.cn. There were zero results. I typed the same thing into the American version of the search engine and received 1,820,000 results. I am livid that the founders of Google can turn a blind eye to this in order to make a few more million dollars.

This is the company with the motto "Don't do evil." They suggest there are compromises, but they can be more useful in China by participating. But I'm sure Google, that constant counter, is very aware of how many new users will be available to them, and how many users other search engines such as Yahoo are garnering without the extra competition of companies still operating based on morals. Really, who will Google be useful to?

Google's website states that its mission is "to organize the immense, seemingly infinite amount of information on the web." Its mission doesn't state who Google is organizing this information for, but I had always assumed it was the general public. I guess now we know it's for whichever government the company is working within.

I know this happens every day with companies all around the world looking for cheap labor and huge profits, but I'm so disappointed to hear about it from Google, who for so long has held up an illusion that they are working for some common good. Actions do speak louder than mottos.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is pretty disappointing to hear. I had always liked Google because they seem to have that "Stick it to the man" mentality. I guess I was wrong.

~Samantha from NJ~

Terry Michael said...

Oh, you have to type in "天安门广场"
yeah, say that 5 times fast. But true, it's terrible. You do get some things like - http://www.people.com.cn/media/200102/05/NewsMedia_87832.jpg

But most of it is really like
http://news.xinhuanet.com/photo/2005-09/30/content_3567480.htm

What I find fascinating is that Xinhuanet is a really good news resources, even for western topics. You'll find Google News linking to them in their top stories and sometimes it's as good as the International Herald. I guess they're trying to make up one short coming with another...

Terry Michael said...

Oh, correction:
type in 天安門廣場抗議 to both regular google and then the .cn site. SEE the difference there ("Tiananmen Square protest").