catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

See no evil – Search No "evil"

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One of the risks with taking the moral high ground as a corporation, is that being caught out breaking your own rules can lead to significant brand damage.

I suspect Google is going to get a pretty sharp lesson in this shortly, following revelations about the extent Google has co-operated with the Chinese government when launching it’s services into the Chinese markets.

ZDNet has revealed today that

“Google’s new China search engine not only censors many Web sites that question the Chinese government, but it goes further than similar services from Microsoft and Yahoo by targeting teen pregnancy, homosexuality, dating, beer and jokes.”

Prima facie, this goes against Google much trumpeted “do no evil” motto, and thus may be more damaging to Google than the similar action taken by Yahoo and Microsoft when launching in China.

Interestingly, all three companies (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft) look like they might be in for a bit of heat from the US government over their decisions to comply with the requests of the Chinese government to help control the flow of information in China.

According to an article in Australian IT

“Representatives from Google and other internet companies have been called to a Congressional Human Rights Caucus hearing on Wednesday and to a February 16 session of the House of Representatives subcommittee on Global Human Rights.”

It’s going to be interesting to see what other ‘compliance with chinese laws’ gets exposed during the meetings. What will be even more interesting is wether any large company (Google included) is prepared to take an ethical position that means missing out such a huge market opportunity as China.


Written by Admin

January 27, 2006 at 5:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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