Don\'t Be Evil

Google strikes deal with the Chinese government; blogosphere goes apeshit.

Is refraining from dealing with the Chinese government on its terms - as recommended by most bloggers who care about freedom and human rights - any different from refusing to trade with people because of the actions of their government?

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Um. Good point.

Um. Good point.

Well, Google was able to

Well, Google was able to trade with people (provide search result) either way. www.google.com is accessible from China, but filtered by the firewall.

The tradeoff was between providing slow searches, where the Chinese government would sometimes block the entire results page. Or providing fast searches inside the firewall with individual results censored. Google says its better to show some results than none. Other people argue that showing a page full of government lies is worse than nothing at all. Its an interesting question.

Heres a parallel: Would you rather have your children taught Creationism, or nothing? I'll take nothing, so at least their minds are open.

"Heres a parallel: Would you

"Heres a parallel: Would you rather have your children taught Creationism, or nothing? I’ll take nothing, so at least their minds are open."

Well, it should be noted that Google offers a lot more information that isn't objectionable and won't be censored. So in the hypothetical above, your kids may not be able to learn about evolution, but they'll have access to much better service for other information. Plus, when the list of creationist websites appears it'll say at the bottom that content has been removed, which should pique any potential subversive's interest.

Isn't the more appropriate

Isn't the more appropriate parallel whether you would rather have your children taught calculus, physics, chemistry, grammar...and Creationism, or nothing at all?

"Isn’t the more

"Isn’t the more appropriate parallel whether you would rather have your children taught calculus, physics, chemistry, grammar…and Creationism, or nothing at all?"

I would like to suggest a different comparison. It's not that we add Creationism (or any other topic), but that we censor a topic and do so explicitly. That is:

Would you rather have students taught calculus, physics, chemistry, grammar, and history, or have them taught calculus, physics, chemistry, grammar, and no history?

Then, in addition to this change, I wish to submit a second revision. Say that there are history teachers in the schools and at tutoring centers, but the City Council (Mayor, or what-have-you. Just so long as it is external to the school.) keeps students from the history teachers.

Which would you prefer: schools and tutoring centers that actively help the City Council keep students away from the history teachers, or ones that fight tooth and nail to allow students to acquire (even smuggle) history books and lessons, risking the very existence of the institutions that assist the students?

I know which I'd prefer. It's easy for me to have such a preference, lacking an affiliation with Google, lacking any skin in the game. But still, I know which I'd prefer.

I honestly don't understand

I honestly don't understand the uproar. How are the citizens of China better served by not having a choice to use Google? How does the government benefit by providing most of a tool to its citizens?

China's effort to censor web content is more effective by NOT having Google than by having it. If the goal is to provide Chinese citizens with freedom and choice then Google is doing the right thing.

Choice is ALWAYS better than no choice.

The uproar is due to the

The uproar is due to the censored results. For some censored results, such as for "falun gong", all of the results that tell the truth are missing. All that is left is the lies, the government propaganda. I wonder how many other search results show similar results.

At the very least, Google should put their "some results have been removed due to local regulations" on the top of the search results rather than at the end, where most people don't look.

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