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Save Google, Free China  (View post)

EastSouthWestNorth [PersonRank 0]

Thursday, April 13, 2006
15 years ago3,994 views

"You can say that Google should insist on providing the Chinese people with the list of relevant websites which they cannot reach, because this reminds the Chinese people about what their government is doing. (Note: That is a very condescending attitude, because you must think that the Chinese people are too stupid to know it without Google telling them in this way.) Thus, Google is doing no evil. But you cannot be telling the Chinese Internet users that it is essential that they waste their time clicking on unreachable websites in the name of freedom and democracy. Google is not doing them any good!"

zonaeuropa.com/200603.brief.ht ...

Anonymous [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Their other proposed option: "The best outcome might be an alliance among the big three companies to insist on an open, free web in any nation in which they do business. The big three would need to be prepared to exit China if they must continue to be censored. And the big three would need the US government to pressure China to accept that unfiltered content provided by these companies."

This is bizarre, do the blog authors think Chinese programmers are too stupid to come up with their own search or portal websites? You won't be depriving them of anything, they'd hardly even notice Google was gone!

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

> There is nothing that Google can do one
> way or the other that will directly change
> the situation upstream.

So what do you conclude – give in to evil if you can't fight it?
There's a huge difference between not being able to change something (which, in the case of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Cisco teaming up, we shouldn't even be too sure about) and helping that thing happening.

> But you cannot be telling the
> Chinese Internet users that it is
> essential that they waste their
> time clicking on unreachable
> websites in the name of freedom
> and democracy.

I think it is of value to know *which* results are censored. Besides, you can't escape the moral dilemma by saying "the bad thing would happen anyway". By that reasoning you can also guard the jail cell of a dissident and feel good about it – because whether or not you'd be on guard, someone else would do it anyway.

Right now, the Chinese gov't could effectively unblock the sites in question – Google.cn is already doing a great job hiding them.

> This is bizarre, do the blog authors
> think Chinese programmers are too
> stupid to come up with their own
> search or portal websites?

It's not trivial to come up with Google-the-search-engine. We don't have any serious contender in Europe. Maybe it's not so much about Chinese vs Non-Chinese programmers, but about the right setting in which innovation can strive (which Google may have). In any case, I do agree Google needs China more than China does need Google – it was slightly weird of Google to assume the latter in their defense:

<<We are convinced that the Internet, and its continued development through the efforts of companies like Google, will effectively contribute to openness and prosperity in the world. Our continued engagement with China is the best (perhaps only) way for Google to help bring the tremendous benefits of universal information access to all our users there.>>
googleblog.blogspot.com/2006/0 ...

Anonymous [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Well, it *is* their goal. It's a longwinded way of saying that they want to service the entire world.

> By that reasoning you can also guard the jail cell of a dissident and feel good about it – because whether or not you'd be on guard, someone else would do it anyway.

Uh, yeah, I would.

Alan [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

why everyone is attacking on China that they block certain websites when Germany, a country that "civilised", "democracy", "western" also insists on blocking Nazi pages??

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

At least on this blog I've covered the German censorship many times before... I agree it was and still is an issue..
blogoscoped.com/search.php?q=g ...

Support Freedom! [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Great job, 'Save Google Free China', great job!

Your comparison with the anti-apartheid movement and other issues are very appropriate and accurate.

China's war on free speech is relentless, below is yet another additional assault: outlawing most independent email servers (propaganda reason: spam, real reason: cutting off an important way the Chinese people could have used to freely communicate)

vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2154063 ...

Let a thousand such blogs bloom! The result will be to start to reverse the currently accelerating slide of the world toward an electronicaly-enforced tyranny from which mankind would never be able to escape. Google may not see itself as a part of that tyranny, but it is perhaps only their wishful and clouded thinking about the character of the regime in Beijing that blinds them to how they are being used by Beijing to enforce that tyranny.

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