Google and China

I’ve been thinking about Google and China, and I don’t understand why Google would concede to the Chinese Government’s demands that Google China censor its search results. The billion potential customers might be a potential draw, except for one fact — capitulating to censors would be against Google’s informal corporate motto: “Don’t be evil.”

Although evil is indeed a subjective quality, here it is not. The fact that a government (which laughingly calls itself the “People’s Republic of China”) would keep any information from its citizens automatically disqualifies it as being a republic of the people. Such a government is a republic of… the republic. Google is only skirting evil by acquiescing too China’s demands; Yahoo! is being downright evil by providing China with information it needs to prosecute dissenters.

A corporation should not be evil and in the United States, at least, Google isn’t. But what a difference a government makes. Google as a corporation (and all American companies for that matter) should stand for truth, equality, and making a profit — but the last goal should never come at the expense of the first two. If anything, Google should be doing everything it can to fight China’s censorship. It should answer the “People’s” government’s demand with a fuck you gleam in its eye, and a list of search results that inexplicably returns links to information about the Tiananmen Protests. And if the the PMRC doesn’t like it, then it can look elsewhere for a search engine for its sandboxed Internet.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply