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Is Google helping to perpetuate censorship in China?

According to the BBC, the Chinese government is blocking access to all versions of Google News other than the Chinese version.

(As you will know, China has a country-wide policy of blocking websites that are critical of it’s regime or contain content which the Chinese authorities disapprove of)

It is alleged that the reason why the Chinese version has escaped the filters is because it’s the only Google News version that has been purged of news material that the Chinese government would deem unsuitable.

Which makes you wonder; why is Google News pandering to the censorship requirements of the Chinese government? Surely they can’t blame this one on the algorithm??!! This must be a human decision taken at the top.

It’s fair to say that many of us in the industry have associated Google as being whiter than white when it comes to ethics. This has certainly tarnished that reputation for me.

Finally, the one source I could find on the Internet in which Google denied it was cooperating with the Chinese Govenment’s censorship demands was a transcript of an interview with Sergey Brin in Playboy of all palces! Which just confirms what I’ve always been saying: I just buy the magazine to read the articles… honest!

(warning, google-watch is an anti-google biased source – I’m hoping they have some integrety by replicating the transcript from Playboy accuratly!)

Published in BBC News Website Industry News Thoughts and Rants


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