Posted by: Jim | June 16, 2005

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The Great Firewall of China

I found this headline extremely clever when I thought of it. On a whim I did a search and found that about 4,000 other clever writers thought of it too. But damn them all, I’m using it anyway.

My blog posting earlier about Yahoo, Google, Gates, and China prompted further research. It turns out that TMOTM is a bit behind the times, as this was a major news story last September. Let’s see … I think I was focused on the election back then. What a waste of time that was, since I could have been focusing on censorship in China instead! After all, we might as well fight battles we can win, no?

Onward into the valley … etc.

Google, it turns out, does not censor any actual websites. China itself does that, ostensibly with the proverbial great firewall in my extremely popular headline. What Google did do, was opt to not show the results of any links that would not work behind China’s firewall.

So what could have happened, if someone had searched for issues on “Taiwan independence,” they would have seen the headline, but the link would not have worked, telling that browser that their government has forbidden them to see it. However, with Google’s decision, that browser won’t even see the headline, and thus be blissfully unaware of the truth.

And Google denies any culpability, since they aren’t actually the ones doing the censoring; China is. Google is, after all, a company that once pledged to “Do No Evil.” But here they have placed profit over their core mission.

Google is sanitizing China’s oppressive policies. How convenient for China, and how profitable for Google. That is evil in my definition.

So what really sucks, is now I have to stop using my beloved Gmail account. I will be moving back to my yahoo! account until I have researched Yahoo!’s activity in this. For what it’s worth, Yahoo! has been very difficult to reach on this, while Google was easy to reach, and responded promptly.

Bye bye Google.

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