Saturday, October 02, 2004

Google Conforms to Chinese Censorship

Google Inc.'s recently launched news service in China doesn't display results from Web sites blocked by that country's authorities, raising prickly questions for an online search engine that has famously promised to "do no evil." Dynamic Internet Technology Inc., a research firm striving to defeat online censorship, conducted tests that found Google omits results from the government-banned sites if search requests are made through computers connecting to the Internet in China.

Having lived in China I can tell you that censorship is in fact a reality. Many times I would be watching news from HongKong and it would immediately break for commercial during a controversial story. Of course television is much easier to censor than the Internet. Here is Google's explanation "In order to create the best possible news search experience for our users, we sometimes decide not to include some sites, for a variety of reasons. These sources were not included because their sites are inaccessible" and a link from Google would only show as a broken link. Many people think Google has caved into the Chinese government requests and therefore broken their "do no evil" pledge. dt

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