Quite frankly, I think I am sick of hearing about the debate if Google is going against their “do no evil” policy. All of the facts are strewn about as if a centrifuge full of pissing contestant excrement exploded in the middle of a Time Square at lunch time. Being as I consider myself evil for the most part, I think that it is my duty to truly determine if the company is acting under evil guises. “But Wyatt …,” you say, “Don’t you hold stock in Google and have a vested interest in their direction?” You are damn straight I do, but I don’t think that will matter much when I show you the logical breakdown of the scad remnants of facts that I’ve collected off of fleeing urine sprayed spectators.
First, a listing of the facts:
Google is being allowed searching by Chinese systems (Web & Image only)
Google will filter those search results in accordance with the Chinese governments wishes
Google will inform Chinese users that they should not be searching for said terms
Google’s manta/policy/whatever is “do no evil”
Google is a publicly traded company
China has a lot of money
China has what many western people would consider ‘extreme censorship’
I think that’s all that really matters, but let me know if you think I’m missing something critical.
Given research on China, one can easily see that they have lot of cash and a lot of censorship. One of the big complaints that I’ve been hearing is that “Google has sold out! They are only out for money and their shareholders!!!” Pish-posh. Upon the announcement and subsequent release of the search to China, my Google stock did not magically make Bill Gate’s my lawn watering boy. You can check the stock history for yourself and see that there was no major impact from this announcement. Yes, Google is more than likely going to be loyal to their shareholders, but I fail to see where this is going to come into play. If you’ve ever looked at the ‘adwords’ that Google uses, they relate to what you are searching for. The last time I checked, China was not censoring deodorant or lawn mowers. It seems to me that in this case, if Google is being evil to anyone, it is the people who pay to have those adwords published, not the people searching. People use the search for free … the logic shows itself here.
People complain that giving the half-truths of information is worse than giving no information at all. So just to find out how the search results are filtered, I found a link that gave me a comparison of the search. Needless to say, the results were absolutely shocking. From the US, I get to see tanks rolling over college kids, from China, I get to see tourist sites. I still get to see tourist sites in the US version, but they are further down the line (due to seeded searching). Unlike the other half of the idiots on the Internet, this idiot clicked on the translate button on the Chinese site. I received the same paged, but up at the top I could now read something to the effect of “You shouldn’t be searching
I think you see where I’m going with this. On the scale of evil with 1 being “Would you like tea and crumpets?” and 10 being “Would you like tea and crumpets that will kill you when you blink?” Google is getting a 3.5. Evil enough to start a cou in a foreign country, but not evil enough to go against their principle of cataloging and making available all the information in the world.