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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Doing no evil, huh?

This isn't really about content writing, but I felt it was worth mentioning. Besides, anything Google-related is probably at least tangentially linked to what I do, right? Anyway...

This morning I heard that Google has agreed to play by the free speech strangling rules of the Chinese government in order to gain a foothold in that growing market. The Chinese version of Google will censor politically sensitive sites in accordance with the preferences of the Chinese government.

If you weren't yet sure Google had left its "do no evil" business plan behind, you are now.

I read an article in at Silicon.com ("Google Astride the Great Firewall of China") that argued you could look at the decision two different ways. Either it's just an economic reality for a growing company that must answer to its shareholders to make this kind of compromise or it's proof positive that Google has sold out. Personally, I think it's both.

So, if you are in China want to do some online reading about Taiwanese independence movements, Falun Gong or would like to see some information about Tianamen Square other than PRC-approved tourist guides, you won't be able to use Google to do it.