Thursday, January 26, 2006

The two faces of Google

Somewhat appropos of DS's blog immediately below, here are an interesting pair of cases involving Google. On the one hand, they have made a "brave" stand against the US government, refusing to hand over statistics on the number of internet searches for child pornography, thus warming the cockles of progressive hearts everywhere.

But Google is not so keen on standing up to governments when its bottom line is impacted. It caved to the Chinese government's demands that potentially embarassing search results be censored. Yeah, you never know what chaos might ensure were a dissident to google the words democracy and freedom. Bravo Google, you really pick your fights quite well.

Ace of Spades has more on Google's mind blowing hypocrisy.
Just curious: Which is more central to the marketplace of ideas? Basic information and dissenting opinion in a tyranny, or everyone's putative "right" to search for dirty pictures of naked children with the impunity of anonymity?

According to Google, it's the latter.

It's amazing how the First Amendment, both by its letter and in its spirit, is so steely adamant on the question of pornography but so flexible and porous regarding political information and argumentation.

One other thing: I'd be remiss not to note Baseball Musing's David Luciani has removed Google's Ad Sense from his website as a result of Google's weak-kneed response to the Chi-Coms.


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