Censorship in action

Google’s censorship over the Chinese edition of its search engine has come into force.

For those who didn’t already know, last week Google decided to censor its site in compliance with strict government rules on free-speech so that it could finally be viewable in China, after many searches being blocked almost since Googles inception.

Google argues that it would be better for them to censor and be allowed to remain online in the country, that to pull out altogether.

Free-speech is almost non-existant in the worlds most vastly populated nation.
Bloggers have even been jailed, for blogging against the official government line or for being outspoken about state thuggery.

So, if you want to see for yourself how Google has turned itself into a tool to aid oppression, compare these two searches. One uses Google image search, US edition, the other uses Google image search, Chinese edition. Guess which one is which.

http://images.google.cn/images?q=tiananmen
http://images.google.com/images?q=tiananmen

4 Comments

  1. Free speech is non-existent in almost every nation. It just depends on how you define it.

    We’re not allowed to search for child pornography – try and do a search for it on Google/Yahoo/MSN, and you’re told it doesn’t exist. While your IP address is passed on to the appropriate authorities.

    Google/MSN/Yahoo et. al. saying to the Chinese authorities “we won’t give you search utilities unless you have free speech” isn’t going to change the Chinese authorities mind. The trouble with the Asian/Chinese concept of face is that it’s very difficult to “force” someone to change their mind – you have to very gently persuade them, and take them with you.

    The jailing of bloggers etc. leaves a very nasty taste in the mouth to say the least, but at least Google aren’t doing that, unlike Yahoo and MSN.

  2. We are creating blogs with our accounts. We sent them to boys of China. They use ours blogs to write what it happens. We do not want to change the regime of China because Google censures or no. Google, in addition, does not leave what it is written in those blogs.

    Thanks

  3. Try this URL:

    http://images.google.cn/images?q=China+free+speech&hl=zh-CN&btnG=%E6%90%9C%E7%B4%A2%E5%9B%BE%E7%89%87

    There’s always a way around everything….

    I heard a radio interview with a Google rep saying that whenever a result was censored, it would inform the ‘googler’ that their search had been so. I thought this was a significant step forward from just saying “this information doesn’t exist”.
    But unless this message is in Chinese and my PC couldn’t process it – that statement was a lie.

  4. The insidious censorship practised by Google, ( irrespective of any set preferences) and the fact that they can only be contacted by post, has forced me to seek another search engine. Having tested a lot of them with the search “Asian cheats” , I have concluded that Lycos seems to be least affected by snide censorship. I have made Lycos my search engine and homepage of choice.

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