Friday, January 27, 2006

The Bull In The China Shop

Google China Censorship Controversy Roundup

Google choosing to censor the search results of its Google China search engine has led to a lot of industry flack and protest against a search engine which was viewed as the ‘people’s hero’ only last week for standing up to government aggression. When Google agreed to comply to Chinese law in order to expand its services in China, they opened up a can of worms which, in this writer’s opinion, is not going to go away anytime soon.

Sure, MSN and Yahoo, along with multiple global businesses have conformed to Chinese Sinification restrictions when opening shop in the People’s Republic, but this is Google - the company that makes business decisions by its ‘Do No Evil’ motto. This leads to the question, is doing business in China evil? Is the suppression of free expression which can lead to social unrest evil?

The long term potential of accomplishing change through working with the people and wishes of China is much more powerful than appeasing the short term preferences of interest groups. Google will probably do more good than harm in the long run delivering the world’s information to China, even if that means excluding some touchy information in the here and now.
Which sounds like a noble experiment, but let's face facts: It's all about the yuan. The money. And I have no problem with that, though apparently wrong wingers do(please forgive me for linking to a member of the Fascist Black Footsie Pajama Media):
The Chinese government is a communist regime. They control what information their citizens have access to. Google, Microsoft and Cisco have decided to play along in the name of the dollar with the ChiComs. These are people who fear losing control like the Kremlin did in the late 80s. Then, people got access to radio and tv from Western Europe. There were no gateways to those signals that could be turned off or redirected. Soviet-bloc people learned over time that life was good outside the Soviet area of control. When a revolt started in one Soviet satellite, or there was no food or gas in another, people in other Soviet states found out via radio & tv waves. The real story was drastically different than what was said on Pravda.
Really? What an idiot!

Perhaps Herr Moronic El Gato forgot this little bit of information:
To try and persuade the Chinese he was not a danger, Murdoch threw the BBC off Star. He argued that it was gratuitously attacking the regime, playing film of the massacre in Tiananmen Square over and over again. He also pointed out that since the BBC broadcasts only in English, almost no Chinese could understand it. In 1998 he ordered his British publishing firm, HarperCollins, to drop the memoirs of Chris Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong and another fierce critic of Beijing. The reward came last December when Chinese President Jiang Zemin praised Murdoch for the "objective" way in which his papers and television covered China.

When I put it to him that he was betraying his anti-communist values to ingratiate himself with Beijing, he said: "I don't think there are many communists left in China. There's a one-party state and there's a communist economy, which they are desperately trying to get out of and change. The real story there is an economic story, tied to the democratic story." He argues that Western entertainment, even without Western news, will help further dilute the regime.[....]

Murdoch has now married 31-year-old Wendi Deng, who grew up in China and was working for Star TV when he met her. They have bought an apartment in Manhattan's trendy SoHo district, and Murdoch seems more relaxed than ever.
That was 1999. This is 2006:
Media magnate Murdoch 'building China home'
Updated: 2004-12-22 09:20

Australian-born media magnate Rupert Murdoch is building a home near the Forbidden City in Beijing.
OK, 2004, but you get the drift. So it's WRONG for Google to kowtow to China, but it's OK for Murdoch to suck up to Beijing in such a bold way?

By the way, this bastion of (as Time puts it) "devout anti-Soviet and anti-communist" tendencies, this morally upright, FOUR TIMES MARRIED EX-AUSSIE, has a long history of behavior inconsistent with his apparent belief system.

Pot, meet kettle. I think it's calling you. And El Gato? Better button up them PJs. Your brains might fall out.

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