Sunday, February 05, 2006

OK. Who ordered the 'Google #1 Hypocrite' mugs?

Microsoft, Yahoo and Google censor Chinese search words and results (see Suggested motto: don't be hypocrites, Brin to blogosphere: "Forget about Don't Be Evil. We're now going for Do Be Practical and White-shirted students activist morphs into white-shirted middle-aged tourist). In addition, Yahoo helps China to violate basic human rights by tracking down journalists who publish things Beijing wants to keep under wraps. And Cisco built the infrastructure that's now known as the Great Firewall of China.

You'd think that these four companies, who have recently found themselves in a position where they had to defend these controversial decisions and their reputations in public, would grab an invitation from the US Congress to talk about these thorny issues with both hands.

But no. One after the other called with excuses that they had other priorities. One emailed. (Which is interesting in itself, but let's not digress.)

Especially Google, given its motto, has an obligation to support the public discussion on how to operate under dicatorships, how to respect human rights, and how to weigh the interests of the public involved. In refusing to participate, Google shows its true colours as a company that interpretes "Don't Be Evil" as "Maximize Shareholder Value"

1 comment:

Jaydot said...

Goeie column op Planet!