Google's attempt to burnish its public image by helping anti-government demonstrators in Iran has been hobbled by its apparent submission to a Beijing anti-porn drive that has even drawn fire from the US government. Last week Google trumpeted its subversive credentials by offering a Farsi translation tool, the same week that …
Let's be realistic
The potential audience in China is many times that of Iran. Were China to boot Google out of the country the potential revenue loss would be staggering. Upsetting the Iranian government will not have a particularly large impact on Google's revenue.
Google may still occasionaly try to appear to be edgy, but is anybody still fooled. They are uber capitalists with their eyes constantly on the prize. Anybody who doesn't realise this may be surprised by their attitude to the Chinese market, but I don't really believe there's anybody out there who hasn't clicked yet.
Could this have anything to do with China being a huge potential market place for Google and its ad empire? The Chinese authorities have the ability to deny Google access to this huge money spinner, why would the greedy fsckers want to rock the boat. Human liberties always take second place behind turning a profit to most corporations and indeed governments, even to the point of exploitation.
Mmm, tricky one...
There's an old cliché which says "Follow the money". Putting into practice we get:-
China has lots of money and wants to buy western tech (prior to destroying decadent civilisation)
Iran has little money and just wants to destroy the western infidels
It's not tricky to see which one Google will kowtow to - they want money, and they don't care who they trade with to get it.
Human rights abuses?
1989 Beijing Massacre? Never happened. That'll be 5,000,000 yuan, please.
What's the problem, again?
I don't think Google could serve up kiddie porn results in the US, could they? So why should they serve up illegal porn in China? Maybe the merkins should stop thinking that US laws apply all around the world. Reminds me of how TPB keeps few examples of American lawyers threatening an -obviously- Swede company under the DMCA.
Attention Chinese gov: please be advised that your decision is probably in violation of one or several US laws! Might also not be fully compatible with one or a few laws from Malawi. Who gives a feck?
And about Iran, well the whole media coverage looks suspiciously like the inflating run-up for an invasion... because to be honest, I know of a country where all the election in the past years have been occasion for demonstrated irregularities, a country ruled by religious nutters who have nucular weapons, a country where the evil police kills unarmed and non-threatening citizens* on a monthly basis... I believe this country is located somewhere between Mexico and Canada. And I believe this country needs to sort its sh*t out before spreading it around. ta very much in advance. (It's also valid for Ol'Blighty since you ask. Though arguably a bit less so.)
Google *is* evil when it suits them, that's obvious. But abiding by the local law can hardly be seen as evil. The parallel with they Farsi translation service is stupid. I don't think there is any law anywhere in the world forbidding the translation to/from Farsi.
* preferably black or latino ones
Given up on Google search
I've given up searching using Google. Half the time one of the results is hanging about near a 'banned' site, and then the whole page stops.
I use Yahoo for searching now, as China has apparently forgotten about other search engines. Which makes a joke of the whole thing of course.
"Beijing porn drive"
This level of detail far exceeds the legal requirement for product and purpose labelling
Google leading to banned sites
@Long Fei: this seems to me a good thing --- not for you as a user on a daily basis, but in general.
It means that the public is pointed out again and again that searching for something innocuous (as I presume you are doing), some of the best-matching information is hidden from them by the government. If Google filtered them out before that, they'd never know what they cannot access.