Google's Evil Scale Apparently Now Includes Censoring Videos In Thailand

from the funny-how-that-works dept

Wondering why Google's board of directors recommended to shareholders that they vote down a proposal that would require Google to adhere to a set of standards against censoring the internet? Perhaps you just need to look to the situation in Thailand, where Google's YouTube property was lamely banned earlier this week over a single video that mocked that country's king. Apparently, the country is now getting ready to ditch the ban, but only because Google has promised to help them censor the video, not by pulling it down, but by making it inaccessible to viewers from Thailand. I guess on Google's famous "evil scale", censoring one video to make the rest of YouTube available is less evil than having no YouTube at all in Thailand.
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  1. identicon
    squik, 7 Apr 2007 @ 1:24pm

    When the shit hits the fan

    When the shit hits the fan, its called collaboration. I'm sure your parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents for some of you, were not happy to to find Ford and GM engines in Nazi trucks captured during WWII. Even as we went to war with Germany, Alfred P. Sloan, then chairman of GM, rationalized building the Nazi war machine as being highly profitable.

    The comparison between search and building engines for a war machine is a long stretch. The nexus occurs at the point where Google's pandering to the Chinese government allows the communists to rewrite their history, assisted by Google, to continue the enslavement of the population. The people, after all, are the heart of the war machine.

    While I find Google's support of the communist government unconscionable from a moral standpoint, the experience (and tunnel vision) of American business executives in WWII shows us companies will follow profit regardless of the moral ramifications. Certainly Google's executive management is conscious of the fact that they would be fired if they ceded the Chinese market to Yahoo.

    Protests and soapbox speeches against these things matter very little in our short-attention-span society. Look at what happened when this matter first came to public awareness. Politicians hauled CEOs of American corporations in front of Congress. The politicians publicly shamed the CEOs, who protested that they had to support the Chinese government to do business in China. It was a nice spectacle for those who cared. The result was no change. The CEOs went home and continued to run their companies the way the company owners want them too. The self-congratulated politicians mentally calculated the votes they had won for the next election and moved their attention to the ring in the circus.

    The only way to give "moral guidance" to US corporations is to affect their profit. Protests and boycotts usually have only short-term effects. And they rarely target all companies equally. Such partial remedies only last as long as the media finds them interesting.

    The only thing to do that will matter is to press for the passage of laws that restrict the activities of US companies in foreign markets with totalitarian regimes.

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