Interesting highlights are the total absense of the Human Rights Watch website, Playboy, as well as many Geocities links. Google did announce that they would announce when sites were blocked. Apparently that was a lie.
HOW CHINA CONTROLS THE INTERNET businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnf … _db053.htm
There must have been some delay in the states on this. I tried several of the censored searches this morning and got basically the same results as on regular google (for example one of the higher results for Taiwan Independence was a Taipei Times article), but now the censors have apparantely kicked in.
Interesting: searching on Spanish keywords “derechos humanos china” [human rights China] puts the Amnesty International site in the top 10, including a page with a Spanish header but written in English…maybe the Beijing authorities don’t speak very good Spanish?
Actually thats the fun part about censorship in China.
You’ll see people arguing about recent topics, giving the illusion that China has a somewhat free society. But after a while you won’t find any records of anything. The censors will have done their job.
I’ve had a first hand experience of this in a Chinese university forum where many of my posts just vaporized after looking back for them in a year.
I think it’s folly to assume that a major corporation is going to refrain from securing a toehold in the Chinese Market on account of internal Chinese social factors. Throughout history, business enterprises have unscrupulously deal with numerous odious regimes as a way to gain access to markets or guaranteed contracts. It’s the nature of the beast.
They will act in their own best interest. And why shouldn’t they? They have future untapped markets to conquer!
In a business setting, most humans probably act the same way…Sometimes ignorance IS bliss, if cash is the top priority.
On the issue overall, let’s not lose sight of the fact that Google (and Yahoo, and MSN, and just about any other American-based dot-com) are all playing catchup in the Chinese market. The folks who claim China would give in to any of these companies if they took a “principled stand” have totally lost touch with reality. The Chinese internet world wouldn’t even bat an eyelash if the websites of all three disappeared. There are plenty of domestic Chinese companies providing comparable products.
EDIT: Anyone else notice that Google’s actually doing a pretty bad job of censoring? Tons of Falun Gong-orchestrated websites make it into the search results shown, including faluninfo.net, yuanming.info.
I also consider it pretty interesting that the US Embassy’s informational page on the Tiananmen massacre is the first result returned for the Tiananmen search.
And for all the hand-wringing about Google “erasing” Tibet… note that the first two websites returned in English/Chinese are the same: all established by the HHDL and the Tibet Government-in-Exile. (Freetibet.org falls from 3rd into 4th place.)
I’ve read about this in several different places, but I still have a couple of questions.
1.) Did the Chinese authorities at any time actually tell Google “You must filter your search terms or we’ll block your site completely” or is this the case like when MSN preemptively shut down Michael Anti’s blog because they anticipated that this is what the Chinese authorities wanted?
2.) I don’t see why Google has to bother censoring their search results when the Great Firewall has done a pretty good job of doing that already. The last time I had the privilege of surfing behind the Great Firewall, you couldn’t access Geocities, Blogspot, Falun Gong sites, HRC, or Google’s cache. What difference does it make if Google filters their search results? It’s not like you could access those before sites anyway (at least without a proxy server.)
Google did go around with the “Do No Evil” mantra, even after IPO. So this is an abrupt change from the company that many geeks on slashdot are known to love. A betrayal perhaps.
Google is outright lying when they said that all banned pages and sites would be noted on their search engine. As we can see, this is NOT the case.
Is nothing above the power and interest of shareholders?
What does anyone think of the suggestion that all American companies band together against the Chinese authorities? (commonly discussed in articles and radio shows).
[quote=“cctang”]It’s really too bad folks who like to poke their nose into these issues can’t actually read Chinese. For, if they could, they’d understand the following message at the bottom of all those pages:
Following local laws and regulations, a portion of the search results are not shown.
So it must be right and good! What were we thinking?