Something kinda interesting is going on at search engine supreme Google. First, after a hacking attempt originating within China and directed at Gmail, Google more or less decided to go head to head with the Chinese government, and open up Google China to the whole of the world wide web.
Not just the bits the Chinese government are happy for their citizens to see, as has been the case since Google got into bed with them in 2006. So no more censoring web pages talking about human rights abuses in China, or Tibet, or the Dalai Lama. This lasted all of a day, before the Chinese government shut it down, while simultaneously proclaiming there was no problem.
So what will Google do? And what counts as censorship anyway?
Because just today Google have agreed to take down links to a site in Australia, after an Aboriginal man, Steve Hodder-Watt complained it vilified indigenous Australians.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. I can’t find any reference on Google pages about their philosophy to censorship as applied to say, race hate, or woman hatred, or homophobia. They don’t seem to have a policy – which you could at least wrestle with – and for sure there are myriad pages offensive in all kinds of ways available to Google. And that’s just NZ bloggers 😉
So how did they make this decision? And will they make more along these lines, when political types the world over point out the hate-promotion of various other sites?
Watch this space.