Google and censorship

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.

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2 thoughts on “Google and censorship

  1. Hello, someone sent this link to me. I believe in the ancient power of all women to birth, given the correct environment – one which encourages the release of oxetocin aka where Mum’s feel emotionally safe and relaxed enough to ‘open up’. I was very secure in the knowledge that I was headed for a home birth a few years ago, and ignored the pressure I felt (being based in ChCh – which apparently has the highest rate of C section in NZ) from most people to birth in a hospital. When it came down to the due-date my mid-wife started to freak out about the size of my baby, telling me he may be ‘too big’ to push out. She recommended that I birth in hospital and ended up simply walking out on me when I was five centimeters dilated. I had to get an ambulance and ended up having a crash c-section. I was in shock after that birth for a very long time. Body talk has helped me process the emotional and physical aftermath of the c-section, it’s also helped my gorgeous son let go of the eczema that occurred as a result of being unhappy with his birth (I’m serious – the all over body rash disappeared the day after he had BodyTalk).
    Now I’m an educated wahine – I’ve had four years of university education, and I’m also a very emotionally clear, positive person. Despite my background I found myself feeling extremely pressured to give away my power to birth as I instinctively wanted to. Next birth – I’m strictly screening all potential midwifes via my list of criteria (how much experience, what’s your rate of success etc), and I’m going to be very selective about who I allow to be there – I need to feel safe with the people who are in the birthing space with me. I may not even allow the father of our child to be present, it all depends on whether I feel supported to relax and birth as my ancestors always have – naturally.

    • Hi Charlotte,
      thanks for sharing this story – it sounds awful, and pretty much exactly what feminist fears around increasing Caesarean rates envisage. Very, very glad to hear you and your son are well now and you are looking forward to your next birth – good luck 🙂

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