Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Google to Block Video Clips That Insult King of Thailand...

The following is a post written by Nerfherder contributing author Patrick Fitzpatrick.

There was a time when I really liked Google. With its clean, no-nonsense home page, its vast, instantaneous access to really just about anything, its un-Microsoft-ness, I eschewed every other search engine and made it my default home page.

Inevitably it seems, as it has grown in size, Google has itself started along the slow spiral into evil-empireness that so many heretofore edgy internet groundbreakers have gone.

In May the NY Times reported – in a small article buried in the middle of its business section – on a trend that Google has lately been pursuing as it seeks to overtake Microsoft, Yahoo et al. as the world’s internet leader. Starting with Google’s entry into China when they acquiesced to the communist regime's demands for strict limitations of what the Chinese could “google”, this May 12 article reports on Google’s continued infringement on civil rights at the behest of overzealous, anti-freedom governments.

Google is in an enviable position – this past week its stock rose 20 points and currently sits at around $500; its global reach is unparalleled in the realm of internet search. With that kind of financial and practical influence, Google – despite its commitment to its shareholders – has an obligation to stand up to these rogue governments, not kowtow. As this article explains, now that Google owns YouTube, its ability to create change in non-democratic countries is even more important. Where will they stop? How far will Google bend for the sake of the bottom line? What responsibility do corporations have as they expand into global economies? And when someone posts unflattering homemade tv clips of American presidential candidates will Google remove them also?


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