Google's Embrace of Chinese Censorship
Forever Puts to Rest 'Don't Be Evil' Motto
A generation ago, historian Hannah Arendt coined a memorable phrase while watching the trial of Nazi figure Adolph Eichmann: she called it the "banality of evil." The current regime in mainland China may not be quite so evil, but they're apparently just as banal. Only why do our leading tech firms have to provide them aid and comfort in their outrages? Ever wonder what query words Google has agreed to omit for delicate Chinese web-surfers at the behest of their repressive government? They include such explosive words as allegation, bedroom, despair, eloquent, essay, flashlight, irresponsible, literature, miserable, teenager and vague. You can see the full revolting list here. Thanks to the ever-vigilant Google-watcher John Battelle and his excellent Search blog for calling attention to this. The bitter irony, of course, is that Google's informal corporate motto has long been Don't Be Evil. Too bad that sentiment seems to stop at the Chinese border.