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Chinese Professor Sues Google, Yahoo Over Search Exclusion 147

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the temper-tantrum dept.
Techdirt points out that while there have been many lawsuits over someone's Google-rank, a Chinese professor is suing Google and Yahoo for removing all mention of him in China. "Google and Yahoo, of course, have agreed to play by local rules in China, upsetting many. Legally, it would seem like this suit has little chance of success — but I doubt that he cares about the legal result. What this actually does is to call attention to his plight — and on that front, it's clearly a successful strategy."
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Chinese Professor Sues Google, Yahoo Over Search Exclusion

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 08, 2008 @02:15PM (#22351506)
    Because as we all know...

    Drum roll...

    Wait for it...

    In Soviet Russia, search engine sues YOU!

    Thank you everybody.
    • by noz (253073)

      Thank you everybody.
      Are you here all week?
  • Maybe Google should buy China (seeing how MS is buy Yahoo). -erick http://www.yourfavoritegadgets.com/ [yourfavoritegadgets.com]
    • Right... and then I suppose Google can ship them back over here on boats right?... and make them pick results out of their field of cached web pages right?...
      • by erick99 (743982)
        It's okay. I am thinking that Google's current cash on hand, about 6B, is not enough to purchase China. They could put it on layaway though . . . -erick99 http://www.yourfavoritegadgets.com/ [yourfavoritegadgets.com]
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TapeCutter (624760)
          If anyone is doing the buying it will be China. They just plonked down $14B for 9% of Rio Tinto to scuttle a merger with BHP. Communists promoting competition via the stockmarket, what next? - cats sleeping with dogs?
  • Blogvertisement. (Score:5, Informative)

    by palegray.net (1195047) <philip.paradis@NoSpAm.palegray.net> on Friday February 08, 2008 @02:16PM (#22351518) Homepage Journal
    The full article is here [timesonline.co.uk]. Unless you just want to hook this guy up with ad revenue instead of getting the full story, of course.
  • Gee.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by deepershade (994429)
    Part of me is angered by this. A search engines job is to list sites for search. Nothing more. It's not their job to decide what sites I shouldn't have access to, that's mine (and possibly some major ISP's heh). Another part realises that if they don't do what China says, the firewall blocks access to their search engine and harms millions of Chinese citizens. When you've got two demons on either side of you, and no other way to go, how can you not do evil?
    • Re:Gee.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mrxak (727974) on Friday February 08, 2008 @02:21PM (#22351582)
      A search engine's job is to make profit for their shareholders. Nothing more. It's their job to get as large a market share as possible, so that's why they do what they need to do to keep China from blocking their site. We don't have to like it, but don't confuse what Google's actual responsibility is.
      • And this is why they should never have gone public. I don't have anything against them, but they are stupid panicky herd animals, as a whole, who don't care where the revenue comes from.
      • A search engines job is to search for things.

        Google does ahve a responsibility, as does everybody. What they are doing is wrong, and to think the Chinese government could actually block them is laughable.

        You no, they could remove their servers from china and distribute a tool that helps people get around blocks.

        • by jandrese (485)
          Uh, before Google agreed with the horrible Chinese policy they WERE blocked by the great firewall. Not consistently mind you, but enough that Chinese users flocked to the government run search engine instead. As far as I know, Google still has a minority share in China thanks to those shenanigans.
        • Re:Incorrect (Score:5, Interesting)

          by flyingsquid (813711) on Friday February 08, 2008 @03:19PM (#22352432)
          A couple years ago, my father used a phrase that struck me, the phrase "good corporate citizen". It's the idea that beyond just turning a profit, a corporation has the obligation to make sure it's conduct has a positive influence on it's community, just like you have an obligation to make sure that you're a good citizen. It struck me as being a sort of noble idea (my father is a small business owner, and I'd like to think that's what he's trying to be) and one that seems quaint and outdated in today's world where the bottom line is the last word.

          American society is so self-centered: we spend so much effort on looking out for ourselves, both at the level of the individual and at the level of the corporation, and not enough on making sure that we're looking out for our friends, family, neighbors, and country. Google's not perfect, and I'm not sure I like their approach to dealing with China, but I think that their "don't be evil" philosophy is a refreshing change from the downright predatory practices of many companies. At least they're making an effort.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by syousef (465911)
            American society is so self-centered: we spend so much effort on looking out for ourselves, both at the level of the individual and at the level of the corporation, and not enough on making sure that we're looking out for our friends, family, neighbors, and country.

            Sure there's a lot of scum who shouldn't breed out there who are more interested in tv/playstation/drugs/booze/hoookers to be decent human beings.

            There are also mothers and fathers out there working multiple jobs, spending every waking hour and e
      • Re:Gee.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by roggg (1184871) on Friday February 08, 2008 @02:42PM (#22351908)

        A search engine's job is to make profit for their shareholders. Nothing more. It's their job to get as large a market share as possible, so that's why they do what they need to do to keep China from blocking their site. We don't have to like it, but don't confuse what Google's actual responsibility is.
        Search engines don't have shareholders...companies do. A search engine's job is to search. A company's job is to make profit for their shareholders. Don't confuse the two. The search service that google provides to users enables them to derive ad revenue and thus profits for shareholders. Without the search service and other services they provide to users, they are nothing.
      • No your wrong, you took it out of context...

        "A search engines job"

        Its the company who developes/maintains the search engine who's job is to make a profit, a search engine simply lists links to all relavant web pages it finds to the search query.

        Although that developer does intrinsicly have the right to edit the method that the search engine uses to find results, a search engine is incapable of making a profit. :P although possibly a prophet...

        Im not quite as pissed as this guy, but some of you dont realize
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Nemilar (173603)
        I agree and disagree, but largely on semantics.

        A search engine's job is to provide you with the best results possible for your query. By removing results, the search engine is failing to perform its function to the best of its ability.

        A cooperation's job is to earn as much money as possible for its shareholders. In this particular case, we have a company with an obligation to its shareholders to produce as much profit as possible. China is a huge market - Google can't not participate in it, that would be
      • Re:Gee.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by qortra (591818) on Friday February 08, 2008 @02:48PM (#22352024)
        But Google, as a company, has made promises to its shareholders and patrons. Don't you think that many people who own shares of Google do so under the assumption that they are not evil? You assume that the primary responsibility of a company to its shareholder is financial, and it is 99.9% of the time, but it is possible for a large group of shareholders to unite and declare other simultaneous objectives for the company.
        • by maxume (22995)
          The last time I checked, Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin and Larry Page owned more than 50% of voting shares in Google, making it so that they always constitute the largest group of shareholders that might have some objective or another, so it doesn't really matter what anybody else thinks, in terms of responsibility to shareholders.
        • I suppose it's possible, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for it to happen. The primary responsibility of a company to its shareholders is financial, pure and simple (and legally defined).

          If Google or Yahoo had incorporated as non-profits, I might have been surprised. As is, picture me yawning.

        • by noz (253073)

          Michael: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.
          Kay: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don't have men killed!
          Michael: Oh? Who's being naive, Kay?
      • Moderating someone's comment as "flamebait" when the person is merely expressing an opinion that you disagree with is just wrong. There is nothing factually inaccurate about the parent post, and if it gets your panties in a wad that's just too darn bad. For people who claim to vehemently oppose censorship, especially considering the article we're discussing, you're all pretty eager to keep some peoples' comments off the radar.
      • by readin (838620)
        The primary purpose of anything that is owned is to serve the owners. A corporation is owned by shareholders making its purpose to serve the owners. Making money for them is usually the purpose, but not always and not only. Perhaps some owners of Google don't want their company to make money for them if it means helping to prop up a corrupt regime. Google would serve those owners better by finding other ways to make money. There is more to life than money. Even shareholders know that.
      • by rtb61 (674572)
        I have got to say it, you are an idiot. A search engine's job is to find the most relevant web pages for the person using the search engines, fail in that, and they are making no money for it's shareholders.

        When companies forget that their first responsibility is to their customers and their second responsibility is to their staff and their last responsibility it to their shareholders, they die, fail in the first two and there is absolutely no chance the third will stand a chance.

        Now of course we have t

    • Re:Gee.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LurkerXXX (667952) on Friday February 08, 2008 @02:26PM (#22351668)
      If China blocks your engine, the Chinese government is the one doing the evil. You aren't.

      When you filter content to keep secret anything a corrupt government doesn't want their citizens to see, in order to pacify the government and make money from the countries business, you are doing evil.

      It's real simple.
      • Re:Gee.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mrxak (727974) on Friday February 08, 2008 @02:29PM (#22351710)
        Sometimes a little truth is better than no truth. You think a state-run search engine would be better for China than a filtered independent one?
        • The two terms are almost interchangeable. The leading alternative to Google in China is Baidu.com (Wikipedia article) [wikipedia.org], which really acts as little more than a state-sanctioned portal.
        • by LurkerXXX (667952)
          I don't see how an independent one is any better if it is doing the filtering the Chinese government wants.

          With either one, the only hope of the Chinese citizen truth is to find an open proxy to connect to a REAL search engine.

        • It's like saying that helping torture a man is better than not doing so, because when you're the torturer, you can go easier on the victim than the other, "evil" guy would have done.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by readin (838620)
          Sometimes a little truth is better than no truth. You think a state-run search engine would be better for China than a filtered independent one?

          If Baidu were the only search engine permitted, then the Chinese people would wonder why and would know not to trust the results. But Google is the same search engine people in the free countries use. Why shouldn't they trust it? After some use even the disclaimer starts to wear thin.

          A little information is better than no information when that little bit of
          • by BeanThere (28381)
            You've obviously never lived under a fascist government if you think the Chinese would 'wonder why and would know not to trust the results' ... how naive, sorry. I've lived through apartheid South Africa where basically ALL media was very heavily controlled and limited by the government, for decades all we saw was some limited government propaganda, and guess what, not only do people (even educated people) almost universally believe it (because it's all they see), they're *happier* that way, *blissfully* un
            • by readin (838620)
              I did live in a formerly authoritarian country, and discovered an old American dictionary where the offensive parts had very carefully had paper glued over them. Surely that was noticeable. Of course if the American publisher had simply published a version for that country that left out the offensive parts, the censorship wouldn't have been noticeable.

              But even if the government had done a better job, there still would be people who travel and other ways of getting access to foreign materials.

              Perhaps
              • by BeanThere (28381)
                I think you give people more credit than they're due. It's true that some information always filters in, but so little that it's effectively negligible. Most people couldn't give a crap about learning anything about the world they live in, they want to live in bubbles of ignorance. My ex is Chinese and has family in China and who've moved in and out of China etc., and from everything I heard over the years, it's clear the masses are mostly highly 'brainwashed' into being pro-Chinese-government, very jingois
              • by BeanThere (28381)
                The thing is, most people rationalise censorship even when they encounter it, either because they don't care terribly much and just want to live their lives or because they're just too powerless to do anything about it anyway. Of course we knew all our movies got censored/cut (I remember that even as a child), of course many vaguely realised the TV news was a government mouthpiece, but it doesn't do/help much to the man on the street to be aware of that. And it's so easy to rationalise or believe the offici
        • by jesdynf (42915)
          Given that the state is telling the "independent" search engine how to run, I see no distinction between the two terms you compare.
        • Yes, I do think that. Because it's well-known that self-censorship tends to be more thorough than external censorship.

          Right now, the Chinese government can keep their restrictions very vague, and companies like Google will be forced to either filter anything that MIGHT piss off the Chinese government or else risk getting in big legal trouble.

          If it was the actual government doing the filtering, it would be known exactly what the government didn't want people to know (not what Google thought the government di
        • Re:Gee.. (Score:4, Insightful)
          by mrxak (727974) on Friday February 08, @01:29PM (#22351710)
          Sometimes a little truth is better than no truth. You think a state-run search engine would be better for China than a filtered independent one?


          Yes, I do.

          I am sorry, but I respectfully disagree with your statement that "a little truth is better than no truth." Having read and discussed this issue with people who live under censorship, people easily recognize and disregard outright propaganda by their government.

          The s
        • by Boronx (228853)
          Do you think it's better for the Chinese people to see Western companies collaborate and legitimize oppression from their government than to see such censorship denounced and shunned by the wider world?
      • by ljgshkg (1223086)
        Don't be purist. What's better is better. If Google doesn't do the filtering, people in China will have one less choice, and the communists have one less engine to monitor.
        • by LurkerXXX (667952)
          The topic is about Yahoo, but anyhow...

          Choice between a filtered search engine and a filtered search engine isn't a real choice about where to get truthful information. My concern isn't for the amount of workload added to the Chinese government. It's about there being a real search engine out there for them to get good information at if they can find a proxy or some hole through the firewall. If Yahoo (and Google) are willing to filter for the Chinese government to make money out of their market, what e
      • If China blocks your engine, the Chinese government is the one doing the evil. You aren't. When you filter content to keep secret anything a corrupt government doesn't want their citizens to see, in order to pacify the government and make money from the countries business, you are doing evil. It's real simple.

        It's just that subtle distinction that would make Pontus Pilate proud. Screw what's actually best for the people, as long as *you* didn't do anything directly wrong, you can sleep at night.

        The wo

        • by LurkerXXX (667952)
          Let me get this straight, you think it's just a subtle distinction between these two?

          One way they are posting all the content for the world to see, the other they are blocking content from many so that a repressive government can keep their people ignorant.

          And you compare this to the washing of hands of Pilate? Are you personally sending information about the Tiananmen square massacre to every citizen in China? If not, you are just as 'guilty' of hiding information from them as Yahoo would be for posting
          • One way they are posting all the content for the world to see, the other they are blocking content from many so that a repressive government can keep their people ignorant.

            Yeah, except that's wrong. That first way would have gotten Google completely blocked in China, which you should recall unless you've been living in a cave. So the balance is actually "one way the Chinese people get 0% of Google, the other way the Chinese people get 99% of Google." See how that's not as simple as you want it to be an

      • But my point was that no everything negative to about the Chinese government is filtered, they can't hit it all, so by towing the line to an extent, they're allowing millions of citizens access to information which may shed some light on the actions of their own government. If they're Firewalled, then those citizens see nothing. I personally don't like the filtering, I was merely trying to speak from a Devil's Advocate position.
      • When you filter content to keep secret anything a corrupt government doesn't want their citizens to see, in order to pacify the government and make money from the countries business, you are doing evil.

        What if money wasn't the motive?

        What if Google plowed all its China-related earnings into programs that promoted freedom for Chinese people?

        What if they secretly funneled the funds to underground groups in China?

        What if they operated in a zero-profit mode, with the goal of "getting away with as much as the Tiger will let us" in terms of providing useful even subversive information to the Chinese people while appearing to be playing by the rules?

        Now, the fact of the matter is this probably isn't the case.

      • by pembo13 (770295)
        What about Google maps and the redacted areas of places the USA considers sensitive?
      • It was misheard. They said "Don't be weavils." They were vowing to protect cotton crops.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pclminion (145572)
      Their job is to do whatever the hell they want to do. If enough people don't like it, they'll go away, and a company will die. But don't think for a second that you can demand any company to do what you think "their job" is.
    • how can you not do evil?

      Well for starters, Google could very publicly protract this case for as long as possible. They could do lip service to the PRC while making sure that Guo Quan gets as much airtime and pundit discussion as possible. Google is in a tight spot in China, as are most of the Chinese. Simply by being there to be sued they have done more to illuminate this man's plight then they could have every done if they did no business with the PRC at all. Now they just have to take this opportunity
    • When you've got two demons on either side of you, and no other way to go, how can you not do evil?

      It is unavoidable in the case of Google or any other corporation. That is why it makes no sense, at least in my estimation, for people to form attachments to corporations or believe them when they talk about their "corporate conscience" or how they promise that they will not do evil things. Here is an important tidbit for everyone who is surprised by the actions taken by Google, or indeed any other corporation. Corporations exist to maximize profit for their owners period...that is it and that is all. They

  • short.

    To quote Nelson: "Ha ha!"

    You can't win Google and Yahoo! when you play by evil rules. China is an evil communist regime that suppresses their people and ideas. Kudos for trying to do business with them and it may help the Chinese people, but when you cater to the evil, you will get bit in the ass.

    • by mrxak (727974) on Friday February 08, 2008 @02:26PM (#22351660)
      Doing business with an oppressive regime helps bring up the standard of living for the people under it, eventually as the middle class grows it forces reform. Once there's food in your belly and a roof over your head, you start to pay more attention to what else is going on in your life. While Google is being a party to the state-censorship in China, remember that it's really the Chinese government at fault, and overall Google will have done more good than harm.
      • by hellfire (86129)
        And when the people are fat and happy and distracted they forget about their civil liberties and all the bad things the government has done and focus on all the goodies and money they keep shoving into their wallet.

        You make a good point, but doing business with a dictatorship alone does not guarantee the toppling of said dictator. The businesses should do business, but that business should come with strings attached by the home government. The US needs to reign in these companies from going over there and
        • You make a good point, but doing business with a dictatorship alone does not guarantee the toppling of said dictator.

          Precisely, it was Milton Friedman [wikipedia.org] who said in his book Capitalism and Freedom [wikipedia.org] that, "Capitalism and free markets are necessary, although not sufficient conditions for political freedom."

      • "Doing business with apartheid south africa helps bring up the standard of living for the black people under it, eventually as the black middle class grows it forces reform. Once there's food in your belly and a roof over your head, you start to pay more attention to what else is going on in your life. While (insert name of corporation that didn't pull out of south africa in the 1980s here) is being a party to the state-sponsored racism in South Africa, remember that it's really the South African government at fault, and overall (Coca Cola/ Pepsi/ etc.) will have done more good than harm."

        this quote is of course pure unadulterated bullshit

        the idea of having a sense of morality or a human conscience is to act on it, not explain it away

        when you see someone get raped, you report the rape. if you don't report it, you have no claim on having a sense of moralit yor a human conscience. if you say nothing because you will wait for the woman to resist by herself, your bullshit rationalization is basically just an attempt by you to neutralize your human conscience, for whatever stupid or evil motivation you have

        so congratulations, based on your words above, you have no human conscience

        read up on apartheid and divestment. international economic sanctions HELPED BRING DOWN APARTHEID

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartheid#Western_influence [wikipedia.org]

        of course china is plugged into the international economy far more than south africa ever was. pulling out of china will be extremely painful for any economy. i didn't say it would be easy. but not divesting of china in one way or anyother because of china's horrible human rights record simply means the entirety of the human race has blood on its hands whenever china abuses its citizens

        i'm not naive, i don't believe divestment from china is possible. but i'm not morally bankrupt either. which means the current state of affairs is simply depressing, and evil
      • That may be true, but it may also work out the other way. "Food in your belly and a roof over your head" = happiness++. As long as people are happy, they normally don't challenge their gov't.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Samgilljoy (1147203)

        Doing business with an oppressive regime helps bring up the standard of living for the people under it, eventually as the middle class grows it forces reform. Once there's food in your belly and a roof over your head, you start to pay more attention to what else is going on in your life. While Google is being a party to the state-censorship in China, remember that it's really the Chinese government at fault, and overall Google will have done more good than harm.

        This is a very old argument that comes in many forms and has been used to justify doing business with and forming political alliances with many questionable entities. While there is something to be said for engagement, it really does not demonstrably do "more good than harm" except for the government or the business that choose to cooperate. What it does is mollify critics who don't look too deeply into motivations or miss most of the contradictions in corporate and state propaganda.

        And in particular.

    • The summary is the article. Here's the real article [timesonline.co.uk], instead of TechDirt's blogvertisement.
    • "Mr Guo did not mince words in his open letter. "To make money, Google has become a servile Pekinese dog wagging its tail at the heels of the Chinese communists," he wrote."

      Kind of says it all, doesn't it?
    • You can't win Google and Yahoo! when you play by evil rules. China is an evil communist regime that suppresses their people and ideas.

      You and I play by the same evil rules when we buy Chinese made electronics and clothes, made in Chinese sweat shops. The US government plays by the same evil rules when it borrows money from the Chinese (for interest!) and kowtows to Chinese monetary and trade policies.

      So, don't blame Google or Yahoo alone; this is a problem that almost every American business, politician, a
  • Link to real article (Score:5, Informative)

    by powerlinekid (442532) on Friday February 08, 2008 @02:23PM (#22351614)
    Heres a link to the real article so that you don't have to visit TechDirt's crappy blog.
    Times Online [timesonline.co.uk]
    • by esocid (946821)
      There was already a post linking to the article at the Times Online. Seems redundant to me.
  • Probably China will "exclude" this guy anyway. For real.

    Ah, the joys of communism...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Bloodoflethe (1058166)
      Communism =/= Bad. Communism = Bad Design. Communism, by design, relies on the assumption that people are basically hard-working and willing to work for the common good. When you try to make it work, you realize that people aren't like that. Then you try to force it work and you end up employing a horribly tight grip to keep your government stable. In small, isolated communities, communism can actually work fairly well. But then, there is no real diffusion of responsibility in that kind of situation.
  • Non-Grada?
  • Professor Guo Quan of China has suddenly disappeared without a trace. Officials are advising his family and friends to forget he ever existed, or else.
    • by techpawn (969834)

      Professor Guo Quan of China has suddenly disappeared without a trace.
      Shh! Big Brother doesn't like it when you talk about unpeople like that...
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Friday February 08, 2008 @02:48PM (#22352036) Journal
    the unintended consequences of the law?

    If the Chinese government has to support this case under the law, who do they fine? If Google is found guilty and forced to pay the guy, what recourse do they have for a whole barrage of such suits?

    The world already knows that Chinese government forces Yahoo and Google to filter their content. Will the Chinese government support them in the legal actions, or simply disappear the guy bringing the litigation?

    Interestingly, there is much ado about a similar issue in the USA. Should the government protect telecommunication companies that helped the government spy on citizens, or should those companies be left holding the bag for litigation of privacy violations?

    Funny how the US Government and the Chinese Government seem to have so much in common?
    • ...if the Chinese government has to support this case under the law, who do they fine?

      Not sure what you mean. The Chinese government's not involved. Suit is in the US.

      Mr Guo said that he could not sue Google or Yahoo! in China since they have no formal legal identity, but he would press his lawsuits against the parent companies in the United States.
    • >Interestingly, there is much ado about a similar issue in the USA. Should the government protect telecommunication companies that helped the government spy on citizens, or should those companies be left holding the bag for litigation of privacy violations?

      I'm not seeing the similarity.
      The government, as far as I know, didn't use its force to make the Telcos comply with their requests or threaten them with retaliation.

      At least the Chinese government was open about what they were doing, and were following
    • The should hold the bag so they have incentive to talk about it and let citizens know what is happening.

  • I wish cooperations would obey the laws of the lands _more_. Seems counter productive, at least for my wishes when once publicity stunts only harm the ones obeying the laws.
  • Idea... hack Chinese Google to ONLY display restricted results. Search "lose weight," get Wikipedia's Tiananmen Square article. Search "find love," get Amnesty International.
  • radio programmes from BBC, Free Europe, Freedom were sources of information often contrary to Soviet propaganda. Those radio stations were periodically jammed and one could get into real trouble for listening to them. I don't see how search engine is any different here. American companies and America are often seen as the same, abroad. Being puppets for commies to make a buck is what it is. Yahoo and Google care about maximizing the value for their shareholders, not world peace.
    • by LingNoi (1066278)
      I'm sure Google China employees also care about not getting put in jail, but lets just overlook that fact and scream "do no evil!" a few more times while completely ignoring Yahoo! was even mentioned..
  • Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Friday February 08, 2008 @03:30PM (#22352586)
    I note that Mr Guo's name is mentioned nowhere in the Slashdot summary. Coincidence, or deliberate so as to not cause Slashdot's page to be temporarily blocked in China? And if so, is that bad (cowardice) or good (working around the restrictions)?
    • by saforrest (184929)
      I note that Mr Guo's name is mentioned nowhere in the Slashdot summary. Coincidence, or deliberate so as to not cause Slashdot's page to be temporarily blocked in China? And if so, is that bad (cowardice) or good (working around the restrictions)?

      More to the point, it didn't mention that there was anything political about Guo's name being removed at all., or even that he was involved with a pro-democracy movement. The wording suggested it was just another frivolous lawsuit out of vanity, like the companies
  • You can follow three paths as a search engine (in simplistic terms):

    1) Show everything--this implies crap sites (*coughs* boingboing), great sites (*coughs* /.), malware sites (3221.com), search results sites, etc. thereupon your results are fully awful, but absolutely representative of what a search engine is "supposed" to show by previous comments, and thus get banned in China thereby showing nothing.

    2) Do as you are told--obviously not as fun and cries of shenanigans and submissions are there, but then y
  • ... can make a search engine. If he doesn't like how Yahoo and Google are treating him, he should just make his own search engine. With blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the search engine...
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Friday February 08, 2008 @04:05PM (#22353206)
    I'm afraid this changes my view of google.

    I *TRUSTED* them to give me impartial and accurate information (vs MSN which was hilariously slanted for microsoft some times).

    I am going to look for another search engine.

    I find this behavior to be extremely repugnant.

    I'm not sure I can forgive them. They will join Sony on my entire list of companies that I won't buy products from.

    Full disclosure- I do still play everquest which sony bought... but other than that no purchases of any of their products for close to 6 or 7 years now as well as directing company purchases I advise on against sony every time.

    Sad that a company sworn to be ethical would fall to this kind of evil behavior.
    • by geekoid (135745)
      So, now more search engines for you, good luck with that.

  • Regarding suppressing references to the chinese professor:

    I'm sorry, but I must stop using Google as a result of your collusion with the chinese government in erasing his existence. It certainly violates your stated founding principles so you can make money.

    I will advise my friends to do so as well. Hopefully the loss of non-chinese profits will be sufficient to convince your company that this kind of behavior is too costly to continue.
  • Forget that it was Google that did this for awhile. Company A was merely following the laws of the land. Company A has, as far as we can tell, zero influence of the laws of that land. How about getting the laws changed instead. Or is Company A breaking the laws going to make everything rosy instead?
  • The Real Culprit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by some old guy (674482)
    Odd, noone here seems to be willing to affix the blame for this whole flapdoodle (frapgoogle?) where it clearly belongs: China. International companies must comply with the statutory requirements of host countries or be sanctioned. If an onerous practice is required (such as the reporting of purchases or travel to regulatory agencies), it is not the company's responsibility to act like some starry-eyed paragon of glorious revolutionary activism. Businesses exist to generate profits for their equity holders.
  • Google appears to play at this game in varying degrees. One of the better alternative news sites, (with a ladle in the conspiracy and new-age stew pots) found Google's non-linking treatment of their address to be systemic. [blogspot.com] It's hard to tell if this is the result of a glitch or somebody with a personal bias over at Mountain View or what, but this story isn't unique.

    Now, I like a great deal of what Google does. I find their Google Talks [youtube.com] series to be an especially wonderful resource. --But it's important t
  • You have enlightened parts of the developed world coming down on Google for supporting the regime and those of the regime cutting them down for doing their job. What is that country going to have to do (short of whoring itself out to business) to dislodge itself from that issue?

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