Compare

Google China’s Image Search for “Tiananmen”

http://images.google.cn/images?q=tiananmen

What the rest of the world sees:

http://images.google.com/images?q=tiananmen

Hmmmm….

Update: Apparently this is currently pretty easy to defeat. As of this writing they’ve already fixed the “Tiananmen” spelling, but a few random mixed capitalization tests proved that they still have a lot more variations to cover. And misspellings too.

Censorship is so very ugly.

3 thoughts on “Compare”

  1. I wonder to what degree China is involved with google to get the results to do this? Does China ban certain images and then google run it’s algos on the not filtered images or does it go so far as china to dictate what specific results show up for some controvercial issues. China must have an army to be able to acopmlish this much work.

    I really don’t think google is at fault here. If they didn’t comply with China then China would simply filter google. China would develop their own search engine taking away market share from an American company. With an American company at the reigns they can work to push the degree of filtering as China eventually opens up…which I think is inevitable as the standard of living rises in the country.

  2. Hey Chris!

    From my perspective, it’s a question of ethics here. Does Google bow to the demands of the PRC and impose grotesque levels of censorship, to essentially sacrifice their (our) values at the altar of the almighty dollar? Or do they choose to lose market share and revenue to companies willing to do business in this unethical way? I’ll grant that Google is not entirely at fault here much of the blame has to be placed on the attitude of supine aquiescence that has been set up by western nations that refuse to grant Taiwan official diplomatic relations, and by a global business environment that places money over ethics (i.e. sweatshops, sending jobs overseas, etc.) I’m not so much after Google here as I am the whole overall situation, which stinks no matter how you slice it.

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