China Blocks YouTube, Google Plays DumbMarch 27, 2009
In case you haven’t heard, Google announced a few days ago that YouTube had been completely censored in China. According to the New York Times, “Google said it did not know why the site had been blocked…”
“We don’t know the reason for the block,” a Google spokesman, Scott Rubin, said. “Our government relations people are trying to resolve it.”
Give us a break, Scott.
It’s widely speculated that the Chinese government was less than happy about footage of Chinese soldiers beating Tibetans appearing on the site.
But this is old news. Really old news. China has been censoring the internet since it was introduced back in 1994. Web sites promoting democracy, human rights (including Amnesty International’s), and banned religions, such as Falung Gong, are restricted in China. Actually, pretty much any web site critical of the Chinese government is banned.
Experts believe China operates the most extensive, technologically sophisticated and broad-reaching system of internet filtering in the world – “The Great Firewall of China.”
And the big web players, specifically Yahoo! and Google, have been acting as accomplices. Early in 2006, Google launched a self-censoring Chinese search engine, google.cn, that blocks search results for banned topics.
The freedom to information and expression is a human right. But apparently, profits come before people at Google.
Don’t play dumb, Google. Don’t be evil.