Google on Wednesday launched a new local site in China, offering search and news. There's a catch, though--the sites will censor material deemed objectionable to Chinese authorities.
The company's rationale for the screening is that it's better to offer a limited service than none at all. While some accepted that explanation, the move did not sit well with critics, who said it didn't exactly follow Google's mantra of "don't be evil."
"The new Google version means that even if a human rights publication is not blocked by local firewalls, it has no chance of being read in China," the France-based human rights group Reporters Without Borders said in a statement.
Blog community response:
"Judging by its actions at home, one would think Google to be a pioneer in bringing access to information and resisting attempts from governments to repress it or monitor it. This says that isn't the case, and it makes me wonder--just a little--what its motivation is to resisting the U.S. government and giving in to the Chinese."
"For those in the U.S. and elsewhere to say Google shouldn't follow Chinese laws is hypocritical if they are not forcefully demanding that Google not follow other laws."
--Search Engine Watch
"If this were 60-years ago, would Google be agreeing to censor out news of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in order to have access to Nazi Germany's Europe?"