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Google bows to China pressure

Author: Verne Kopytoff, San Francisco Chronicle, Published on: 25 January 2006

Bowing to Chinese laws, Google Inc. has agreed to censor search results about topics forbidden by the government there, eliciting scathing criticism from civil rights advocates. The popular search engine will block results that include such terms as "free Tibet," "democracy" and "Falun Gong"... In a statement, Andrew McLaughlin, the company's senior policy counsel, acknowledged the shortcoming but added that the benefit to China's users and Google's business would offset it. "While removing search results is inconsistent with Google's mission, providing no information (or a heavily degraded user experience that amounts to no information) is more inconsistent with our mission," said McLaughlin. Danny O'Brian, activism coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation...insisted that the company should have taken a stand against censorship, pointing to its oft-cited motto of "Don't do evil."... Google plans to differentiate itself from others in China by pointing out to users that it is excluding results. In cases where some links are censored, Google will explain that at the bottom of the Web page with a sentence saying it did so to comply with local laws. [also refers to Yahoo, MSN (part of Microsoft)]

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Related companies: Google (part of Alphabet) Microsoft Yahoo! (part of Verizon)