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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Censorship

Comments (9)

Other than reading a bunch of blog posts about the Google / China thing, I hadn’t paid much attention to it.  Early today, I got an email that fits the proverbial “picture is worth a thousand words” cliche.

I wasn’t able to try this using chinese characters (er – I don’t know chinese and I’m tired and lazy after running a marathon yesterday) so this might be a spoof.  But – if not – enough said.

  • bill adkins

    spoof or not, it for sure represents the message of the region. I went to grad school with a guy who worked for the Vietnamese State Electric/Power Board. We talked about Tiananmen Square, and it was a very educational cultural exchange. He was as absolutely convinced that the images were bogus Western World propaganda as we were that they happened as we saw them. Since neither of us was actually there to say definitively what happened, it became a fascinating exercise in logic and…trust (in the media, governments, ‘what you see is what you get’, etc…)

  • http://www.niallkennedy.com/blog/ Niall Kennedy

    Note that the China results show pictures only from sites within China, while the normal Google results show results from sites all over the world. The fact that there are less pictures displayed on sites with a .cn TLD may be partially Google censoring but I’m sure the Chinese government already made the rounds on servers within their borders as well.

  • http://usherblogs.typepad.com Usher Lieberman

    The pictures from the google.cn definitely represent the image you are presented when visiting Tiananmen today. The place is scrubbed beautifully, and it is really an awe inspiring place with narry a reminder of the massacre.

    I am personally conflicted in my thoughts about Google. On the one hand, I’m a big believer in constructive engagement as the best way to see other societies liberalize. On the other, there’s a really good argument that American companies, NGOs and government in absolutely no way contribute to the suppression of human rights anywhere in the world as doing so limits our own credibility and ability to speak with moral authority. On the moral authority piece, the Chinese government certainly believes (and not without justification) that we are in no moral position to preach to them about human rights and constructive engagement.

    In this case I think Google is helping the forces of evil even as it does the admirable work of opening more of the world’s knowledge to more of the world. In so doing, Google risks its brand reputation on a gamble that clearly has great potential rewards (and perils). Only time will tell if this roll of the dice was the right move.

  • http://willprice.blogspot.com Will Price

    Brad – this is really very powerful. Eric Schmidt’s view that doing business in china is “less evil” than not serving the Chinese market is challenged by these great juxtapositions. I studied at Nanjing University in the early 1990s and my roommate’s brother lost his livelihood and career options by simply being in the class of 1989. A real blight on China and a powerful issue to consider as people compromise their integrity for the sake of market access.

  • http://pirsig.ath.cx/ P Chugh

    It is certainly interesting to look at this censorship in action. But it is also visible how censorship via just syntax has fundamental flaws. Here is an example. Just search google.cn with a `Tiananmenn’, i.e. with a capital ‘T’.

    Here is a link to try on a new window.

  • http://howelltree.typepad.com/finsrud/ Ryan

    It’s no spoof. I can type both Chinese and English on my computer and here were my results typing in Chinese on both the English and Chinese Google portals.

  • http://www.askderekscruggs.com Derek Scruggs

    Here are links for searching them in simplified Chinese:

    google.com

    google.cn

  • http://www.dumbfind.com dumbfounder

    As the CEO of a competing search engine, I see this problem from a different angle. Check out my statement:
    http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060130/dcm045.html?.v=34

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