The Real Google Censorship Scandal

It’s not about right-wing Americans. It’s about China.

Comments: 134

  1. China uses the Tencent WeChat app to spy on Americans, gather information, censor messages and intersect to sway discussions in the favor of the communist ruling party. WeChat is highly popular in the Chinese American and immigrant communities that use the App to communicate with families in China and discuss daily family matters, politics, media and many other topics. The WeChat app runs on Chinese servers controlled by the Chinese censors that extend their reach into the US and other parts of the world. with their products. Before complaining about Google, Ms. Swisher should report on and advocate for shutting down WeChat and other intrusive Chinese software services in the US. Even Russia has already done this, why not the US ?

  2. @EJ You are right that Google isn't the problem here. At least in this regard it is a minor player compared to all the other international companies who are in the Chinese market.

    It's as you said both the uptake of Chinese platforms by Chinese overseas communities and their penetration into emerging markets in Africa and Asia gives China and its policies huge leverage.

  3. The GOP controlled FCC thought that internet neutrality was not an issue, but now the GOP thinks that Google and other giants are showing favoritism. No wonder the GOP has no interest in challenging China. The GOP wants to regulate internet usage by American citizens just like the Chinese government. It seems that the GOP actually admires the Chinese government.

  4. Now replace every "GOP" with "Grand Old Party," and see if you still hold with it.

    What's the matter with Kansas?

  5. Seems easy enough: there's sufficient data to be mined and money to be made in China that this trumps, as it were, any distaste for the "forces of totalitarianism” and "government filtering of political dissent."

  6. I'm more concerned about the extent of Chinese spying worldwide. With most personal computers phones and other devices now made in China or incorporating components made in China, there is ample room for their secret service to have issued orders to their manufacturers to build in back doors. Don't forget that every large corporation in China is legally required to follow orders from the secret police any time their spy service needs their assistance. Think the idea is far fetched?Remember that the NSA used US corporations that built phone systems and tapped all European phone switching centers a generation ago.

  7. Classic "damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't." Google goes back to China on the premise of "getting data," and in so doing kowtows to whatever regulations and reporting to the State the regime demands of them. Don't go to China and someone else will, leaving Google holding the bag.

    With a culture well over 5,000 years old, even if the latest incarnation of the political expression will only turn seventy next year; if anything, the Chinese have learned the mastery of the long game of patience. Sure we can argue all we want of the merits, pros and cons, but at the end of the day, they will still be there, waiting. Patiently waiting. And grabbing everything they can to press to their advantage. It's enough to make one wonder if we shouldn't start to add Mandarin to the range of languages commonly taught. Maybe we should Google that, while we still can.

  8. Mr. Brin, born in Russia. Shouldn't he be a fan of the President? That is how ridiculous this has become.

  9. Google is still better than Apple, who is happy to roll over and take it for some cash.

  10. Google must remain skeptical of China's intentions, the technology it offers if the muzzling of information is allowed so to silence any criticism of China's dictatorship, however obnoxious with it's own people, and delaying the huge creative potential it might occur otherwise. Chinese leaders, although with a strong economic 'front', are afraid of their own shadow, a most stupid undertaking that shall backfire and prevent it's greatness in the world from being realized. Not that Trumpism in these United States isn't awful, but there is at least some push back to keep info open and available to the public at large. China's feet of clay may, if Google is willing to apply censure, be contagious, and not in any good way.

  11. Why does anyone think that China is going to develop some novel new technology and beat a western company to market? What's the most recent example of this? Last I heard, China is busy stealing intellectual property because they don't have a culture of innovation of their own, at least not one that's open to public markets.

    It strains credulity to me that a backwards authoritarian state is going to unleash the future of technological innovation when they haven't had an industry-changing invention since the printing press. Nobody in China has any interest in developing new technology, just leveraging existing technology to the best possible effect.

    In other words, Google just wants their money. This has nothing to do with competition.

  12. @Rob
    "China is busy stealing intellectual property because they don't have a culture of innovation of their own"

    Won't be long in changing, though. That's how the US got its start in the 19th century, the English early in the 18th, Japan more recently in the 20th. It still happens here, BTW: "borrowing" other people's ideas is how Apple and Microsoft got started. Where do you think China will be in a couple of decades?

  13. @Rob This is one of the most ill-informed commentaries I've seen on modern China in quite some time. Not only is China not a "backwards authoritarian state" in terms of its technology, many of its innovations surpass those seen anywhere else in the world by a considerable margin.

    Just to cite a single example: in addition to being the world's largest retailer -- no small task in a world where Amazon and Walmart exist -- Alibaba has both developed its own bleeding-edge innovations in areas like AI, fintech and cloud computing, and it also serves as one of the world's largest venture capital firms, funding hundreds of next-generation startups in China and abroad.

    I would strongly suggest educating yourself further on this topic before making such comments in the future. You might even try visiting China itself. I'd suggest starting in Shanghai, where you can ride from the airport into the city center on the first -- and by far the fastest -- commercial maglev train in the world. It's also the fastest commercial train, period, with a top speed of nearly 270mph. Yes, it was designed and built entirely in China. (And it's been operational for almost 15 years now.)

  14. @Rob They are the world's leaders in commercial and entertainment drone technology, and they are killing us in this market.

  15. It is about right wing Americans, because the lesson that they learn is that Google is susceptible to political pressure, and that they should apply more of it. Both China and American right wingers want to build a more perfectly authoritarian state, and both see businesses crossing the interests of the state as a threat.

  16. If I understand: Alphabet may not want more data for competitive reasons but for lucrative business reasons, which seems tautological to me, but then I also don't understand why facing facts is hypocritical.

    The development of population spanning infrastructure control is no longer in the hands of the corner cop and the train switcher saluting the engineers as the trains roll by. It is already and increasingly will be in the hands of robots, specifically GAIAs (generalized artificial intelligence algorithms) operating "the internet of things".

    This control infrastructure will either be in the hands of corporations or of governments, and in particular in the hands of corporations that are part of or clients of a government. Swisher demands we see that as hypocrisy, when she also tacitly admits it is inevitable -- "the future of computing," "the next computing era" -- though she leaves Wong and Lee to say so.

    You have to start from the premise of 10 billion people, climate change, management of food, water, sewage and power, intercontinental travel, global trade, free markets, fast delivery, lowest price and a rising standard of living for all to realize that government or corporations won't be able to handle all that without teamwork, and their teamwork will be in the direction of greater control. So face facts.

  17. We have behemoths controlling our internet (two tier that it is becoming) searches, our internet sociability, and our internet shopping. (I will exclude the porn aspect for this iteration)

    They area all just a natural progression of money interests dominating our town squares, our ballot boxes, and our way of lives. To push back on all requires to be be consistent and push and everything, but docile we remain.

    The embed microchips are not that far off now ...

  18. I don't believe you when you say you "don’t mean to be cavalier" about the "canard" that social media companies censor conservative viewpoints. Why else would you call it a "ridiculous scandal"?

    For most conservatives it is not the personal viewpoints of Mr. Brin that bother them as you seem to imply with your reference to one Breitbart article. It is the demonetization, restricted mode and closing of accounts for even rather benign and mainstream videos. It is the doxing and firing of employees for having conservative viewpoints. It is the clear targeting of conservative sites with "fact checks" by liberal sites linked to their search results.

    Why should we trust these that their algorithms do not target conservatives when everything we can see and shows that they do elsewhere? Why is this the only issue where you just trust the CEO of an enormous company? How is censoring content in China "a much more important issue" than censoring content here? Could it be because you are an embattled liberal that simply does does not care about conservatives than that you truly care about a free and open Internet? Well, I think that much is clear.

  19. @Caleb Ely This "...algorithms do not target conservatives when everything we can see and shows that they do elsewhere?..." is broad brushing and hyperbole. Please bring data and facts to the argument. That is not actually how Google works.

  20. @Caleb Ely Why should their algorithms not target conservatives, if Google executives want them to? I am not saying that they do, but I am wondering what business it is of yours how Google conducts its business. That's what they are, a private business. They cannot "censor" anything; they can only make decisions about how they conduct their business. Or perhaps I have misunderstood conservative worship of private enterprise at the expense of the pulbic square.

  21. There are two blatant flaws with the conservatives' views on this. First, being anti-Trump does NOT mean that you are anti-conservative or pro-liberal. Many conservatives have pointed out that Trump is a despicable and dangerous man, and supporting Trump is clearly the abnormal response to his behavior and statements. Second, not being extremely right wing does not by definition make one left wing or liberal. Most of the media is just centrist or neutral, even if they are critical of Trump.

  22. @Larry Figdill You are on message. I am a centrist that despises Trump, not for being GOP (having voted for more GOP Presidential candidates than Democrat), but because I have been and around the financial world for 4 decades and know him to be a charlatan. He is an embarrassment, but what we deserved given 20/20 hindsight of how the Base has been marginalized.

  23. I have no idea whether any of the things Ms. Swisher writes about are true because my technology prowess peaked in 2000. However, she always is intellectually straightforward and has become a must-read on the NYT's Opinion page. Her insights into the workings of Silicon Valley are invaluable in 2018 and the Times was smart to sign her up and publish her regularly.

  24. I'm not sure what the complaint is? Google isn't censoring anything, the Chinese Government is.

    There is a comparison between the Trump administration and Republicans trying to intimidate Google to censor or slant news in their favor and the Chinese Government ability to censor through the autocratic power of their system.

    This really isn't about Google, this is about two autocratic governments who want to censor content to maintain their power.

  25. I am trying to think of why it's anyone's business but Google's whether they are biased against conservatives, and nothing comes to mind. GOP: We hail free enterprise, except when we don't. Me: Go eat worms.

  26. I am shocked, shocked! Intelligent, informed business leaders reacted to Trump’s election with dismay, anger and disbelief. How could they? Just because Trump is an ignorant, uninformed, greedy, insecure, unfit bully is no reason to be dismayed by his election to the highest political office.

    Let’s be honest here. What would be truly shocking is if Google executives had not reacted in horror to Trump’s election.

  27. @John Ranta Intelligent business leader keep politics out of business. Otherwise angry dissident employees start to leak to the press in order to destroy the company from within.

    See how that works?

  28. All this means is that Google, despite its mantra "Don't Be Evil", is subject to the Two Overriding Truths:

    1. No matter what they're talking about, they're always actually talking about money and power.

    2. See Truth 1.

  29. Assume that Google is well intentioned and sees their involvement as benign because really, all they have to do, is suppress certain results. Then China demands all search data to be forwarded daily to out people who tried to search for something suppressed, a list that will change daily. Then those people start disappearing. Clearly not an inconceivable near term future. In the end, Google gets near term revenues but is then faced with the choice of continuing that revenue at the cost of lives, or pulling out and taking the revenue hit. In this version, what ever they build will have long term negative consequences regardless. So much for "First, do no evil."

  30. The new line of attack by the republicans against Google, Facebook, and Twitter is going to face staunch pushback in the United States, primarily by millennials who utilize and depend on it.

    First of all, they all have competitors which are easily accessible. Anyone has the choice not to use them. Equally important, they are free of charge. The republicans are simply trying to suppress free speech since it does not favor their agenda, an affront to the first amendment.

    They deregulate oil/gas companies to pollute the air and water, but want to regulate the internet since this is not a source of donations and will hurt blue states. Amazingly backwards to regulate the major US economic growth driver, while deregulating aging outdated industries.

    In terms of China, Google should allowed to be enter their with a different form, as the nation has different laws. It would be beneficial for the chinese people to receive some information, rather than 100% state run or chinese internet information. The US needs to keep the lead on AI and they need all the data they can get.

    Overall, imo, the reason for Trump's recent decline in popularity is his threats of suppressing free speech (such as against cnn and nyt). The democrats should capitalize on this and the google issue with millennials by publishing on how the republicans are trying to take away their internet. Many millennials dont know much about medicare but they need their free flowing internet.

  31. People confuse Google for what is really is-- an advertising company. As a business owner who deals with Google in this arena, there is nothing nice, friendly or progressive about them at all. In my decade experience with them, they could care less where or how the revenue comes from.

  32. @Paulo
    Yes, as with facebook.

  33. Google would be making a strategic long-term business error by agreeing to censor information as required by an authoritarian regime in China. Instead, if China continues to ban Google for providing uncensored search, then there is a ironclad case to prohibit protected Chinese Internet companies from competing in democratic countries. We know Trump will do nothing, but where are the European regulators on this? The world's access to information is at stake.

  34. Many intellectuals and politicians outside of China mention the stereotype of China's penchant for patient, long-term goal-setting and efforts to achieve those goals.

    If Google is taking a patient, long-term approach to China, they may well be betting on a serious, perhaps multifaceted collapse in China in the almost-foreseeable future.

    If collapse is in the offing for China, a forewarned Google might do very well if they have a carefully-well-shod foot in China's door when it happens.

    All choices are risky; even the choices the Chinese ¿¿dictatorship of the people?? is taking right now. Time will tell.

  35. The United States government doesn't treat China as an international pariah, despite criticizing China's human rights abuses. The logic is that it's better to have a seat at the table and work for change when you have some leverage. I'm sure Google isn't averse to making more money and gaining access to more data, but Swisher doesn't even consider that other motives could be in play as well. I don't foresee a day when China abandons censorship simply because of Google's moral purity.

  36. Why is Western media imperialism not considered Western imperialism?
    In the 20th century, America (& other Western powers) forced China to accept that their warships had the right to sail Chinese rivers and dominate them militarily. Thus "gunboat diplomacy." China's economy then served foreigners.
    Today's Americans are taught to similarly assume that the giant US media corporations are entitled to dominate the Chinese media environment.
    Why shouldn't the Chinese people and their government be allowed to decide what foreign corporations operate in China?

  37. I don't care how many data the Chinese Internet companies collect on their Chinese customers, and how they feed their A.I. supercomputers with these data until they reach the self-learning level.

    I'm not ready to give all my data to American Internet companies just to support them in the A.I. business. So please let them collect data in China instead, I won't complain about it.

  38. Swisher's discussion of "data" and AI puzzles me. The ancient computer maxim, "garbage in, garbage out" was a reminder that the *quality* of data is at least as important as the quantity. Where is reliability discussed?

    Moreover, why does Swisher seem to assume that China will have automatic access to great gobs of non-Chinese "data"? True, the openness of free societies makes much data available to everyone, but some categories could be denied (e.g., if America would take privacy seriously, or decided to deny selected categories of data to outsiders).

    The importance of datasets depends on the questions algorithms are designed to address. I imagine that, for the forseeable future and beyond, there probably will be lots of important questions to address; except for questions that center on China, there should be plenty of relevant data that can be found.

  39. The concern was never for Jones or any of his ilk, he's a distraction, the concern was and is for who they're going to go after next now that they've distracted everyone and established a precedent.

  40. Social media platforms and internet companies benefited a great deal from the Republican-Democratic standoff that were the years 2010-2016, in which very little legislation was passed.

    Google, Facebook, Twitter and all the others should have been regulated long ago and their paths to growth supervised. The truth is that neither one of these companies is run by individuals with any kind of social or business ethics and, were it not for legislation out of the EU, the situation would be even worse.

    Google, especially, needs to be limited in what demands they give into, both inside the US and internationally. The search engine operation, because it is so ubiquitous, should be kept separate from all of their other ventures.

    There needs to be some kind of authority, with the expertise and regulatory teeth to supervise internet companies that are so woven into our work day, culture, and political life, that we cannot afford another fiasco like the 2016 election. Trump accusing Google of bias is a danger, in and of itself, in that Google's demural is all we have

    Faced with a large market they want to penetrate, Google gave into the Chinese government's demands. Who else might they not be able to resist? This isn't a question we should need to ask, nor is it one to which we have no answer. Regulatory supervision should be a top priority after the current oligarchy is dispatched to the annals of history.

    'Things Trump Did While You Weren’t Looking'

  41. @Rima Regas But Trump is more likely than any Dem to push through regulation of Google and the FANGs. Do you not realize this?

  42. Ms Swisher knows full well that the gunslingers that write the code that has taken over our lives have no ethics or morality. Politicians and regular people can't push back: we simply don't have the knowledge. The only solution is that our universities teach ethics and that ends don't justify means. Sadly Ms Swisher has gone over to the dark side.

  43. @disappointed liberal Universities are too busy demonizing white men to teach ethics. Go visit one and find me a dissenting voice: they're all rabid Progressives.

  44. This is a one-sided article. Google quit China not mainly because of censorship - it was always subject to censorship in China, which is the law of the land. What prompted Google to quit the country was its discovery of China's hacking of its systems, which Google thought was a "red line" that China crossed. But since then, Edward Snowden has disclosed that the US and UK governments have also hacked Google's systems. To be morally consistent, Google needs to either quit the US and UK as well, or return to the Chinese market.

  45. @Nomad "Morals" have no place in international wars -- physical, or economic. What matter is winning.

    Unfortunately, morals have no place in the local political arena, it seems. That is deplorable.

  46. Google is currently censoring itself 100% in China. This contributes to Chinese and non-Chinese being in almost completely different internet worlds.

  47. Google is an advertising company. They’ll do about $100 billion in revenue this year, about 85% generated by ads. Alphabet has $100 billion cash on hand. Think about that — $100 billion in cash, 60% of which is held off shore. Their corporate structure allows the founders to retain majority voting rights while diluting their financial exposure. Heads they win, tails we lose.

    I’m baffled that people think Google has a moral imperative of some type, or should be doing “good.” They are a corporation who makes money by diverting ad money from other mediums, leveraging our private data to sell us stuff we mostly don’t need. Google is a corporation beholden to shareholders, they aren’t here for the public good or freedom of speech in the US or China.

  48. @MyjobisinIndianow

    They are a bunch of preening progressives who have convinced themselves that they, alone, occupy the moral high ground. More like their high horse.

  49. Maybe I don't understand the issue well.
    Why is it that Trump (and the GOP in general it seems) praise free speech when Fox News and Breitbart have yet another made up scandal to report about Hillary, but if a search engine returns news making Trump and the GOP look bad it needs to be investigated and regulated?
    We are allowed to say anything we like to bash Democrats, but we dare not disrespect the supreme leader.
    How do you say dictator?

  50. @RN Because Google is a virtual monopoly. Look at their share of the search market versus Fox or Breitbart's share of the media market. Google controls most Internet search IN THE WORLD. Breitbart is a niche operation, and Fox, though tops in cable news, has fewer viewers than MSNBC and CNN put together.

  51. Here's a better question: What's so G about this OP you refer to?

  52. The problem is that Google has near monopoly control in the US over public exchange of information. For example, they have been involved in screening NYT comments in recent years. Since Google has been involved, the number of conservative comments on NYT have gone down enormously. Do you want Google with their well-known political biases to have such control in the US? Maybe if you believe in a system like they have in China - where only one political view is deemed correct. However, I have always liked diversity of opinion as a politcal moderate, but even many of my comments are now suppressed as NYT comments since Google's algorithms have been doing the screening.

  53. You’ll be happy to know that as a longtime viewer — and occasional contributor — to the Times’s comments section I haven’t noticed any meaningful decline in the comments posted by conservatives. And as you can see *your* comment made it through just fine.

    From what I’ve read the partnership with Google and its AI tools is intended solely to intercept comments that promote hate speech, vulgarity, and trolling and to make it possible for the paper to attach comment sections to more articles without having to hire more human moderators.

  54. “Nothing was said at that meeting, or any other meeting, to suggest that any political bias ever influences the way we build or operate our products.”

    This is true FAKE NEWS. They are attempting to equate people who vote democratically as enemies of the current administration – ergo, every action they take is in opposition to the ruling party. This is THE dangerous slippery slope where everyone is politicized from trump’s perspective.

    It’s the same FAKE NEWS they are using to accuse federal employees as ‘enemies of the state.’
    This is exactly how fascist governments vilify the opposition party and any organization that votes opposite the ruling party – to generate the idea that people are actually doing something wrong. It is anti-democratic!

    Google acquiescing to China’s suppression of information is different and cannot be equated the same breath.

  55. The conservatives love to play the victim of some kind of censorship. After all, if there were no conspiracy against their ideas, wouldn't everyone see the light and become a conservative?

    Trump is different. He has no ideology, honor or shame, and anyone who opposes him must be attacked.

    The Chinese are another case altogether. They make no promises of transparency or fairness. They just want complete control over what their people can see and communicate.

  56. What business does a paper that hasn’t endorsed a GOP presidential candidate since Ike have smearing another outlet as “right-wing”?

  57. This is an op-ed piece by Kara Swisher, not by the editorial board of the New York Times. The views expressed here are Swisher’s. Do you get how the editorial pages of a newspaper work?

  58. @Charles

    How does this make sense?

  59. It hasn't been a "Grand Old Party" since Ike.
    So there's your answer.
    Glad I could help. Have a blessed day!

  60. Does anyone else see the hypocrisy of Briebert or FOX news accusing another form of media of being "biased"?

  61. @Joseph B

    Those who accuse Brietbart & FoxNews of bias do so on the premise that it's a harmful thing. Harmful for only thee?

  62. Wasn't it Red China that forced itself into the Google system and hunted down political targets. meaning people?

  63. “primary threat by far to internet freedom is government filtering of political dissent.”
    Why is the government so concerned with political dissent?
    The answer goes back to the mid-19th century, and the Taiping Rebellion, started by one man, Hong Xiuquan. He retailed the notion that he was the brother of Jesus, another "son of god." Hong quickly amassed followers among the disaffected in the South of China, and a rebellion ensued. It spread North. The resultant civil war raged for 14 yrs, challenged the rule of the Manchus, and caused the death of estimated 20 million people.
    A country the size of China, inevitably has disaffected groups who may be sources of rebellion. The Beijing government is unwilling to take chances. Decent is tolerated only within the the structure of the Party. Go to meetings, not to the street.
    Maintaining peace, and prosperity among 1.3 billion folk is no mean task. While criticizing China's shortcomings, we should respect their vast accomplishments.
    From what I saw, china is a good place to live.

  64. @Heckler
    "From what I saw, china is a good place to live. "
    I wonder if that was in Tibet, or any muslim majority area of China. My guess, No!

    Any discussion of China's first Noble Peace Laureate while you were there, by any chance Heckler? My guess, No.

    Why are some americans such enthusiastic supporters of vicious and brutal dictatorships? For example, (thanks Heckler) China, (thanks POTUS) Russia, and Saudi Arabia (thanks Bush family).

    Poor Google distrusted by the left, China; and by the right, Republicans

  65. @Heckler 'Give me liberty or give me death."
    "It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself".

  66. There are false premises here. First is the idea that depriving China of Google is a pressure point. China is self sufficient with respect to the internet. It doesn’t need Google. Second is that exposure to Google would produce a revolutionary opening as sudden as the scales falling from Saul’s eyes. Any opening would take decades or generations in the best of circumstances. Third is the idea that the internet’s value is only in political, censor-sensitive content. Business, entertainment, culture, tech and arts all can have an opening effect without crossing into political space.

    The result of Google’s 100% censorship is a wall.

  67. The two things ARE connected. "I certainly find this election deeply offensive". Note: the "election" is offensive. The people have failed Mr. Brin. They have disappointed him. They have let him down.

    Totally consistent mindset with what he wants to do in China.

  68. "To the extent that free flow of information threatens the powerful, those in power will seek to suppress it."

    Spoken by one of the most powerful advertising men in the world, running one of the largest single concentrations of capital in the world; market cap of $819B this morning.

    Google is a profit making corporation with a prime duty to it's shareholders. Open source (transparency) or democratically elected, responsive governments (if such exist) are where to look for internet leadership.

  69. Sure, AI is doing much better at translation and other things now that the creationist approach has been dropped and the learning program is analyzing huge amounts of data. What it learns depends on the data it is fed. But feeding it China censored data, may slant what it learns compared to uncensored data. It may not "understand" conversations due to what is never said, or what is lied about and conversations never had. Brin would know that and also know how fast governments and political players learn to manipulate social media, including China and Russia and Trump. Google's quarrel with China was their hacking and not letting Google do whatever it wants as it can here. Brin wants money from ads. The kind of data to enable that is surveillance data about what users access and buy and it's digital locations and access to their contacts. Easy stuff. The AI to collect it already exists. China will learn from Google but only after Google makes tons of money.

  70. I respectfully suggest that before you make up your mind about the possible economic or political threat represented by Google and its parent company Alphabet, see if you can find a list of ALL the ways this corporation collates your profile and connects it to everyone you know. If you think that Google only has a profile on you if you have a Google account, then you are wrong. Everyone that touches a digital device that connects to the Internet is profiled by Google, via shadow profiles. Even if you never use Google as a search engine they use an uncounted (publicly) number of ways to invade your privacy. Think DNS, Analytics, location services (even if you opt out), Android OS, and the list goes on and on ... I challenge anyone reading this to point to a comprehensive list?

  71. @Paul Central CA, age 59
    I forgot to mention the most egregious violation of the public trust. Google has, using Google Classroom, collected the very thoughts of our children. Although Google claims not to target ads toward students, it still profiles them. Although Google assures us that it does not sell our information, that is not their business model. Without selling our information they act as the intermediary between the advertiser and the target audience, while keeping all the information in-house.

  72. Commander Chris Greany, of the City of London Police said: “Fraud and cyber-crime is something which is perpetrated from all corners of the globe. Unlike with traditional
    crime, criminals can target their victims from miles away and clear their bank accounts without ever coming into contact with them.
    “Given the nature of this threat, victims must do everything they can to protect themselves; always being wary about who they are interacting with online and taking time to think
    before making any online transactions”.

  73. Google could give a flip about privacy or freedom. They want the cash de mone'. It was a fastball right down the middle of the plate. Strike three. Take a seat Brin.

  74. As a 71 year old geezer who was born into a world without even TV, I love the internet, but even I understand the disruptions that come from it daily may, one day, lead to a disintegration of American society and an indecent amount of power puddling into a few, hidden, corporate laps.
    What would China become with a totally free internet? Clearly, it would obviously split into at least ten different parts, and one would have to worry that the incredible gains the Chinese people have gained would fall alongside the same road that is littered by the poor in America, living in their tents in utter poverty, income inequality being what it is.
    I ask the NYTimes to run an article or two by those who understand China and the problems it faces, and who support the filtering that China is demanding.

    Hugh Massengill, Eugene Oregon

  75. The Chinese Communist Party has proven that nothing will sway it from its course, so any suggestion that Google will have a moderating influence in the future is foolish. Google is in China for gain. Call it money, data, whatever.

    As for Google's supposed left leaning tendency: It really doesn't matter whether it's in human hands or in the algorithm's, if conservatives, through actual practice, can show that Google is clearly skewing left, perhaps Google should at least look in the mirror. And if Google is made up primarily of left leaning folks, then they are probably not qualified to look in that mirror. It's the old theory of not being able to analyze a system from within it. Even the Googlers should be able to understand that.

  76. @Gary Misch Great points, but, despite their high average IQ's and analytical powers, Googlers are human beings, and are thus fundamentally irrational. The Leftist majority there believes they are in possession of The Truth, and are thus justified in suppressing speech they disagree with, which is automatically labelled "hate speech."

    The only thing that's going to turn them around is good ol' fashioned trust-busting. All the FANGs need to be chopped up and regulated. Whichever politician leads the way on this (Trump? You listening?) will go down as the saviour of the Republic. You mark my words.

  77. Google pulled out of China because it was hacked by the Chinese, not because of "moral principles." There's no way they could have competed with government-backed Baidu if they were constantly getting their secrets stolen and hand-delivered to the competition.

    Now they're back for one reason, and it's the same reason that motivates all businesses: money.

    If anything, China has ramped up its level of repression, so the about-face can't be attributed to moral or ethical progress. Google must have figured out a compromise that allows it the make bucketfuls of money (Don't be poor!) AND prevent the Chinese from stealing the trade secrets that give them a competitive edge.

    My guess is that the deal involves significant sharing of data, especially on Chinese citizens worldwide. Googlers upset about the mere prospect of re-entry to the market will openly revolt when they find out the nitty-gritty of the backroom dealings that made this possible.

    And it's all because they've bought into the Social Justice Cult on display in the post-election video: they actually think they're saving the world, or making it a better place, or not being evil. They're not. They're just making a buck. And the Google overlords will always put profit ahead of ethics, because that's what capitalists do.

  78. Why is Google shamed for even considering doing business in China when Apple does business in China every day?

  79. Kara, while you come down heavy on Google, you also say that if Google and other American companies don't go into China, we're all going to lose. Because if we don't, those same authoritarian forces will control AI and therefore the world. That's not much of a choice. It therefore has become in the national interest that Google does return to China. That's what I take from your column. And, as usual, conservatives completely miss the boat with their phony concerns and fake news. No surprise there.

  80. I think you are framing this incorrectly. Google is a public company who has one responsibility: maximum value to shareholders. It is neither a government nor charity. It has no responsibility to force China to give more information to its people. If anyone is so upset about China’s control of information within its borders, then lobby our government or others to intervene. This is not a corporate responsibility. Google may be an “American” company, but it is not an extension of the US government nor our values. Shall we force Indians to buy and eat beef? The inability of our government to effect change in China and its human rights does not make it Google’s responsibility.

  81. @BiffNYC The principle that corporations, which have such tremendous power in the modern world, have responsibility only to maximize value for their shareholders is the reason why socialism, or at least social democracy, is beginning to show the first signs of rehabilitation. Laissez-faire capitalism is in its very essence an abomination.

  82. The trite notion, pushed by guys like Brin, Zuckerberg, Jobs, Cook and Dorsey, that “Tech” is different than other industries because they are trying to bring people together and make the world a better place, is one of the biggest, boldest lies I’ve heard out of Business maybe in forever.

    As has been amply demonstrated, Tech can help determine who wins elections through controlling information flow, facilitate the toppling of governments and, as Ms. Swisher writes, coddles regimes that repress human rights and caves to demands of censorship. All of this to make the biggest buck possible.

    Industries that pollute or produce products that harm people are often, and rightly, criticized and regulated for this behavior. But how is helping people rig elections and enabling dictators and censorship not even worse? One can argue that, through its actions and inaction, Big Tech is facilitating the destabilization of world political order.

    We need to call these guys out. They are no different than Vanderbilt, Carnegie and Rockefeller—earlier titans of business who brought much good but also many consequences that had to be dealt with later by everybody else. Don’t let the black turtlenecks and hoodies and office ping pong tables fool you. They are all in it for the buck and the rest of what they say is nothing but P.R. They will never regulate themselves if it means they will make less money. They need to be addressed by government on behalf of the rest of us.

  83. @Jack Sonville

    Hear, hear.

    These are robber barons.

    Break 'wm up.

  84. You need to start taking the anti-conservative bias seriously. Just because the body filtering *THE WHOLE WORLD's SEARCHES* is a private company, not a Government, doesn't make it any less of a risk to liberty. In saner times liberals would be arguing exactly the opposite.

    Google recently fired someone - took away their livelihood - for calmly voicing a reasoned, unconventional opinion about gender differences. Why would anyone in their right mind believe that they are good people to trust with the free speech of the entire planet?

    Even if they are true to their word, and just because they are all - apparently - Democrats, their policy will still be neutral. Do you think for a second that the implementation will be? If there are bad actors in the world, wishing to distort public opinion for their own ends, they will gravitate to Google in an instant. It's the same reason child-abusers want to work with children. You only have to look at the bias in Wikipedia to see how this works.

    Google needs to be regulated so that free and fair speech is guaranteed, with public due process for proper complaint and redress.

    Please, please, stop seeing this through a partisan lens. It is just too important.

  85. @Russell Robles-Thome This is why it's so easy to identify comments made by ideologues. You wrote 'calming voicing a reasoned, unconventional opinion about gender differences'. Nope. It was a 10 page screed based on personal beliefs and a slough of non-scientific articles culled from across the Internet at random sites. His opinion wasn't based on personal understanding or deep knowledge about the topic. It was based on pure bias. Plus, he attacked the company directly by ignoring the Google code of conduct, a fireable offense in most US companies. And HE created a hostile work environment by pretending to be an 'expert' on a topic he quite literally knew very little about.

  86. @Russell Robles-Thome

    Yes, it's sad that we've lost so much great talent to blind progressive ideology.

  87. The censorship of today is mild compared to the real censorship that will occur when the human belief system itself is called into question. Today, it's just competing beliefs striving to censor one another. It will be entirely different when beliefs and reason finally square of against one another. In the near future, we will program the human mind in the computer, and this program will be based on a "survival" algorithm. When we do this, we will have irrefutable proof as to how we have tricked our minds with ridiculous beliefs about just exactly what is supposed to survive. Many will try to censor the truth, but we will finally see the harm in all beliefs and begin the long road back to reason. It won't be easy or quick, but necessary if the human species is to survive.

  88. Thank you Kara Swisher for your clear eyed and deep understanding of the tech world - and the ability to write about it so incisively. Your columns are a fresh breeze on the op-ed page!

  89. This week we learned of the FBI and CIA getting involved in Equifax’s (the giant credit bureau) concern that the Chinese were stealing valuable data and company information. This was before the breach of 140MM American’s most sensitive data.
    Like everyone else I use Google many times daily. Reentering The Chinese market will make Google more money at the price of making every American more vulnerable.

  90. US corporations dealing in technology need to end relationships with China and Russia and those companies and corporations close to them. If that sounds draconian and hyperbolic, think about how many items in our homes connect to the internet--and how many of those contain critical circuitry manufactured in China? Relationships with Russia, while not built on technology, are financial and just as dangerous. There are simply some things which for our national security and safety must be manufactured in this country. In so doing, we improve our security and we boost our economy.

  91. I am a Chinese,but I still use Google too (lol). of course by a special way. I am strong wish google come back to us,because in our own searcher 'bai du' you can find nothing. I am not very interesting in political things, because we experience real China everyday. but it's difficult yet to learn scholarship in baidu, if you want to know what's the one scale development ,baidu can hardly afford. that's I am scared,derailed with world. on the other hand ,wikipedia has more detail and exact information than baidupedia,it's help me a lot in learning biochemistry. meanwhile,welcome google back to China, there is a broad web advetisement market, it can increase google's margin. the last for me I need a large number of reading to improve my English ,including translation, it's hard without new york time ,wall street journal and economists etc.

  92. Thanks you Kara for reminding us of this issue and history. In reading everyone's comments, of which many are relevant, I think the missing link is the simple math. The Chinese "juggernaut" is all about numbers and ability to handle massive data sets. I believe "Google" rightfully fears missing out on this. The issue of personal data will be addressed soon in this country as is already happening in Europe. The days of "totally free" information are over and we all need to guard our electronic information.

  93. I forgot to mention the most egregious violation of the public trust. Google has, using Google Classroom, collected the very thoughts of our children. Although Google claims not to target ads toward students, it still profiles them. Although Google assures us that it does not sell our information, that is not their business model. Without selling our information they act as the intermediary between the advertiser and the target audience, while keeping all the information in-house.

  94. How amazing indeed that the foundations of the computer revolution are not in the sights of this and others, who are claiming to speak intelligently about tech. Listen carefully to the following. The tech revolution began in the 17th century French work on grammar meaning syntax, as one but not the only example, that led to a cognitive revolution, that and is, not just and only very little, an industrial revolution. In the sixties hippie programmers realized that ideas can not be owned by anyone, so they made open source, meaning anyone could own them, programming languages. Quit dissing on tech and calling for regulations, until you get the real and whole picture of what is happening within the tech giants. Because ideas/programs are free, any giant could go down tomorrow.

  95. I must admit, I think you're understating the obvious. They are the same issue. The Chinese have historically behaved this way. America has not. That's why America has been more successful over time. In the realm of economics, authoritarian behavior is usually not a winning hand.

  96. Strongly agree with Kara Swisher that Google should stay out of the China market.

    China's leaders should make sure they keep Google, Facebook, Twitter & all of these socially destructive programs out of China's Great Fire-Wall. Learn a lesson from how they contribute to the chaotic polarized situation in USA.

  97. I have worked for a number of large corporations. To have senior executive leadership say anything remotely resembling what was said at Google would never happen.

    It is grossly unethical, demeaning to the concept of people being free to pursue employment without concern for political reprisal. I am living in America, right?

    Sorry the nothing to see here, look over there tact is not convincing.

  98. Not buying this at all. I watched that Google in-house video. They were like a progressive cult. And we all know how progressives feel about free speech today.

  99. When Google dropped the motto 'Don't be evil' from its code for conduct, the writing was on the wall.

  100. It is ridiculous to suggest Google is somehow perverting its traditions by tailoring a search engine to meet Chinese government demands. Their operation in the USA has been tailoring search to satisfy moneyed interests for years. Search turns up pages of who sells an item and virtually nothing about facts about an item. Searching for authoritative sources on anything from literature to medicinal topics is like pulling teeth. Actual information doesn’t interest advertisers, nor Google.

  101. Careful, or they'll send you to Room 101.

  102. I don’t know what is more disappointing - Google purposely facilitating censorship in order to business in China or the fact that this article generated so few comments. I stopped using Google a while ago and switched to “Duck,Duck, Go” because they don’t track your search history and/or sell info about you to anyone. A non Google option for everyone. Down with Google

  103. Sure, Kara. Your previous piece (Aug 25) about Trump's paranoia over (supposed) GOOG bias against conservatives smells as bad as week old fish at this point. Why? Because this leaked video proves it flat WRONG. The bias is obvious, blatant and ongoing. Don't try to spin it by pointing the finger at China. Yes, GOOG tries to curry favor with the Chinese, but mostly for profit reasons. They don't want to miss out on a huge market opportunity. They work against Republicans for slightly less craven reasons: they're hypocrites!

  104. Cyber criminals perfectly use the anonymity of
    moderators. Using the anonymity of the
    moderators, it is often the case that cyber
    criminals steal user comments. The moderator is
    like a policeman and the moderator should keep
    an eye on the order. A policeman cannot be
    anonymous. Think what happens if all the police
    are anonymous. In this case, the offender can put
    on the uniform of a policeman and using
    anonymity can commit crimes. If the moderator
    cannot write his name and surname, then he must
    write his identification number. The user should
    know who and why deleted his message. The user
    should know what he has violated and who exactly
    blocked it. You cannot allow cyber criminals to
    commit crimes using the anonymity of
    moderators. Some moderators themselves
    commit crimes, because there are: corrupt,
    nationalists, radicals, not literate……………..

  105. While dumb-and-dumber whine about a Russian threat, China is marching to dominate all. It is already firmly in control at US educational institutions. (See recent revelatory reporting in the New Republic.)

  106. More nonsense from the Google shill. This is what's known as a _redirect_: "never mind those antitrust violations! Don't look at the $3B EU fine for abuse of market power and anticompetitive practices, look over there - CHINA!"

    This article is a laughable attempt to avoid, yet again, the elephant in the room: Google is the new Microsoft. Through its domination - and likely bribery - of our political class, Google has escaped any proper, normal, rational enforcement of our competition laws.

    Google is now the biggest corporate lobbyist in Washington.

    It has pocketed a Vice President (Al Gore). It has pocketed a presidential administration: under Obama, there were over 300 White House meetings with Google execs and officials! Swisher's ex, a Google executive, was HIRED by the Obama administration!

    Google has bought and paid for dozens of academics, including economists and law professors, to claim, ludicrously, that this monster is not abusing its dominance of search to strangle competition and innovation in adjacent markets. Search (using the wonderful search engine DuckDuckGo) "Eric Schmidt" and Google and "Anne-Marie Slaughter" for details.

    Thanks to this corrupt influence, Obama in 2012 refused to follow DOJ's recommendation and prosecute Google for anticompetitive practices.

    When will we see honest reporting in the Times about our new robber barons?

    Can't the Times do better than to assign tours and PR flacks to the oligarch beat?

  107. Google doesn’t need more data - all the ML statisticians I know all say that past a certain point big data is just covering up bad statistics.

    What Google does need is CHINESE data. Algorithmic bias is caused in part by unrepresentative data collection (I.e. bad statistics.) The only way Google can get that is by entering the Chinese market.

    In other words, there is a conflict between their purported ethics and Capitalism‘s endless growth paradigm. I wonder which will win,

  108. Sorry, we shouldn't blame China for being China. They are going to do what they want w or w/o Google We need to hold Google accountable for helping them. Goggle is helping the Chinese gov't with their AI programs while at the same time stiffing ours.

  109. It was not just Brin, it was dozens of other top Google leaders. It is painfully obvious that CEO, Sundar Pichai, and numerous other high-ranking “Googlers” spoke in unison about the election’s unfortunate and tragic outcome. It is stunning and it has no place in a Corporate setting. Imagine being a Google employee who voted for Trump - you feel the pressure of being silenced for fear of retribution. It becomes unofficial that you "Trumptards" will not be allowed to speak. Meanwhile Google and other companies like it promote the fraud of "diversity" which is nothing but forced conformity. In fact, all of these speakers must assume that every Google employee is a Democrat and were evidently shocked just like the mainstream press that the most corrupt and worst Presidential candidate ever, Hillary Clinton, was thankfully defeated. The CEO for the major company I work for also said essentially the same thing putting every single employee who voted for Trump ill at ease. I don't like Trump's personality in the least. However, his court appointments, his dismantling of the unaccountable un-elected plethora of Federal agencies who have assumed all rule making authority from Congress, his tax cuts, his efforts to reign in unfair trade, his efforts to promote economic growth is the best thing that has happened to America in decades. I will speak that loud an clear over against people like you and the likes of these totalitarian leaders at Google.

  110. To say that Google & other social media companies aren't censoring conservatives is absurd. It's happening on a daily basis across all platforms. I follow dozens of right wing personalities on line and their content is consistently de-monetized or outright removed from Facebook, YouTube, et al. Almost everyone on the left is totally cool with this as it's happening to people whose points of view they don't like, but it's whistling past the graveyard. These same people would be freaking out if it was happening to Rachel Maddow or The Young Turks. Be careful what precedent you set with banning content you don't agree with, what goes around comes round.

  111. @Blue switched Red
    Google arbitrarily, censors/demonetizes conservative videos with vague, flimsy justifications.
    It also openly flouts the law in its hiring practices, such as the overt discrimination against white males at YouTube recruiting that was revealed last year.
    The facts, coupled with a company-wide sob fest about the election of Trump, we should not be surprised that this is a company that is untroubled by China's censorship. No, techie SJWs aren't Maoists, but they share the idea that a superior vanguard has to protect the proles from ideas deemed "dangerous." They now only differ on which ideas those are. What used to be a violation of a fundamental priciple—"thou shalt not censor"—is now just a disagreement about *what* to censor.

    I'd give up hope on Sergei Brin "saying it again."

  112. How does the opinion and condemnation of Google’s considering reentering the China market with a search engine censored because of Chinese laws jive with an op-ed (or letter?) earlier in the week by a Stanford law school professor asserting that European laws protecting “the right to be forgotten” not shape how social media and other internet-based companies operate in the US?

    Why is it ok for US sensibilities about rights and freedoms to be imposed on people in other nations and with different sensibilities, but their values and sensibilities not affirmed even in their own countries, let alone ours?

  113. First of all the person who leaked the video from Google, obviously an employee, should be ashamed of themselves. There was nothing wrong in expressing outrage over the elections. If that employee felt differently, they could have freely voiced dissent. Google does not censor opinions of employees. Such meetings are a forum for expressing any views that one has. So the news that legal immigrants are voicing their feelings about the anti-immigration stance adopted by our present government should come as no shocker. The way confidential videos were leaked....that speaks volumes about the dishonesty and cowardice of that leaker.

    As for exploring China. Why not? How do you know that the chinese will have a controlled dictatorship forever? Why not? Because only if one explores will one know whether opportunities exist. Why not? Because perhaps in entering the market one might actually influence the way people think. It's tiring to hear academic arguments and righteous ones about how good we are and how bad the others are. I am trying to hang on to the idea we are good, but it's becoming increasingly fuzzy.

  114. @Meena your assumptions that Google doesn't suppress conservative idea's in the company is out right lie. Its not a secret that conservative views are looked down upon and the person expressing those will be crushed in peer reviews and would be let go because he doesn't align on values with Google and "diverse" work force.

  115. @Sai Do you work for Google? Have you personally experienced being slammed in peer reviews specifically as a result of expressing “conservative” views? If not, on basis should we fellow readers grant your assertions credibility? And Were those views “conservative” or actually racist, sexist, anti-xyz religion, etc?

    Oh, and would you also decry the many times employees of other companies have been ridiculed or demoted or ousted because they were known or believed to hold “liberal” or “progressive” views such as equality for women, people with disabilities, racial minorities; that women have a right to scientifically correct information about and the right to determine what happens to their own bodies and reproductive health; that men don’t have the right to harass or assault women; that corporations should not receive government welfare; that the minimum wage ought be raised and executive pay lowered; that their company should comply with OSHA and other regulations; etc.? I know of people whose careers have been negatively impacted for all of he above, for decades.

    As for the leaked video, forgive me not knowing its source, but in CA it is illegal to record a person speaking without that person’s explicit consent. If any of the speakers in the video didn’t consent to being recorded, the leaker could be brought to court and punished.

  116. It is unfortunate that Brin as a refugee from one of the most oppressive regimes in human history feels that he can judge choice of American people and shove his big boss opinion down all employees' throat... I feel for those not on the same Liberal bandwagon as he is and working for GOOG... Feeling disenfranchised even though your candidate just won presidential election... you can't pump the air, as undoubtedly Mr. Brin would've if his candidate had won, for fear of being judged or worse...
    Shame on Brin shame on GOOG...
    How was it PC that the Left so much in favor of? What if Koch brothers (they btw don't like Trump) would done the same if Hillary won... Oh God, hand wringing would've gone on for months... But here... barely a byline... Hypocrisy rules... and conservatives are blamed for supposed "hate" just for asking for Laws and Constitution be upheld in flood of illegal immigration...

  117. The author of this piece should have a published conversation with Dafne Keller, who authored another recent NYT opinion piece, “Don’t Force Google to Export Other Countries’ Laws”

    Why should multi-national megacompany Google enforce American laws and values across the globe but not allow American users to benefit from sensible protections implemented in our sister democracies such as the European Union?

  118. After reading thousands of pro-Trump postings here, I have concluded that his fans love him as a sort of spitball to shoot at educated people.

  119. @Steve Bolger

    Don't mistake anti-Leftism for pro-Trumpism. Many of us out here despise both those -isms but will tolerate Trump because we far more thoroughly despise Leftism in any form.

  120. @Steve Bolger

    People often forget that educated people also voted for Trump.

  121. If Trump did not exist, Google’s behavior still should be examined. Shouldn’t we demand of a media company that they strive for unbiased accuracy in their results? Shouldn’t it be science or discovery of truth , not politics , that drives their search query engine? If they want to advocate, just be up front about it to its users. Then we can choose to go to a competitor that values unbiased truth and accuracy at a much higher level than Google.

  122. Google is a multinational corporation, and adheres to the laws of the countries it operates in. Follows American laws here, European laws there and Chinese laws in China if it begins to operate there again. It is not a government actor censoring it's results, it is a corporation following the laws of the country. Google does not censor results, governments censor results. Google is doing what corporations do, make money. That is the golden rule here in capitalism land. Do what makes you the most money. Morals play no part in true capitalistic endeavors. It's all about the bottom line.

  123. @Kraktos

    Actually, no "government actor" has the technological ability to censor results; the act and mechanics of censorship is being done by Google using Google-devised algorithms. They are an active and willing participant in the censorship and there's no reason to believe they won't do the same on their own behalf as well as on the behalf of governments.

    Further, given their apparent political bent, it's no great stretch to conclude their willingness to bias their results in deference to the wishes of a Democrat-controlled federal government.

  124. Look, over here...Swisher thinks political advocacy within a 'media company' that controls your search results is not a thing to be concerned, not at all. Yet, there is a frightening amount of evidence that is exactly what they do on their platform. Numerous examples abound, and it has nothing to do with rating websites by popularity.

  125. Google is happy to censor in China, that's what it is trying to do here. Calling it false that they are doing it here is a lie.

  126. The one thing Kara failed to mention is that Google recently did away with its in-house corporate slogan "Don't be evil."

    Coincidence, or.....?

  127. That Google is willing to censor search results at the behest of the Chinese government means that Google is willing to censor search results, period. Who knows what circumstances must prevail before they start censoring things? Are the biases and prejudices of Google's management enough? The prejudices of their employees? We don't know.

    And if they're willing to sensor results--i.e., withhold results they don't think people should be allowed to see--what assurance have we that they're not selectively presenting results they want to promote?

    By agreeing to cooperate with China's censorship, Google has made it clear that they can't be trusted to deliver honest results. Basically, they'll deliver the results they're told to deliver and withhold results they're told to withhold, and who's to say that it's not Google themselves doing the telling?

  128. They already ‘censor’ search results. Type ‘the greatest American inventors’ in their search emgine and see if it comes close to comportmg with reality. The result is political correctness, having nothing to do with ranking websites by popularity. You can do ths endlessly. They do their visitors no favors in ‘furthering knowledge’ working from their ‘bubble’.

  129. Nothing is free (including flow). The trading of conceptual freedom for a buck is free, just try getting it back after you have made the trade.

  130. You get more flies with than with vinegar.
    You are able to engage more government leaders when you are in their country.
    You can espouse your values from your soapbox half a world away, but they aren't the values of those you are shouting at.
    Your shouting at people does not endear you or your values to them.
    All values, freedom, liberty, self-expression, are socially negotiable instruments in the commerce of culture and public commerce.
    People want to to adopt your values when they feel the outcomes and the results of living those values bring real tangible and intangible benefits.
    If your culture's values result in economic ruin, ignorance, and unequal distribution of the benefits of the culture/countries labor and natural resources, to most of its citizens, people will think more than twice about listening to what you think is so important.
    What I find interesting is not Mr. Brin's comments from 2012, which, incidentally, I agree with, but the writer's lack of ability to view this issue through a different cultural paradigm. The writer's ignorance of the essence of China, or even considering what Chinese values might trump unrestricted speech, is far more disconcerting to me than Google's "mercenary" (in the non-militaristic sense) actions in reentering the market.
    Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
    You still get more flies with honey than vinegar.

  131. Why don't people in the U.S. use other search engines. We have the freedom of choice.

  132. Because they are kept in the dark about other search engines. And because other search engine companies have been bought out by the bigger players

  133. @cynner

    Use DuckDuckGo.

    No tracking, ever.

    Great results, super fast.