Sergey Brin sort of has your back but maybe not right now

“I think at some point it is appropriate to stand up for your principles, and if more companies, governments, organizations, individuals did that, I do think the world would be a better place.” — Google co-founder Sergey Brin on the company’s decision to stop censoring Chinese search results.

It’s that kind of moral determination that helped Chamberlin get Hitler to sign the Munich Accords.

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Google launches on-line answer service in China

Via Read/WriteWeb:

google chinaGoogle China has released a Q&A site, in partnership with Tianya Club. The Make Meaning blog notes that Tianya Club was founded in 1999 and is one of the most popular discussion forums in China. Tianya has almost 20 million registered users, 80% of whom are 18-35 years old.

Some questions that will not be answered:

  1. Penguins Employee of the monthWhat happened at Tiananmen Square?
  2. What happened to “You can make money without doing evil”?
  3. Does this mean you’re rethinking your rethinking of playing footsie with the Chinese government?

Nice additional detail on this at Google Blogoscoped:

In other, related news Tianya.cn was recently involved in an attempt by the Chinese government to suppress the reporting on a bridge collapse in Fenghuang a week ago. Quote the Associated Press last Friday:

Communist authorities have banned most state media from reporting on the deadly collapse of a bridge in southern China, with local officials punching and chasing reporters from the scene, reporters said Friday.

The harassment and the accompanying news ban was issued by the Chinese Central Propaganda Department on Thursday, the AP writes. The AP cites a reporter saying that an unidentified mob of locals “roughed up” a group of five reporters who were interviewing the families of those who were killed in the bridge collapse.

Google job applicants must have varsity letter in moral gymnastics

Google’s known for its exacting hiring requirements, which include a degree from a top-notch university and a stratospheric GPA. But Page and Brin also have a preference for hiring Burning Man attendees…

Apparently Larry Page and Sergey Brin spent last week headhunting at Burning Man, the counterculture/ geek-fest out in Nevada. Free PR note: If you run a company that has gone spread-eagle to the incredibly repressive Chinese government, probably better not to have the phrase “Burning Man” any where near you.

Further proof of Google’s cluelessness can be found in a letter they recently sent off to media orgs telling them to not to use “google” as a verb. You can piss in the ocean all you want, but the tide is still going to come in. Word to the wise: Don’t try to teach a pig to sing. All it does is waste your time and irritates the pig.