The Right Coast

January 25, 2006
Don't be evil (unless you have to to make a lot of money)
By Tom Smith

One more heroic dream bites the dust. Google decides to accommodate the 'great firewall of China.' I suppose this means you won't be able to such dangerous terms as liberty, freedom, Tiananmen Square . . . A sad day.

I don't understand people. If I had more money than I could spend in ten lifetimes, I would say, you know, I started this f*&%ing company, and we're not going to help some nightmare tyranny postpone its already long overdue demise. I might be somewhat less rich as a result, but I can already afford my own 747, so who cares? I mean, seriously. If the Nazis had won the war, and you owned a search company, would you acceed to their request not to allow to search "missing jews"?

Remember this? He probably wasn't smart enough to work for Google. And indeed, we are probably not smart enough to realize that in the long run, cooperating with the oppressors is the best way to bring about liberation in the end. After all, it worked in, well, must have worked somewhere.

Seriously, however, Google should at least let us know what terms you are not allowed to search in the PRC. Maybe freedom; Hayek; free markets; God; torture prisons China; Catholic Church; American constitution? Come on, Serge and Larry! Tell us! Or do the long run interests of freedom not permit that either?