Google explains Google China Decision



The Official Googleblog has an article today about their decision to filter results in China. I took a look at the Chinese version today (I saw an image search comparing Tienamen (spelling?) results in English and Chinese. I also searched for my site and found that I seem to be absent from the Chinese search results. Now you might say the latter is not surprising for a number of reasons, but I’ve found other English language sites showing up in the Google.cn results…. I guess information about computer security is too risky for the Chinese People to find. !!Correction-8:30PM EST!! I had earlier seen Sunbelt mention guiness.com missing from the results and they just noted that was in the results now. Likewise, my site was missing and now is present in the Google.cn results… !!End Correction!!


Ultimately, I think this is a bad decision. I think in some ways it validates the Chinese government’s censorship of internet access. When I first heard about it I was under the impression that they were doing some filtering based on where a search is coming from which is something that could be bypassed a number of ways. What they are doing though is actually filtering their results (in much the same way their “safesearch” filter works I suspect.)

The safesearch filter is different though, in that it’s filtering by choice. The Chinese people do not have a choice. Now, it looks to be that if you are in China and are fortunate enough to speak another language (such as English) you may be able to bypass Google’s filtering and do English language searches. Ultimately this is an area where I see shortwave radio still having some good usefullness, China may be able to block certain websites and get some search engines to filter results out, but you can’t jam every radio broadcast available that you don’t like/agree with.

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