Monday, May 12, 2008

By the Way, We Lost

Remember my desperate call to Google shareholders to vote against censorship?

Well, it didn't work. Last Thursday, the annual shareholders meeting was held here in Mountain View. The board, through its speaker, explained that removing censorship would harm the business relations with China, and would cause to shutdown.

I would have put it this way: terminating censorship might cause the Chinese government to close down Why speak in passive tense? It's like saying: there was a gunfight and someone was shot, rather than saying person A shot person B. I guess if you keep to passive, there are no bad guys here.

Anyway, both resolutions (censorship termination and human rights) were repelled. The final word is:
...Google is working with human-rights groups, socially responsible investors, and others to come up with guidelines for operating in such countries, but that “applying a rigid set of rules here is not always going to get us to the right outcome.”
You understand? Abolishing censorship is "applying a rigid set of rules". Doublespeak at its best. George Orwell should have called his book 2008 rather than 1984.

The good news? Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder, abstained on both votes. I guess someone there still retains his conscience.

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