Employees Of Google Criticize Censorship Of China On Search Engine

Doris Richards
August 19, 2018

The project is for a search engine created to comply with the Chinese government's censorship laws. This, along with all the censorship laws, forced Google to withdraw from China after 4 years of existence.

Google services, including its search engine, Gmail and Google Drive, are all blocked in China.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees on Thursday that the company is working on a censorship called Dragonfly and it is still in an "exploratory" stage, The Intercept reported.

The employees are demanding more transparency so they can understand the moral implications of their work, said the New York Times, which obtained a copy of the letter.

Several hundreds of employees from the search engine giant have complained while lodging their written to the company against the proposed launch of "censored search engine" in China.

At that time, Google Engineering Vice President Ben Gomes announced changes to the company's search algorithm aimed at promoting "authoritative" news sources over "alternative viewpoints".

But the search engine giant's growing capabilities has it feeling lucky too.

In the letter, the employees say Google would be validating China's restrictions on freedom of expression and violating its own clause in the company's code of conduct, "don't be evil".

"It's quite ridiculous that in the 21st century one of the most powerful countries in the world denies its citizens access to common knowledge", one user wrote. "I think if we were to do our mission well, I think we have to think seriously about how we do more in China", he added, according to Bloomberg.

The letter is similar to one thousands of employees had signed in protest of Project Maven, a US military contract that Google decided in June not to renew. According to its most recent quarterly report, Alphabet (Google's parent company), employed 89,058 people as of June 30. I genuinely do believe we have a positive impact when we engage around the world and I don't see any reason why that would be different in China.

Human rights organisations and activists expressed their worry over Google's plans when they were shared earlier this month in U.S. media reports.

"We'll definitely be transparent as we get closer to actually having a plan of record here".

At the same time, he sought to downplay the revelation, saying the company was not "close" to rolling out the product and that Google's expansion in China was "slow-going and complicated". The company did not renew the contract with Pentagon for that project, and also laid out some ethical principles about the use of its Artificial Intelligence.

After the letter, Google chose to withdraw from that project.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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