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Saturday, April 22, 2006

How to start a protest...?

Prague Twin and I have been discussing launching a protest against Google and at least some of its affiliates for it's crimes against humanity.

So far we've discussed a possible boycott from Google and company for a day or a week. Meaning, none of the services would be used. Or, (and this is my preference) we'd boycott by not clicking on ANY of their advertisers, possibly until they change their naughty ways.

What do you think?


At 4/23/2006 3:26 AM, Blogger David Schantz said...

I think targeting the advertisers is your best bet.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

At 4/23/2006 10:41 PM, Blogger Lisa Renee said...

My honest opinion?

Google and Yahoo are not the problem, the problem is the government of China. Yahoo's actions are separate and more severe than Google's. Yet Cisco is the real company to blame because they are the ones who helped China set up the ability to create the firewall that blocks.

I'd suggest reading this rather long but informative article by the New York Times Magazine

Page 9 has an interesting comment from a well known blogger that had his blog yanked by Microsoft at the request of the Chinese government:

I expected Zhao to be much angrier with the American Internet companies than he was. He was surprisingly philosophical. He ranked the companies in order of ethics, ticking them off with his fingers. Google, he said, was at the top of the pile. It was genuinely improving the quality of Chinese information and trying to do its best within a bad system. Microsoft came next; Zhao was obviously unhappy with its decision, but he said that it had produced such an easy-to-use blogging tool that, on balance, Microsoft was helping Chinese people to speak publicly. Yahoo came last, and Zhao had nothing but venom for the company.

"Google has struck a compromise," he said, and compromises are sometimes necessary. Yahoo's behavior, he added, put it in a different category: "Yahoo is a sellout. Chinese people hate Yahoo." The difference, Zhao said, was that Yahoo had put individual dissidents in serious danger and done so apparently without thinking much about the human damage.

If the people of China want to end this type of censorship it's going to have to come from within, it's not going to come from boycotting Google or even Yahoo or even Cisco. Trying to punish an American company for following the rules another country sets up to operate there isn't to me a solution.

At 4/24/2006 12:05 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Good argument. I'm not completely sold on it, Lisa, but it's a good argument. I'll read the article (but not on the net if it's that long), but not tonight.

Still, without having read the article yet, I must say that it seems to be a matter of ethics. If the rules are horrid, then don't play along with them. Were I an American company trying to function in China I'd rather be shut down (which admittedly robs the Chinese people of their limited voices), at least temporarily, a raise bloodly hell about it in hopes to accomplish positive change, then to sit back and reap the economic rewards for human suffering by cooperating with the Chinese government.

Perhaps the article will change my mind, but I still have this notion that after I have my business degree and launch my own business that I'll be able to "prove," at least to myself, that business ethics doesn't have to be an oxymoron.

At 4/24/2006 12:06 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

BTW, Lisa...

Always your honest opinion!

At 4/24/2006 10:53 AM, Blogger Bob King said...

Yahoo and google are different companies. Yahoo's ethics are beyond question. That is to say, there's no question they are Standard Corporate Ethics.

Google tries to do better.

At 4/24/2006 1:30 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

While Google claims they're better than that, even going so far as to say their informal motto is, "Don't be evil."

However, this:
"Indeed, on April 12, Google CEO Eric Schmidt defended cooperation with China’s censorship rules as he announced the creation of a Beijing research center."

And this:
""We believe that the decision that we made to follow the law in China was absolutely the right one," Schmidt said at a news conference.

He said Google had to accept restrictions in order to serve China, which has the world's second-largest population of Internet users after the United States, with more than 111 million people online."

Business comes before ethics...again.

At 4/26/2006 8:54 PM, Blogger Lisa Renee said...

Yeah but it's hard to demand a company follow ethics when so many other companies make a profit from China as well which helps the government of China have the power to control people.

Unless you are going to advocate a total boycott of every company that deals with China...

(Yeah it was rather silly to ask if you wanted my honest opinion - lol)


At 4/27/2006 12:29 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

"Unless you are going to advocate a total boycott of every company that deals with China..."

That would be my preference. And here I would normally insert something like "But who listens to me," but considering I recently got a hit from China (yes, I learned how to use the more specific tools of my stat counter, yay me!) that would be kind of silly. So, I'm going to say... Like they're actually going to CHANGE because of me!


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