Thursday, January 26, 2006

... and 1.2 billion Chinese don't care

There are so many things wrong with the decision by the Blogger News Network to discontinue Google AdSense ads on their site.

  • They're hosted on Blogspot.
  • They buy ads on BlogAds already, so they're already in cahoots with a rival provider.
  • The first BlogAds ad I see on their page is for this conservative pro-military blog, which covers such vital subjects as wondering whether there are still American PoWs left in Vietnam and celebrating the fourth verse of Star-Spangled Banner. Is that more offensive than Google ads? You decide.
  • God, it's so tired to harp on about Google's "don't be evil". Apparently Google breaks that motto every time Larry or Sergey scratches their nuts these days. Oops, one of the chefs in the Google cafeteria dropped a meatball on the floor, bring in the Spanish Inquisition! Google is lawful neutral, people. Don't be so utterly predictable in your criticisms.
  • Why is it that Google catches merry hell on all these issues yet their competitors, who either do exactly the same thing (i.e. MSN) or worse (i.e. Yahoo) get so little coverage?

As for the issue of Google capitulating to China, there needs to be a reality check on this. Corporations should not be setting public policy in foreign countries, let alone their own. It is a matter for the people of China. Even if you think democracy is the one true ideology and all else should be banished in the religious zeal of the Rapture, you should have enough respect for a country's sovereignty not to demand that they change their own laws just because a company from your country wants to sell some services. Would you want oil companies selling to poorer countries to demand kickbacks to politicians in rich oil-producing countries? Wait, that happens already. It's a slippery slope, you see.


Blogger Robert said...

Hi, Paul. Appreciate your point of view, while disagreeing with it, of course. ;)

We do indeed use a Google tool to compose our posts (although we are not hosted on BlogSpot). To which I can only say, I'm doing what I can do, not what would be perfect for me to do. I don't want to take Google's money - the pennies I'm costing them by using their free tools don't really bother me.

My business relationship with BlogAds (and with Chitika and other ad-runners) seems immaterial, as does the nature of the people advertising on my site (oooh - people who celebrate the Star Spangled Banner!). The remainder of your criticisms similarly don't seem to apply; I don't take ads from Yahoo or MSN, so what does their similar evil matter?

Your final point is pretty misguided. Nobody is asking Google to set China's public policy. We're asking Google to not do business with someone whose public policy is "pretend that these massacres of our subjects never happened". We're not asking China to stop being evil; we're asking Google to not do business with evil.

6:04 am, January 27, 2006  
Blogger Paul Montgomery said...

Ah, yup. So by the same token no company should do business in the US until the Bush administration releases all the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay who have mostly been held there illegally and have broken the Geneva Convention on a daily basis? An administration whose policy is "pretend that these abuses of our subjects, and of many other countries, never happened"? It cuts both ways, dude.

8:07 am, January 27, 2006  
Blogger Robert said...

If you sincerely believe the US government to be evil, then yes, you should expect ethical companies to not do business with them.

5:44 am, January 28, 2006  

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