Two views of history: google.cn vs. google.com

The best Slashdot comment I've read in years, from our old friend Anonymous Coward no less:

Anonymous Coward @ Slashdot: Hypocracy apparent: google.com vs google.cn (Score:5, Informative)

For those idiots who say that censored information is better than no information; consider these two views of history from Google.COM vs Google.CN.

The censorship completely changes history.
It's a powerful visual contrast. And yet, I'm one of the "idiots" to whom this comment was addressed.

I buy the Google rationalization, in this case. Some presence is better than none. Companies have to obey the laws of the anointed 'authorities' where they operate -- even when those laws are wrongheaded, arbitrary, and unjust. Corporations are rarely the proper vehicles for righteous civil disobedience.

Whether and how China will politically liberalize looks like the biggest question in worldwide welfare and US security for the next couple of decades. The opportunity is that participation of empowering services like Google could help the process occur faster and more peacefully than otherwise, even operating within restrictions. For those Chinese who are occasionally able to compare Google.CN and Google.COM results, the contrast will help demonstrate that a more open approach works well elsewhere -- so why not in China? The danger is that if Google.CN eventually becomes the largest business within Google, does the tail then wag the dog -- with CCP censorship policies flowing back into United States services, driven by their economic leverage over Google?

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