Google Blogoscoped caught the behemoth red-handed:
Incredible. Google removed discovered. Here’s what it used to read:, as Gary Price
“Google does not censor results for any search term. The order and content of our results are completely automated; we do not manipulate our search results by hand. We believe strongly in allowing the democracy of the web to determine the inclusion and ranking of sites in our search results. To learn more about Google’s search technology, please visit …”
This is what the page reads now:
“Document Not Found
Sorry, the document you requested is not available. You can visit the main page.”
The document at this time was still accessible through the Google cache (I’ve made a screenshot).
Is Google’s motto of “don’t be evil” becoming a cynical relic of a doe-eyed web startup now that they’ve finally become an international megacorp? Well, public pressure and exposure may may them think twice about their responsibility to their users.
However any government inquiry is probably a really bad idea, since even for Google to be wrong doesn’t justify government intervention. After all, in a free market, some new company could come along selling services in China and knock their block off in a few years with better social policies and a more competitive product (in this case, one without censorship,
like say Yahoo! someone else?).