On this edition of Middle Theory, we look at Google’s decision to bring its search engine services to China with its “Dragonfly” project, and the broader history of censorship in the East.
Micah is fresh back from the Southeast this week, where he spent several days moving from location to location while trying to outrun Hurricane Michael. Upon returning, we begin our survey of news and events by looking at backlash from anarchists in New York after a Republican club scheduled an appearance by Gavin McInnes, a cofounder of VICE who has emerged as a controversial figure after espousing conservative views.
However, the big story we look at this week is the decision by Google to bring its search engine services to China, in an operation the country is calling “Dragonfly.” Google has managed to arouse controversy with the decision, after stating that it agrees to comply with the country’s regulations pertaining to censorship of certain terms. Among these are “Nobel Prize” and “student protest,” a pair of terms that are intimately linked with the history of authoritarianism and censorship in communist China. We examine the history of this association, as well as what it means for the future of the country and Google’s operations there.
A special thank you to those who donated to the podcast this week:
- Rune Erickson
- Erica Keijzer
- Peter Yarnold
- Mark Stephan
- Cathy Quast
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Finally, here are links to stories addressed on this week’s program:
- ANARCHY IN THE USA: Republicans work to recast Democratic protests as out-of-control anarchy
- NYT: Republican Club Vandalized Before Visit by Right-Wing Provocateur
- FACE (RECOGNITION) BOOK: Russian Firms ‘Scraped’ Data, Some for Facial Recognition
- Facebook says hackers saw personal info of 14 million people
- Twitter Under Formal Investigation for How It Tracks Users in the GDPR Era
- MID: CENSORSHIP IN CHINA
- Why Google’s censored Chinese search engine is an ethical minefield
- Google CEO tells Senators that censored Chinese search engine could provide “broad benefits”
- Liu Xiaobo, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dies in Chinese Hospital
- Tank Man: The amazing story behind Tiananmen Square’s most iconic photo