The only thing worse than dealing with corporate politics is dealing with national politics. And the only thing worse than dealing with national politics would be to deal with international politics, which is essentially dealing with a huge number of national politics, many of them dissimilar, many of them seemingly chaotic and many of them accomplishing very little. It sounds like a Marx Brothers comedy, doesn’t it?
Then we have Alfred Nobel, whose will stated that his Peace Prize be awarded to someone who “…shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” This established the bar from which a committee chooses who among a group of nominees is most worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize.
This year’s winner announced Friday, October 08, 2010 is Liu Xiaobo, who’s seen by the committee as well as by parts of the world as someone trying to advance political reform and human rights through peaceful and non-violent means. He’s also seen as a criminal by the Chinese government and their response to the announcement was swift; they denounced the award, stated it could harm relations between the two countries (Norway and China), blocked media coverage, blocked website search results of it, plus blocked the Chinese version of twitter from being able to tweet about it.
This isn’t the first time a government has systematically shut down information it didn’t like. In fact, there was a blackout of information during the observance of the Tiananmen Square massacre for several years now in China, then there was the debacle between Google and Chinese censors earlier this year. Resistance truly was futile.
Now, you’re probably wondering what any of this has to do with Trademark Productions, SEO, website building or any of the services we offer and excel in, right? Well, it makes our lives a bit more difficult for starters. China isn’t the only country to censor the web and they won’t be the last. They did, however, also block searches for a French company named Carrefour, which was a retaliatory act. Imagine what might happen if the power to block a company was influenced by local businesses fearing outside competition. Let’s take it one step further and imagine what might happen if local companies gained enough clout to start blocking other local companies on the net back here at home. No amount of SEO will save a company from internet censorship.
And maybe it seems a bit silly to think about right now. But then again, look at else has been making the news. Activists are currently trying to get legislation passed that would make it illegal for technology companies to collaborate with countries that severely censor their internet. How will those companies react? It’s probably safe to say that when faced with decreasing revenue, not well.
No. Internet censorship is definitely something to keep our eyes on in the future. Perhaps October is an appropriate month to bring this up since Halloween is coming and it sounds like a potential horror story in the making.