Mr Geddes in cracking form as normal in OPINION://Did you see this? : well worth a good read and re-read. He points out that not only is technology great for making money but it’s great for forming opinions as well and that many of us take this democratisation of opinion forming for granted.
A good deal of Western governments and companies have twigged that market opinion is important, and that showing a good face to consumers is important and that actually doing the right thing is a good deal more profitable than not because of this. This was less so fifty years ago when it was easier for governments and companies to wave their hands Jedi-mind-trick-style, “Move right along there. There’s nothing to see”. A well-informed public is a dangerous thing. Nowadays the information comes thick and fast and as a famous law tells us “90% of everything is crud”. The only way to make sure that the 10% that isn’t gets through is to allow just about anything through.
So, getting different results on www.google.com from those on www.google.cn, or Verizon forbidding criticism using their own network (link is to great blog about Terms of Service for one Verizon service. The actual ToS seem to have been taken down) is initially a shock, but it’s the thin end of the wedge. Censorship is a sin of omission that constrains the natural political power of the network. Unless we all act, it’s going to become the norm, which would be a crying shame.
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