Preston Gralla

Google kowtows to Thai censorship

May 13, 2007 7:12 PM EDT
Google, already kowtowing to the Chinese by censoring its search results in China, has now given in to the Thai government, which demanded that it pull videos from YouTube that the government said insulted the king.

Previously, Google said it wouldn't give in to the demands. But now it's agreed to pull the videos. Google won't say why they've done it, but you can be sure money is at the root of it. Thailand has blocked all of YouTube, and my guess is that Google doesn't like losing the revenue.

The videos in question are exceedingly mild by Western standards, but they mock the king in a variety of ways --- and mocking the king is a jailable offense in Thailand.

As Mel Brooks says, it's good to be the king. You can even get the multi-billion dollar Google to bow down to you.

With this action, Google has given up any pretense of believing in the openness of the Internet. When money is involved, Google can grovel with the best of them.