Online games

As the Google bohemouth grows – and the company now claims to be highly concerned about ever-growing net censorship around the world… because it will affect advertising revenue… – the company’s real face is… revealed to be… like any other multinational:

Either Lauren Turner or her employer, Google, doesn’t much like Michael Moore’s latest work. But just whose anti-Moore review readers found in an official Google blog last Friday wasn’t quite clear.

“Moore attacks health insurers, health providers and pharmaceutical companies by connecting them to isolated and emotional stories of the system at its worst,” read Turner’s entry in Google’s Health Advertising blog, a new project launched last month and aimed at health care companies. “Moore’s film portrays the industry as money and marketing driven, and fails to show health care’s interest in patient well-being and care.”

Turner’s blog entry, titled “Does negative press make you Sicko?,” went on to suggest that health care companies invest in Google ads to combat the movie’s criticisms of the industry.

In response, the blogosphere erupted with attacks on Google for pandering to the insurance industry. Turner answered with another entry on Google’s blog, explaining that the original posting had been merely her opinion, not the official Google stance. “Some readers thought the opinion I expressed about the movie Sicko was actually Google’s opinion,” she wrote. “It’s easy to understand why it might have seemed that way, because after all, this is a corporate blog. So that was my mistake–I understand why it caused some confusion.”

The incident does more than call attention to Google’s ever-cozier relationships with corporate advertisers as it deepens its role as an online advertising agency: It also highlights Google’s unorthodox use of bloggers to communicate with the public. Google has long used blogs as a casual form of public relations, both on its official sites and on the personal sites of its employees, sometimes blurring the line between the two.

In China, the government implements highly sophisticated methods to censor the web (and other information) but… the reality of online life here is complex (these articles provide a… small… glimpse.)… But think about this: China has around 16 million bloggers… (and possibly up to 37 million blogs.)

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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