Google: Banning Books In The US Is Bad; Censorship In China, Not So Much

Google's blogging (and here) about how it is supporting the 25th anniversary of the American Library Association's Banned Book Week by posting information about novels that have been challenged or banned from being in libraries within the United States. That's great, but it also rings hollow given Google's support of wide-spread censorship in China.

Consider some of the quotes the ALA has put out to promote its anti-banning campaign:

"Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment."Library Bill of Rights

"We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources." ALA Code of Ethics

Google's a library resource, make no doubt about it. Pick a librarian, and they'll tell you Google is a key resource they use. Not the only resource, but an important one -- and one that I doubt they feel should be censored to the degree that Google does in China.

Back to Google's support of Banned Book Week, its new Explore Banned Books page has links to information about 42 classic books that have been banned or challenged over time. Here's a recent article on banned books in China.

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Danny Sullivan was the founder and editor of Search Engine Watch from June 1997 until November 2006.

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