I guess I'd say that Google doesn't really seem like a monolith, so I wouldn't want to paint them with to broad a brush. But yeah, your sentiment is more or less what I'm thinking.
I can't help but treat the relationship as a complicated one. There seem to be other tech giants with more clearly parasitic positions. (Or maybe not).
There's no doubt that Google has done a lot of positive things for the net. They definitely have divisions which do more good than harm.
Though think about their overall position regarding their users: we are their product, and they treat us as such. Consider a few dominant things that they could easily change if they were inclined to support users:
Perhaps much of this is political, and you may disagree with the issues. It nonetheless paints a picture of people being treated as a commodity rather than as valued partners.
Even if you ignore this aspect, from a business standpoint, the company has simply grown too large. They have more control than Microsoft did when the world was against them. It could be argued they have even more control than Standard Oil did when the US wrote new laws to deal with it.
" ... they have no problem with supporting censorship in China ..."
Care to elaborate on that?
The history has it's own Wikipedia page
"Google argued that it could play a role more useful to the cause of free speech by participating in China's IT industry than by refusing to comply and being denied admission to the mainland Chinese market. "While removing search results is inconsistent with Google's mission, providing no information (or a heavily degraded user experience that amounts to no information) is more inconsistent with our mission," a statement said.
A US PBS analysis reported clear differences between results returned for controversial keywords by the censored and uncensored search engines. Google set up computer systems inside China that try to access Web sites outside the country. If a site is inaccessible (e.g., because of the Golden Shield Project), then it was added to Google China's blacklist.
In June 2006 Google co-founder Sergey Brin was quoted as saying that virtually all of Google's customers in China were using the non-censored version of their website."
-- source: your wiki link
-- It seems that most of the flak google china got was from Americans that had a problem with google trying to cooperate with the Chinese government... But in all honesty after reading the whole wiki article, it seems the Chinese government is censoring things, not google. Who knew?
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