Recently Google once again faced the issue of free expression and controversial content on the web. It’s a tightrope to walk for certain authoritative states, but nonetheless, they threw the gauntlet down.
“We believe the answer to bad speech is more speech,” Eric Schmidt, exec chairman of Google told reporters in Seoul this week. He was referencing the video uploaded to YouTube depicting the Prophet Muhammad in ways that offended some Muslims. He announced YouTube won’t remove it. Period. They had previously blocked viewing of the clip in countries including India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Singapore according to BLOOMBERG.
An official letter went up on the Google Site:
“Our world would be a very boring place if we all agreed all the time. So while people may strongly disagree with what someone says, or think that a particular newspaper article is total nonsense, we recognize that each of us have the right to an opinion. We also know that letting people express their views freely has real practical benefits. Allowing individuals to voice unpopular, inconvenient or controversial opinions is important. Not only might they be right (think Galileo) but debating difficult issues in the open often helps people come to better decisions.” (Written by Rachel Whetstone, Director of Global Communications and Public Affairs, EMEA)
“We are driven by a belief that more information generally means more choice, more freedom and ultimately more power for the individual.” She ends with “After all, the right to disagree is a sign of a healthy society.”
Read the whole official statement on Google’s Site