Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, decided to defend the efforts of the company in creating a search app that is censored in China.
The project was called Dragonfly and some of the search terms the app would prevent would be human rights and student protest. It's even been said that the app could link users' phone numbers to their accounts. While this was not confirmed, it could certainly get a lot of people in trouble due to their search history.
According to Vice News, the executive mentioned that the product has not been launched yet. It's been said that this was an exploration into the market. However, this is contradictory as a leaked transcript of a meeting run by Ben Gomes reveals they wanted to launch this as soon as possible.
The censorship would be a give and take since it's been reported that the company could serve a good ninety-nine percent of search queries within the vast Chinese markets.
Vijay Boyapati, a former Google Engineer, urged employees to fight the demands of helping with products that are censored. This is something that a lot of people might find themselves doing if the product does go live.
13/ I encourage employees of Google who have been asked to work on censored products to stand up against these requests, as I did in 2006, and make it known that Google's willingness to censor is immoral.— Vijay Boyapati (@real_vijay) October 15, 2018
As with any situation, there has got to be some good and bad. The negative is that Google would basically be supporting government-run censorship and possibly, causing a lot of pain for people who use their services and act as a voice of dissidence. There's also the fact that Google is invested in many media services like YouTube and Google News, so it could raise some questions as to whether they're already censoring people on their platforms.
However, the positive is that Google would be pulling even more cash in, ultimately making investors happy. In the end, this could lead to better products being offered as more money would be available to invest in new technologies like Google's self-driving car for example.