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4/15/2014
05:26 PM
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Google Maps Shows Crimea As Russian To Russians

Google makes Crimea part of Russia on the Russian version of Google Maps and draws protests and scrutiny.

Crimea.(Source: Wikipedia)
Crimea.
(Source: Wikipedia)

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Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
4/18/2014 | 4:28:33 PM
Re: Russian Federal Mass Media Inspection?
If I ran Google, I wouldn't have been so quick to make this change if, indeed, a change was warranted yet. It seems to have been an act to appease Russia, a much bigger market than Ukraine (with or without Crimea). As we know, the winners write history -- and in this case the "winners" have successfully lobbied to change geography. 
cumulonimbus
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cumulonimbus,
User Rank: Strategist
4/18/2014 | 3:39:52 PM
Re: Russian Federal Mass Media Inspection?

I intensely dislike what I see going on in the UK: Bedroom tax, suss laws, and an unrepresentative ruling class. I am curious though, why it should be Google that censors, and if we allow that to happen (we all oil the wheels of the machine), when do we wake up to a knock at the door or the black, antennaed van across the street?

I am not talking NRA or NSA here, just scope creep. If we want to be the ones to have military bases in 157(?) countries do we not need to to be beyond reproach, especially when it comes to such a core value as freedom of speech? I say let us be the ones to present the facts on a best efforts basis, and let the foreign governments do the censorship. People will always find a way to seek the truth, and the free world will ultimately prevail. Being censored (for political reasons) is not a doctrine I believe we should support.

I am sure the execs did have a discussion about many such topics, and that they are being cajoled by foreign "information" bureaus. I am just not on the same page (pun intended).

Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
4/18/2014 | 9:24:43 AM
Re: Russian Federal Mass Media Inspection?
It is a tricky area and Google (as well as other businesses) will be scrutinized and, as someone else said earlier, condemned no matter which path they choose. Really, I suppose it's up to Ukranians to decide, not us or an American tech company. But since Google is in the information business they need to include the most current data. No doubt Google execs spent a lot of time in making this decision, one they may have to revisit as the situation warrants. 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
4/18/2014 | 8:35:10 AM
Re: Ethics of tech use can't be left to technology companies
I'm curious, what were Google's options in China?  As far as I now Google does not have a standing army and if they want to do any kind of business in China then they have to obey the Chinese government's rules.  Not everyone shares our view of what the internet should look like.  Even the UK is filtering traffic by default now.  I think we need to be careful when comparing Google's negotiating power to any country's government negotiating power.
cumulonimbus
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cumulonimbus,
User Rank: Strategist
4/17/2014 | 2:39:58 PM
Re: Russian Federal Mass Media Inspection?
@Alison_Diana. I do not think it is just about Google, but they are a conduit for free speech, as are the other social medias outlets. The US is a relatively young country and got to learn from many of the mistakes the Old World made. In this respect Putin was wrong (at best he is contrdictary, or outright lying).

I understand that business ethics do not always align with the moral view, but I believe that if we do not collectively approach free speech responsibly, and without censorship, we jeapordize everything that the free world stands for.

I am obliged to speak for 100M souls on both sides, who lost their lives in two world wars. Were it not for their sacrifice I would probably not be here. History has shown what appeasement of a madman, who has a defamed populous rallying behiund him, can do.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
4/17/2014 | 9:28:09 AM
Re: Russian Federal Mass Media Inspection?
I totally agree with you, @cumulonimbus. The whole situation in Crimea -- all of Ukraine for that matter -- reminds me of the situation in Czechoslovakia when I was a little girl. My dad, a ham radio operator, was chatting via Morse code with a Czech as the Russian tanks rumbled into Prague. The Czech frantically transmitted news of the invasion, calling out to the world for help while Dad replied, helpless from our home in England. Suddenly, the Czech's radio broadcasts stopped, mid-transmission. It was one of the very few times I saw my father cry.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
4/17/2014 | 9:01:03 AM
Re: Ethics of tech use can't be left to technology companies
I gotta agree with SaneIT here. Google isn't the UN. It's not in the business of making calls on national sovereignty. It seems to be handling the matter about as well as it can. 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
4/17/2014 | 7:35:20 AM
Re: Ethics of tech use can't be left to technology companies
I understand that these "votes" are not what we might expect them to be or that they are anywhere near the dictionary definition of a vote but my point was that Google is not the UN or any kind of world governing body.  They don't have the authority to decide either way if a region has changed hands or not.  The best they can do is give a best guess with regard to how the future is going to turn out in a situation like this.  If they move too slowly to recognize that Crimea has left Ukraine then you've got a lot of angry Russians who are going to be out to prove a point.  If they go ahead and mark it as an independent region you've got angry/scared Ukrainians who are ready to fight.  It's not an easy issue for Google and I think a bit too much responsibility for this issue is being placed on their shoulders.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
4/16/2014 | 10:30:28 PM
Re: Ethics of tech use can't be left to technology companies
Google caved in to China, so who would expect them to stand up to Russia?
Edelwulf
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Edelwulf,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/16/2014 | 7:26:41 PM
Re: Ethics of tech use can't be left to technology companies
Thanks for mentioning voter fraud -- USA-- 2012 and 2008. Again, move on.
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