Google’s geopolitics

Google Video is under attack by the Iranian government for posting a user’s video that challenges the country’s territorial integrity. The video says that Azeri provincial capital Tabriz is “in southern Azerbaijan, currently in the territory of Iran,” the Guardian reports. Both the region and the city, however, have been part of Iran for more ...

606150_projects_google-persian.thumbnail5.jpg
606150_projects_google-persian.thumbnail5.jpg

Google Video is under attack by the Iranian government for posting a user's video that challenges the country's territorial integrity. The video says that Azeri provincial capital Tabriz is "in southern Azerbaijan, currently in the territory of Iran," the Guardian reports. Both the region and the city, however, have been part of Iran for more than 4,000 years.

Among the heaviest reactors: Iranian MP Valiallah Azarvash, who said: "An Iranian never accepts such slights. Since the second millennium BC, eastern Azerbaijan and Tabriz have never been separated from the body of Iran. How can they now belong somewhere else?" The Ministry of Information Technology has encouraged Iranians to bombard Google with emails of complaint.

The posting was likely permitted because it doesn't violate Google Video's content policy. However, it will be interesting to see how the company responds. Google already censors politically-radioactive material on its Chinese search engine to ensure it reaches the 111 million users in the Middle Kingdom. Will Google stock holders' ambitions for (personal) enrichment demand that they censor Farsi-language searches too?

Google Video is under attack by the Iranian government for posting a user’s video that challenges the country’s territorial integrity. The video says that Azeri provincial capital Tabriz is “in southern Azerbaijan, currently in the territory of Iran,” the Guardian reports. Both the region and the city, however, have been part of Iran for more than 4,000 years.

Among the heaviest reactors: Iranian MP Valiallah Azarvash, who said: “An Iranian never accepts such slights. Since the second millennium BC, eastern Azerbaijan and Tabriz have never been separated from the body of Iran. How can they now belong somewhere else?” The Ministry of Information Technology has encouraged Iranians to bombard Google with emails of complaint.

The posting was likely permitted because it doesn’t violate Google Video’s content policy. However, it will be interesting to see how the company responds. Google already censors politically-radioactive material on its Chinese search engine to ensure it reaches the 111 million users in the Middle Kingdom. Will Google stock holders’ ambitions for (personal) enrichment demand that they censor Farsi-language searches too?

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