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A Chinese flag outside the Google China headquarters in Beijing, 2010 A Chinese flag outside the Google China headquarters in Beijing, March 25, 2010 (AP photo by Gemunu Amarasinghe).

Social Media, Inc.: The Global Politics of Big Data

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Editor’s note: The following article is one of 30 that we’ve selected from our archives to celebrate World Politics Review’s 15th anniversary. You can find the full collection here.

In June 2012, Google’s acrimonious relationship with the People’s Republic of China took a couple of new turns. In order to assist Chinese users to access information freely from behind the controls of the Great Firewall of China, Google created a unique feature for its popular search engine: When users attempt to search for banned keywords, Google warns them that this might cause their Google connection to be interrupted and suggests alternative spellings and phrasings that would ensure they can access the desired content. In effect, Google’s search engine now facilitates the circumvention of China’s censorship of the Internet. ...

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