What does Google have to do with abortion rights around the world? Why should search engine change with respect to the country you search from? These and many other questions come out by reading Mosum Momaya`s Is Google Violating Women's Rights?
At the time of this writing, when searching for the relevant translation of “abortion” in each of the fifteen localized Google search engines, no sponsored links appeared in any of the countries – for abortion-related services or otherwise. Incidentally, no AdWords come up either in China - a country that heavily restricts search results for many topics – Greece or South Korea. Meanwhile, AdWords featuring abortion service providers do appear in localized searches in Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK and the US.
For about an year now Google has in its policy a clause that states that will no longer "accept ads that promote abortion services in fifteen countries", among which Germany, France, Spain, China. Why should some countries differ from others by Google standards, in terms so far away from what search engine companies should be worrying about like abortion rights? And why does it seem to me that the Pope is paying the salaries of some Google Inc. decision-makers? This selective policy sounds very much like the Catholic religious freaks who decide to limit women's rights (such as abortion rights) for no sensible (nor religious) reason.
With this policy revision, it appears that Google Inc. has chosen to steer clear of controversy, avoiding any kind of related ads altogether in the fifteen specified countries. The shift in and specificity of the company’s policy indicates it is taking a stronger role in verifying and deciding what ads are placed – a move that has policy and ethical implications.
Interestingly, decisions are taken on a selective basis, by a corporation that is big and influential enough not to take childish decisions. At the same time, the AdWords freak me enough in thinking how much lack of privacy exist in gmail.com for example - by tracking each keyword of my e-mail and flooding me with ads which I haven't even asked for.
Yet another proof there is no privacy over internet, neither there is net justice, or net neutrality. Internet is everywhere, but there is a lot of controversy, one of which is the access to information, and the right to this information, as a human right.
I found an interesting example of stereotyping technology between genders in Judy Wajcman ’s book "Technofeminism". In her explanation, the typewriter keyboard remains the primary interface for connection to cyberspace. In historical context, typewriter keyboards and all the relative words were associated with the feminine: