You are the head of Google and a country you operate in insists you obey its propaganda ministry and filter out certain terms and topics. What do you do and why?
I think it is largely dependent on the country and specific circumstances, but I would first try to understand the rationale behind the demands. For example, is it pornography that is filtered? If this is the case, or if it’s something that falls in line with our company mission and values, I think we may be able to work out something.
As the head of Google, I would have a team of decision makers to assist me and would discuss the issue with them to reach a final consensus. While we would like to be in every country and grow our market, I don’t think it would be detrimental if we were unable to. As Roberts discussed in “Banned in China”, the NYT and Bloomberg News are actually seen as respected in China for not submitting to the censorship demands of the state.
While I mentioned values, a lot of times it comes down to the bottom line. Will this hurt our companies image? How much of an impact are we having there? Will we lose support from other sources of revenue by staying within the country?
Again, there are several factors to consider, and I am thankful to have a team of great decision makers to assist me!