From Google vs. Facebook: Should Human Rights Factor in Your Choice of Social Network? on Huffington Post
Google Plus, which launched in beta last week, has been Topic One among the “digerati,” who’ve spent much of the week kicking the tires of Facebook’s new competitor and reporting back to followers and friends.
But Luna, a masters student at Harvard Divinity School, looked at the competing services through a different lens.
He wrote that he’s come to trust Google more because of its refusal to buckle to Chinese censors:
Google is currently in a power war with China, and Google has made the correct choice in its difficult decision between compromising with a totalitarian government that would exert every pressure possible, legal and illegal, to use the information that we trust to Google to continue its campaign against freedom and dissidence.
I thought I was cutting-edge awesome when I got a Google+ invitation (Thanks, Scep!) but when I signed up, I saw that my hipper, smarter friends were all already there. At least I got invited fast enough that the Huffington Post is classing me digerati, but seriously, it turns out that all my friends are more awesome than I am.
So far, I’m enjoying Google+, making a profile and sorting my friends into circles of game devs, tech columnists, China expats, Friends Who Could Have My Kidney, Friends Who Post Too Bloody Much And Need To Be Moderated, and so forth. I like that my Google homepage has now +Meg in the top corner. (I’m flattered when friends ask me what the G+ etiquette for a share or a circle add is, but that’s not how I do my tech etiquette posts. You do things, and then I comment on them. Silly.)
But I don’t know if it’s going to replace Facebook and Twitter and my new love, Tumblr, and my toy on the side, Bnter with it’s Google awesomeness. I’m not totally sure that G+ is a direct Face
I’ve been on Team Facebook forever. In 2007, I blogged about how much I loved Facebook and how it could kick MySpace’s ass. Reading it now makes my head spin from how brilliant and insightful I am — Oregon Trail and Facebook are perfect together! — and how dead wrong I am — Signing up with Spokeo is smart! Chinese-American social network Gaah is totally going to take off! — in such rapid succession.
Rereading old, potentially embarrassing content is one of the perils of having a blog. What we share online can come back to haunt us. My public diary here has been an absolute joy to me for, man, over eight years now, but that doesn’t mean that there are no consequences to sharing our lives online.
My blog, at last check, is still blocked in China. Now that I’m back in the US, and I don’t have to proxy around the Great Firewall to post on my blog, I feel like a hard-hitting journalist. I’m so edgy, I’m banned! (Of course, while in China, blogging by proxy was just like tepid showers or my constant low-level hunger for cold skim milk, a shruggable minor annoyance.)
I was pretty impressed with Google’s refusal to censor their search results within the Middle Kingdom, and with Google’s defense of the privacy of activists and dissidents using GMail, even after they were seriously pressured by the Chinese government to get in line. It took serious balls to make and stick to those statements. (Oh, man, I said “balls” and “Chinese government” in the same paragraph! I’m blocked for sure now! Sorry, three readers in Yantai!)
For Luna, the choice is obvious: “I’d like to see Google win this war [with Facebook], and I know who’s side I’m on here. I kind of think that leaving Facebook is one way that we can participate…”
I don’t think I’d advocate leaving Facebook as an anti-censorship, pro-privacy statement, and I’m not entirely sure that I agree with the common assumption that G+ is Facebook’s head-to-head competitor. But I do think we should consider the lasting impact of what we share when we choose to post or fill out a profile, and we should entrust that to someone we feel good about.
Quoted text via Google vs. Facebook: Should Human Rights Factor in Your Choice of Social Network? on Huffington Post