LONDON (Reuters) – British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt accused Google (GOOGL.O) on Thursday of abandoning its moral values by failing to remove child abuse content while launching a version of its search engine in China that will block some websites.
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Alphabet Inc’s Google outside its office in Beijing, China August 8, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo
The British government has repeatedly criticized online platforms such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook for failing to remove abusive material or sexual content posted online even after they were notified.
“Seems extraordinary that Google is considering censoring its content to get into China but won’t cooperate with UK, US … in removing child abuse content,” Hunt said on Twitter. “They used to be so proud of being values-driven.”
Alphabet’s Google plans a search engine in China that will block some search terms and websites, two sources told Reuters earlier this month, in a move that could mark its return to a market it abandoned eight years ago on censorship concerns.
Google said in a statement they agreed with Hunt that child sexual abuse was “abhorrent and must be removed, that’s why we co-operate with governments to fight child sexual abuse online”.
Britain, the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand invited major technology companies to attend a meeting on tackling child abuse and extremism on their websites, but the firms declined to attend, the Daily Mail reported on Thursday.
Google said they did offer to send an executive to the conference.
In January, Prime Minister Theresa May used…