Update September 19 Baidu have issued a clarifying statement concerning the doodle:
“The vast majority of Baidu’s users, as well as our employees, are of a mind on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands. But the real purpose of the logo and the microsite was to encourage people to be rational in their expressions of patriotism, to renounce violence and other forms of extremism. The way we see it, planting a digital flag to express your feelings on the Diaoyu Islands is a far better alternative to throwing rocks or smashing cars.”
Amidst all the kerfuffle the doodle appears to have been taken down!
It may have been brought to your attention that there is a little spat going on between China and Japan disputing the ownership of the Senkaku (the Japanese name) / Diaoyu (Chinese name) islands. From our limited reading Japan’s got them and China wants them. Taiwan is also in the vicinity – there may be oil involved!
Baidu the Chinese search engine have incorporated a little doodle on their site which got us wondering about the extent to which, search engines and other, sort of, public service sites get involved / react to certain issues.
The Sopa (Stop Online Piracy Act) lobbying in the US certainly made Google & Wikipedia highlight the issue.
Google also on occasion, mainly internationally, has doodled election days, but clearly in a non partisan way.
There’s something quite Orwellian about the concept of global service websites supporting nationalistic/ethnical causes!
Perhaps the newly formed Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition), which sadly doesn’t appear to yet have an international remit, might like to get involved. We like the concept and the “i” element of their name! Certainly a global trade association supporting “…. those who build the nuts and bolts of the Internet” would, in our opinion be most welcome.
Worth a look. Here’s their inaugural video.