Google flops in ethical ranking due to China web censorship

Google has failed to make the top ten of most ethical technology firms during 2008, largely because of its compliance to China's web censorship, according to the latest Covalence Ethical Ranking survey.

The internet giant was ranked 12th among the 36 multinational technology firms included in the study, and 64th out of a total of 541 firms, spanning 18 sectors.

Google's ranking, despite its "do no evil" motto, was influenced by its bowing to China's web censorship rules, which meant it performed poorly in three criteria -- human rights policy, information to consumers and support to politicians.

Most of the criticisms regarding Google and web censorship in China came from the US, the UK, France and Germany.

Since setting up a censored Chinese language search engine in 2005, Google has been under intense criticism for seemingly advocating internet censorship by complying with the Chinese government's demands on preventing searches on a host of subjects, including Tiananmen Square, Tibet, democracy, and Falun Gong.

On the more positive side, Google performed well on several criteria, including eco-innovative product, product social utility, social sponsorship, socially innovative product and United Nations policy.

The internet firm was outdone by Intel, which was ranked first among the technology firms, followed by Xerox, Dell, IBM, Ericsson, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Cisco Systems, Nokia and Canon.

This was the first year Google was included in the Covalence Ethical Ranking, which was enlarged to cover over 541 firms in 2008.

Geneva-based Covalence measures the ethical performance of multinational firms as it is perceived and communicated by society.

It uses a system called EthicalQuote, which integrates thousands of documents found among media, enterprise, NGOs and other sources. The data from these documents is coded, quantified and synthesized into curves and volumes, creating the rank.

The rank is based on 45 criteria in total, which are classified into four groups -- working conditions, impact of production, impact of product, and institutional impact.

Covalence Ethical Ranking 2008 for the Technology sector:

1. Intel Corp

2. Xerox

3. Dell Computer

4. IBM

5. Ericsson

6. Sun Microsystems

7. Hewlett-Packard

8. Motorola

9. Cisco Systems

10. Nokia Corp

11. Canon Inc

12. Google

13. Microsoft

14. Alcatel-Lucent

15. Ricoh Co Ltd

16. Applied Materials

17. SAP

18. NEC

19. Texas Instruments

20. Oracle

21. Fujitsu Ltd

22. Fujifilm Corporation

23. STMicroelectronics

24. Corning Inc

25. Rohm Co Ltd

26. EMC Corp

27. Xilinx Inc

28. Apple Computer Inc

29. Analog Devices

30. Qualcomm Inc

31. Taiwan Semiconductor

32. Nortel Networks

33. Samsung Electronics

34. Hon Hai Precision Industry

35. Yahoo!

36. Electronic Data Systems

print this article

Return to marketing news headlines
View Marketing News Archive

Share with: