Baidu Employees Caught Deleting Posts
August 28, 2012
Oh, my. Objective information has just taken a new turn on its winding path. TechWorld reports, “Baidu Workers ‘Found to be Deleting Posts for Cash’.” Apparently, the practice of illegally deleting controversial or negative posts for pay is common in China, where Baidu is the dominant Web search engine. Writer Sophie Curtis reports:
“Chinese search giant Baidu has fired four employees after it emerged that they may have accepted bribes to delete posts from its website.
“Three of the former employees have also been arrested for accepting cash to delete forum posts. Baidu’s spokeswoman Betty Tian told BBC News that the sums involved amounted to ‘tens of thousands of yuan’ (thousands of pounds).”
Baidu asserts that they have always taken a firm hand with such behavior, promptly reporting it to authorities. This breech has been discovered less than a year after the search firm pledged to ramp up self-regulation efforts. Baidu, along with 38 other top Chinese IT firms, made that pledge in response to government pressure; China is determined to control the evolution of the Internet within its borders.
Baidu, founded in 2000 and headquartered in Beijing, is by far the largest Chinese-language search engine. It also boasts of hosting the largest blog system in China, Baidu Space. Their name, which literally means “hundreds of times,” comes from a poem written during the Song Dynasty describing the persistent search for the ideal within chaos. An apt name for a Web search engine, I think.
Cynthia Murrell, August 28, 2012