Google’s Vision and Responsibility
In its company description, Google defines its goal as the following: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, through services that can “[…] improve the lives of as many people as possible” (Google n.y., emphasis added). According to this description, Google aims at universality rather than marginalisation. This assumption can also be made from its slogan: “Not just for some. For Everyone.”(ebd.). In a letter penned by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 2004, they claim to “[…] provide unbiased, accurate and free access to information for those who rely on [them] around the world” (Page, Brin 2004, emphasis added), in order to add to “a well functioning society” (ebd.) and “make the world a better place”. In the same document, it is stated that “Google [...] has a responsibility to the world” (Page, Brin 2004).
Google, as part of the Global Network Initiative (GNI) is furthermore dedicated to an upholding of international human rights standards, and in specific that "[i]f national laws, regulations and policies do not conform to international standards, ICT companies should avoid, minimize, or otherwise address the adverse impact of government demands, laws, or regulations, and seek ways to honor the principles of internationally recognized human rights to the greatest extent possible" (GNI n.y., emphasis added). By completely adapting the Israeli government narrative, Google contradicts not only the dedication to internationally recognized legal frameworks, but furthermore this guiding principle of GNI.
Google and its services have become essential to everyday life across the globe. As it provides these services, claims neutrality even though it has adopted a highly political stance. Google openly acknowledges its responsibility to its customers, stakeholders, and the world at large, yet Palestinians seem to have been left out of this pledge. This discrimination against Palestinians is a clear contradiction of the values Google claims to have, and its unwillingness to provide a true account of the reality in Palestine reflects Google’s bias in favour of advancing the Israeli government’s agenda vis-a-vis Palestine.