Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Iran Doesn't Get It

While I was reading over the news this morning I came across this piece about how Iran is unhappy with Google. You might wonder, why would Iran be unhappy with Google. Is it helping faithful Muslims find blasphemous texts, or those cartoons of Muhammad.

No, they're hosting someones video on Google Video. And the video gets some geography mixed up, and says that the city Tabriz which is part of Iran is part of Azerbaijan. Looking at the summaries at Google Video, the video is a bit biased, but Iran is complaining about the wrong people.

Google did not make the video, did not endorse the video, did not fact check the video, or do anything other than let the video's makers express themselves. Don't go shooting the messenger.

I also don't think Iran should be as upset about this as it is. The city in question is quite close to the border with Azerbaijan, has a large population that speaks Azeri, was historically part of Azerbaijan (and they even call it Eastern Azerbaijan). Perhaps the video makers were just trying to make a point, albeit in a tactless way.

Add in the free speech aspect of this and Iran doesn't really have a leg to stand on on this issue. They can complain (freedom of speech cuts both ways), but they shouldn't expect to get anything changed.

End Post
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