Google has often been at odds with the Chinese government due to the country's strict censorship laws. The tech giant even closed down its search engine in China back in 2010, refusing to submit to "The Great Firewall of China".
This is why the recent news of Google reportedly developing a censored version of its search engine for the country was considered an unexpected move. Unsurprisingly, the decision was not too popular internally as well, leading to about 1,400 of the company's employees signing a letter protesting the moral and ethical issues raised by the project - codenamed 'Dragonfly'.
However, according to a recent survey conducted by TeamBlind, it seems that the majority of Google employees might actually hold a different opinion with regard to this subject. Of the 472 employees who took part in the survey, 65.25% said that they are content with their company offering a censored search engine in China.
The survey ran from August 7 through August 15, and garnered responses from 7,369 Blind app users. Quite interestingly, the results of the poll indicate the exact opposite sentiment among general users; from the total participants, 64.27% answered "No" to the question "Should Google provide a censored search engine in China?".
The image below provides a graphical comparison of Google employees' response versus the general response.
In April, Google employees voiced their displeasure at the company's work for the Pentagon's drone program. The backlash eventually led to the tech giant letting its government contract expire without renewal. This makes the results of this survey quite interesting, as it indicates that the company is willing to undergo changes on certain issues if a number of its employees are discontent.
It should be noted that with Google's total workforce numbering over 85,000, a mere 472 aren't enough to provide a clear picture of the general sentiment regarding Project Dragonfly. The poll does, however, show the conflict in opinion among the firm's employees over this sensitive issue, and makes upcoming developments on this project all the more compelling.