In brief: If you've been following Google-related news lately, you've probably heard of Dragonfly, the company's controversial Chinese search engine project, which would have been heavily censored to fit the country's restrictive content laws. Following public and private backlash to the idea, Google has reportedly decided to shut Dragonfly down.
Reports began surfacing earlier this year that claimed Google was working on a version of its popular search engine for China.
On the surface, there was nothing wrong with that concept. Keeping in mind the heavily-restricted of China's internet, giving the country's citizens access to the western world's content could have been a real boon for the company, and the web itself.
However, there was a catch with Google's idea that proved pretty controversial: the Chinese version of the search engine would have been heavily censored to comply with the country's laws.
As it turns out, many Google staffers were less-than-pleased with the idea once it went public. Employees feared that by censoring the search engine, Google was compromising its core values.
Google's Chinese search engine project (also known as Dragonfly) has reportedly been shut down, and the employees that worked on it have likely been reassigned to other projects.
Whether you agree or disagree with that belief on a personal level, it seems that -- in the end -- it's the perspective that has won out within Google HQ. Google's Chinese search engine project (also known as Dragonfly) has reportedly been shut down, and the employees that worked on it have likely been reassigned to other projects.
According to reports, Google's privacy team had never been made aware of the company's Chinese-centric search engine efforts. Once they found out about the plans, they were quick to put a stop to them, if information obtained by The Intercept is anything to go by.
Apparently, the way Google was developing the engine -- essentially setting up a dummy site to scrape search information from Chinese residents -- violated the tech giant's internal policies and led to the project's closure.
Regardless of the specific reasons, the end result is the same: Dragonfly is dead for now, and it probably won't come back to life anytime soon.