Recent months haven’t the greatest for Google. First, MPs called the company to account over their tiny UK tax bills, and then a government committee (and Daily Mail campaign) sought to hold the search engine accountable for images of child abuse.
But Google isn’t a company that takes criticisms like these lying down, so it’s no surprise that they’ve sprung into action to address both of these concerns.
Google Invests Heavily in Child Protection
In response to Maria Miller’s claims that Google should do more to stop the spread of explicit images of children, Google have done more. Much more.
In addition to their own suite of programs designed to detect and remove illegal images, the search giant has set up a £1.3m fund to provide developers with the cash needed to create new, more efficient policing technology. They’re hoping that this will lead to an “industry-wide” database, which will allow police forces and charities to tackle child abuse head on:
We’re in the business of making information widely available, but there’s certain ‘information’ that should never be created or found. We can do a lot to ensure it’s not available online – and that when people try to share this disgusting content they are caught and prosecuted.
Jacquelline Fuller – Director, Google Giving
But while nobody can fault Google’s commitment to protecting children, there’s plenty to pick holes in when Eric Schmidt climbs on to the soapbox marked “tax.”
The Continuing Adventures of Eric Schmidt and the Tax Man
The story so far. Our dashing hero Eric Schmidt, a man with the power to put his foot into his mouth so hard he breaks his toes on his tonsils, has claimed that Google doesn’t dodge tax. And that the fact that Google paid $16m in tax in $18bn of earnings in the UK wasn’t their fault at all.
After saying all of this with a straight face, Schmidt faded into the background, never to be heard from again.
Only joking. He’s called out the G8 summit, claiming that if they’re serious about making Google pay tax at a rate of more than 0.01% , then they’d better go ahead and change the law to close all those loopholes. And that the G8 summit is the perfect place for leaders of the world’s most powerful nations to decide how much tax Google should pay.
He then called politicians hypocrites, explaining that one man’s “tax break to encourage innovation” is another man’s loophole-ridden tax haven.
Eric Schmidt, ladies and gentlemen. Peacemaker and diplomat.