By now, just about everyone has read about Google’s big anti-censorship push in China and throughout the rest of the world.

Net censorship is a huge deal. Not just for citizens of the free world, but for the less fortunate living under authoritarian regimes and dictatorships it means the difference between freedom and tyranny. Being able to share differing views and opinions is a basic human right that just about every civilized nation can agree on.

Governments should be transparent and honest, because it is the governments job to protect and serve it’s people. If it weren’t for its citizens, a government would have no reason to exist. And just like the government, without your customers your business would have no reason to exist.

I don’t think it’s a huge jump to compare your business’ brand perception with the perception of the most powerful businesses in the land.

Having an open, transparent facade is not only important for governments, but it can be immensely important for your business as well. This can be especially true for firms that acquire more influence and power as they grow.

Being a rights junkie and free speech advocate to the max, one of the things that bugs me to no end is when a business gets upset at bad reviews or negative criticism and tries to delete those reviews or criticism from it’s blog, Facebook page, review site, etc.

It’s completely dishonest and misleading. Normally, it causes a bigger stir and free press for the reviewers, which only  makes it worse for yourself.

Recently, Nestle Foods created a huge fiasco by deleting negative comments on their Facebook page. In the end, they ended up making themselves look bad and only helped Green Peace get some free press, which is exactly what they were trying to avoid. Read the CNET article here.

Any rational person knows that a business won’t be right 100% of the time. The question you need to answer is, “How do you handle it now,” and “What do I do to fix this?” The correct answer is not covering up the problem and pretending like it never happened.

For most businesses, the answer is finding out what you did wrong, then fixing it so that it never happens again. Negative feedback from customers can be crucial when finding problems in your business model.

What are your thoughts on government censorship?