It's one thing to be a celebrity and endorse a political candidate. It's another when you're supposedly a spokesperson for a company that purports to be unbiased -- and yet, you clearly and openly endorse a candidate. Over at Search Engine Watch, forum member Discovery has a problem with one of the recent "infomercial" endorsements that Barack Obama created to further his presidential campaign. In the infomercial, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, announces that he stands behind Obama. Naturally, Discovery has a problem with this because Eric Schmidt's "fame" comes from being affiliated with a clearly unbiased search engine (unless Google really is biased against results -- but I find that hard to believe), and since Schmidt is currently in so deep with Google, some feel that it's completely unethical for the company's CEO to say that he approves of Obama.
From Schmidt's endorsement (which was thought out and likely even practiced), Discovery makes the assessment that Google stands by Obama:
Google told me: We are Democrats, we support Barack Obama.
If the "unbiased" Google associates itself with a particular political party, it paints suspicious picture. How many people can trust Google as an actual technological innovation if its CEO cannot keep his distance from political endorsements? Further, did we not forget that Google has a huge digital footprint on us -- that Google knows our emails, searches, and we are entrusting the search engine with a lot of private information that we would not give to just anyone?
What makes Eric Schmidt different? He's the company's CEO; he has access to all of this information. Discovery says that this is much worse than Martha Stewart's or Donald Trump's individual endorsement as those celebrities don't have intricate details about our lives like Google does. Schmidt has treaded very dangerous waters.
This isn't about whether Google endorsed Obama or McCain, but I'm sure many people have a problem with the CEO of Google making that endorsement -- it blurs the line and perspective of the company.
How many of you think it was appropriate for Google to step into the political endorsement arena? Take the poll.
Forum discussion continues at Search Engine Watch Forums.