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New Seventh Edition
Provided by Dr. Jill Fuson & Dr. Doris Blanton, American Public University System (April, 2020). Information
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 7th ed., S.L., American Psychological Assoc, 2019
***In-text citation: (Publication Manual Of The American Psychological Association.)
APA 7th ed. Guidelines
The Publication Manual of the American
Psychological Association has recently
updated the widely referenced Manual to a
Seventh Edition. Updated for simplified,
condensed material while retaining and
strengthening the basic rules of APA.
American Public University
Page 1
APA 7th ed. Guidelines
APA 7th ed. Guidelines
In today’s fast growing technological world, new inventions have altered the manner in which we gather
report and perform scientific research. Thus, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological
Association updated the widely referenced Manual to a Seventh Edition, which simplifies, condenses,
and meets the needs of users in mind. This edition promotes accessibility for everyone, including Web
Content Accessibility Guidelines while also concentrating on the Basic Elements of APA writing.
October 2019, the American Psychological Association released its seventh edition of the Publication
Manual of the American Psychological Association, with modifications to APA Style writing, sources, &
As you continue your higher education, you are faced with different writing styles. This reference guide
will concentrate on the basic principles of APA style as it applies to writing term (research) papers and
essays. This reference guide will provide helpful tips and suggestions to assist in producing a scholarly
term paper or essay using APA formatting and style guidelines.

Citing online material

Use of inclusive & bias-free language

References & in-text citations are easier and clearer

APA diversity for paper guidelines professionally or academically created

Better explained guidelines for mechanics
Page 2
APA 7th ed. Guidelines
Date published October 11, 2019 by Raimo Streefkerk. Date updated: November 5, 2019
In October 2019, the American Psychological Association (APA) introduced the 7th edition of the APA
Publication Manual, which replaces the 6th edition published in 2009.
In that time a lot of things have changed. Citing online material has become more common
• the use of inclusive
• bias-free language is increasingly important
• technology used by researchers and students has changed
The 7th edition addresses these changes by providing better and more extensive guidelines. This
article outlines the biggest changes that you should know about.

When it comes to citing sources, more guidelines have been added that make citing online
sources easier and clearer.
In total, 114 examples are provided, ranging from books and periodicals to audiovisuals and
social media. For each reference category an easy template is provided that helps you to
understand and apply the citation guidelines. The biggest changes in the 7th edition are:
1. The publisher location is no longer included in the reference. Instead of “New York, NY:
McGraw-Hill” it’s just “McGraw-Hill.” (9.29)
2. The in-text citation for works with three or more authors is now shortened right from the first
citation. You only include the first author’s name and “et al.”. (8.17)
3. Surnames and initials for up to 20 authors (instead of 7) should be provided in the reference list.
4. DOIs are formatted as urls ( The label “DOI:” is no longer necessary. (DOI)
5. URLs are embedded directly in the reference, without being preceded by “Retrieved from,”
unless a retrieval date is needed.
6. For ebooks, the format, platform, or device (e.g. Kindle) is no longer included in the reference.
7. Clear guidelines are provided for including contributors that are not an author or editor. For
example, when citing a podcast episode, the host of the episode should be included; for a TV
series episode, the writer and director of that episode are cited. (Table 10.15)
8. Dozens of examples are included for online source types such as podcast episodes, social
media posts, and YouTube videos. Also, the use of emojis and hashtags is explained. (Table
Writing inclusively and without bias is the new standard, and APA’s new publication manual contains a
separate chapter on this topic.
Page 3
APA 7th ed. Guidelines
The guidelines provided by APA help authors to reduce bias around topics such as gender, age,
disability, racial and ethnic identity, and sexual orientation, as well as being sensitive to labels. Some
examples are:
9. The singular “they” or “their” is endorsed as a gender-neutral pronoun.
10. Descriptive phrases such as “people living in poverty” are preferred over adjectives as nouns to
label people (e.g., “the poor”).
11. Instead of broad categories (e.g., over 65 years old), you should use exact age ranges (e.g., 6575) that are more relevant and specific.
In the 7th edition, APA decided to provide different paper format guidelines for professional and student
papers. For both types a sample paper is included. Some notable changes include:
12. Increased flexibility regarding fonts: options include Calibri 11, Arial 11, Lucida Sans Unicode
10, Times New Roman 12, and Georgia 11. (2.19)
13. The running head on the title page no longer includes the words “Running head:”. It now
contains only a page number and the (shortened) paper title. (2.2-Sample)
14. The running head is omitted in student papers (unless your instructor tells you otherwise).
15. Heading levels 3-5 are updated to improve readability. (Table 2.3)
In terms of style, not much has changed in the 7th edition. In addition to some updated and better
explained guidelines, there are two notable changes:
16. Use only one space after a period at the end of a sentence. (6.1)
17. Use double quotation marks to refer to linguistic examples (e.g. APA endorses the use of the
singular pronoun “they”) instead of italics. (6.22-6.23)
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APA 7th ed. Guidelines
APA (Seventh Edition) provides a foundation for effective scholarly communication, helping authors
present ideas clearly, concisely, and in an organization manner. Uniformity and consistency enable
writers and readers to:
a) Focus on ideas being presented vs. formatting
b) Scan works quickly for key points, findings, sources
APA style guidelines encourage writers to disclose essential information allowing readers to dispense
with minor distractions i.e.
Inconsistencies or omissions in punctuation
Reference citations
Presentation of statistics (p. xvii)
APA 7th ed. broadened its audience of consultants of not only by psychologists but also students and
researchers in many fields such as business, education, social work, nursing and many other
behavioral and social sciences. The scope and length of the APA manual has grown in the response to
the needs of researchers, students, and educators across disciplines.
Student papers, narrative essays, literature review, usually include:

The cover page or title page (Sections 2.3-2.6)

Text of the paper (Section 2.11)

Reference page (Section 2.12)

Page numbers (Section 2.18)
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APA 7th ed. Guidelines
APA Manuscript elements of the title page:
***For Student Papers there is no requirement
for a Running head in the header.
Page number in the header flush right
Title of the paper in bold
Added space
Student/Author name
Course #
Due date
The Seventh Edition has revised the Title Page to consist of seven elements: page number, paper title,
author, affiliation, Course, Instructor, Due date (2.2 – Sample Student Title Page).
1. Title (in title case 6.17) bold, centered, and positioned in the upper half of the title page, 3-4
lines down from top margin (2.4) added space for the next element is not required
2. Author name first name, middle initial, last name. No titles or degrees are used (Dr. or Ph.D.)
3. Under the author’s name is the institutional affiliation – American Public University (2.6)
4. Next is the Course number – Course name
5. Instructor name
6. Due date (month date year)
7. Page numbers (2.18)
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APA 7th ed. Guidelines

1” margins all the way around
All text double-spaced
Every new sentence 1 tab indent
(0.5 inches)
Format, the text should start on a new page after the title page and after the title of the paper in title
case, bold, and centered.
The text left-aligned, double-spaced paragraphs, the first line of each paragraph indented by one tab
key (0.5 in.; Section 2.23-2.24). Use headings as needed to separate sections and reflect the
organizational structure of content (Section 2.26-2.27). Do not start a new page or add extra line
breaks when a new heading occurs; each section of the text should follow the next without a break.

(2.3) Title page: Use APA format (see example above)

(2.4) Title: Name your paper. The title can “hook” your readers. The title should summarize the
main idea of the paper

(2.11) Introductory Paragraph: Should summarize the prose of the assignment, introducing
the topic. Pretend the reader has no idea of the topic the paper, concisely elaborate on the
topic. The thesis statement is often the last sentence of the first paragraph, generally a segue
sentence to the body/sub-header (if used) essay

(2.26) Principles of Organization: The key to writing sound, organized, scholarly structured is
to be clear, precise and logical. Headings in a paper identify the purpose
and aid the reader’s ability to become familiar with the essays content – allows for easier found
information sought.

(2.27) Heading Levels: The first paragraphs of the paper are understood to be introductory, the
heading “Introduction” is not needed. Do not begin a paper with an “Introduction” heading

(4.06) Sentence & Paragraph Length: Discuss topic. The number of paragraphs will depend
on the length and complexity of your paper. There is not minimum or maximum sentence length
in APA Style. Overuse of too short or too long sentences results in incomprehensible. Single
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APA 7th ed. Guidelines
sentence paragraphs are abrupt and used infrequently. A new paragraph signals a shift to a
new idea.
There are specific guidelines when writing an APA style paper.

Center the title at the top of page two. The title is written in title case (6.17)
Double space entire paper (2.21)
Use 1 inch margins (2.22)
Text is left aligned (2.23)
APA Style paper should be written in a font accessible to all users.
o Use the same font throughout the paper (2.19)
▪ Suggested options
• 11-point Calibri
• 11-point Arial
• 10-point Lucida
• 12-point Times New Roman
• 11-point Georgia
• Normal 10-point Computer Modern
First sentence of every paragraph must be indented (2.24)
Quotes 40 words or more must be in blocked quotation format with no quotation marks and
include the page number in parentheses after the last period (8.27)
Page number
Title of page, in bold (References)
Hanging Indent
The word ‘References’ (‘Reference if only one source) should appear at the top center of the page in
bold. Entries are double-spaced using a hanging indent.
**Do not list a reference not used in the body of the paper. Similarly, do not include an in-text citation
without a corresponding reference on the reference page.
(3) Journal Article Reporting Standards (JARS)
Specialized guidelines developed by APA referred to as JARS outline for authors what information
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APA 7th ed. Guidelines
should be included for journal articles. Primarily authors seeking publication or students conducting
advanced research projects.
Undergraduate or graduate students conducting advanced projects will use JARS. Common reporting
standards for journal articles include the abstract and the introduction.
Undergraduate and graduate students tend to write less complicated research papers; therefore an
abstract or introduction are not requirements (unless by programmatic design).

Acronyms: Identify acronyms on first use. Example: American Public University (APUS).

Allow Time Between Drafts: While a break of 24 hours or more is ideal, a thirty minute break
will yield positive results.

Ampersand: If the citation is in parentheses, use the ampersand (‘&’) instead of the word “and”
in text of paper. Always use ampersand (&) in tables, captions and on the reference page.

Awkward Phrasing: Use Standard English phrasing. For example, “try to do” rather than “try
and do,” “we went” rather than “us went.”

Brainstorming: Before beginning to write, take the time to put ideas down on paper. Mindmapping and list-making are two useful brainstorming techniques.

Commas and Introductory Phrases: Usually commas are placed between an introductory
phrase and the main sentence; however, commas are rarely used to separate a concluding

Complete Sentences: Write in complete sentences and avoid slang. Complete sentences
contain both subjects and verbs. Avoid run on sentences.

etc.: Avoid using etc. at the end of a list unless it is part of a quotation.

Extra Time: Quality writing takes time – lots of time. Build in a cushion of extra time.

Help from Others: Being mindful of plagiarism and academic honesty, request proofreading

Homonyms: Homonyms are words sounding similar but are spelled differently and have
different definitions. (Example, new and knew; your and you’re; know and no).

Multiple Drafts: Professional writers create multiple drafts of their writing. You should too.

Non-words: Ensure all words are Standard English words. (Example, “alot” is not a word).

Organizing: Plan paper or assignment. This may be as simple as a chronological list of points
or as elaborate as a formal outline.
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APA 7th ed. Guidelines

Question Marks and Quotation Marks: Place question marks outside the quotation mark
unless the question mark is part of the quotation.

Titles of Books and Magazines: Italicize the title of books and magazines.

Titles of Articles and Chapters: Place the title of articles and chapters of books in quotation
marks to set off when mentioned in text.

Use Formal Voice: Academic writing is more formal than casual conversations, emails, and
instant messages.

Flow of Paper: Use transitional words helping maintain the flow of thought. Use a pronoun
referring to a noun in a preceding sentence allows a smooth transition and elevates repetition.
Other words assisting in transition are time links (after, next, since, then, while), cause-effect
links (as a result, consequently, as a result), addition links (furthermore, in addition, moreover,
similarly), and contrast links (although, but, conversely, however, nevertheless). (4.1 – 4.3)

Anthropomorphism: avoid attributing human characteristics to animals or inanimate sources.

Verb Tense and Active Voice: Limit shifts in verb tense, and use active voice rather than
passive voice. (4.12)

Subject-Verb Agreement: Be sure your subject and verb agree. For example, “we are” rather
than “we is,” “they did” rather than “they done.” (4.15)

Perspective: Use third person point of view when writing research papers (avoiding pronouns
such as I, we, my, our (first person) and you, yours, your, us, we (second person). You should
deal with facts and not opinions, thus providing citations within paper and on reference page.
Focus on the subject itself and not on your feelings about the subject. The use of third person
retains a formal tone in your writing. (4.16)

Wordiness and Redundancy: Eliminate wordy sentences; get your point across with as few
words as possible eliminating empty words such as “that”. (4.5)

Sentence and Paragraph Length: Be sure ideas are fully developed in each paragraph. This
usually results in paragraphs of three to five. (4.6)

Tone: An effective way to achieve the correct tone is write in a way to educate and persuade
the reader. (4.7)

Full Wording Rather Than Contractions: Convert contractions to their complete wordpartner. (Examples: it’s = it is; won’t = will not; haven’t = have not). (4.8)

Bias-Free Language: Writing should maintain a stance of inclusivity and respect for all people,
regardless of age, disability, gender, participation in research, racial and ethnic identify, sexual
orientation, socioeconomic status, or intersectionality. Writers should strive to use language free
of bias. Writing should never promote prejudice or demeaning attitudes. (5.1 – 5.10)
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APA 7th ed. Guidelines

Numbers: 0-9 are written out while 10 and above are written as numbers
(Exceptions: numbers expressing approximate lengths of time be written as words (Example: 1
hr 30 min; 12:30 a.m.; about 3 months ago). (6.32-6.34) Use words for numbers at the
beginning of any sentence. (6.33)

Semicolon: Semicolons are used to either connect two complete sentences, or to connect a list
with commas. (6.4)

Colon: Colons should only be used when the introductory phrase is a complete sentence. (6.5)

No Slash: Use dashes rather than slashes. (6.6)

Parenthesis: Parentheses are most often used in citations. Before using in other applications,
consult the APA handbook for guidance. (6.8)

Punctuation when ending a Quote: If quotation is at the end of a sentence, close quote with
quotation marks, cite the source in parentheses, and end with a period or other punctuation
outside the final parenthesis. (8.26)

Levels of Headings: (Table 2.3 Format for the Five Levels of APA Style)
Centered, Bold, Title Case Heading
Text begins as a new paragraph.
Flush Left, Bold, Title Case Heading
Text begins as a new paragraph.
Flush Left, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading
Text begins as a new paragraph.
Indented, Bold, Title Case Heading With a Period. Text begins on the same
line and continues as a regular paragraph.
Indented, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading With a Period. Text begins on the
same line and continues as a regular paragraph.
Paraphrasing is your own rendition of someone else’s information or idea. (8.23)
Parenthetical Citation Example: Many people possess knowledge on a multitude of topics, but
infrequently have the chance to take advantage of such knowledge (Conner, 2004).
Narrative Citation Example: Conner suggested many people possess knowledge on a multitude
of topics, but infrequently have the chance to take advantage of such knowledge (2004).
Direct quote: reproduces words verbatim from an author or source. (8.25)
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APA 7th ed. Guidelines
Parenthetical Citation Example: “Many of us understand all sorts of things but never have the
opportunity to take the time to try them out” (Conner, 2004, p. 161).
Narrative Citation Example: According to Conner (2004) “Many of us understand all sorts of
things but never have the opportunity or take the time to try them out” (p. 161).
Block quotations of 40 words or more. Start a block quotation on a new line and indent the
whole block 0.5 in. from the left margin. Double space entire quote. (8.27) Do NOT use
quotation marks unless there are quotations within the quotation then use normal quotation
marks not additional ones. You must still give credit for source.
Example (see page 272):
Note periods or commas are within quotation marks when they are part of the quoted material. At end
of quote, place period then page number.
Page number must be given for direct quotes. If no page number is available, cite the paragraph
number using the abbreviation para. (instead of the symbol ¶). If no page or paragraph numbers are
available, cite the heading and paragraph number in which the information is found. (8.28)
A “citation” is the way you tell readers certain material came from another source. It also gives readers
the information necessary to find the source again, including (8.1 – 8.9):

information about the author
the title of the work
the name and location of the company publishing the source
the date copy was published
the page numbers of the material
Why should I site sources?
Giving credit to the original author by citing sources is the only way to use other people’s work without
plagiarizing. But there are a number of other reasons to cite sources:

Citations are extremely helpful to anyone who wants to find out more about your ideas and
where they came from.
Not all sources are good or right – your own ideas may often be more accurate or interesting
than those of your sources. Proper citation will keep you from taking the rap for someone else’s
bad ideas.
Citing sources shows the amount of research you have done.
Citing sources strengthens your work by lending outside support to your ideas.
Doesn’t citing sources make my work seem less original?
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APA 7th ed. Guidelines
Not at all. On the contrary, citing sources actually helps the reader distinguish your ideas from those of
your sources. This will actually emphasize the originality of your own work.
When do I need to site?
Whenever you borrow words or ideas, you need to acknowledge their source. The following situations
almost always require citation:

Whenever you use quotes
Whenever you paraphrase
Whenever you use an idea someone else has already expressed
Whenever you make specific reference to the work of another
Whenever someone else’s work has been critical in developing your own ideas.
Do I have to cite sources for every fact I use?
No. You do not have to cite sources for facts that are not the result of unique individual research. Facts
readily available from numerous sources and generally known to the public are considered “common
knowledge,” and are not protected by copyright laws. You can use these facts liberally in your paper
without citing authors. If you are unsure whether or not a fact is common knowledge, cite your source
just to be safe.
In-text citations have two formats: parenthetical and narrative. In parenthetical citations, the author
name and publication date appear in parenthesis. In narrative citations, this information is incorporated
into the text as part of the sentence. (8.11)
Do not include the publisher location in the reference. (9.29)
References are in alphabetical order by author name. (9.44)
If no author, the title takes the place of the author and the reference is alphabetized by the first letter of
the first word of the title i.e., Study finds. (2005). In-text citation, use quotation marks (“Study Finds,”
2005). If work is designated as “Anonymous”, in-text cite and reference list as so. Do not list the author
as anonymous or unknown unless the work is signed “Anonymous” (9.49)
When citing two to 20 provide surnames and initials. For 21 or more authors, include the first 19
authors’ names, insert an ellipsis (but no ampersand) and then add the final author’s name. (9.8)
In-text citation, for work with one or two authors, include the author name(s) in every citation. For work
with three or more authors, include the name of only the first author plus “et al.” in every citation. (8.17)
(Table 8.1 Basic In-Text Citation Styles)
Author type
Parenthetical citation
One author
(Luna, 2020)
Two Authors
(Salas & D’Agostino, 2020)
Narrative citation
Luna (2020)
Salas and D’Agostino (2020)
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APA 7th ed. Guidelines
Three or more authors
Group author with abbreviation
First citation
(Martin et al., 2020)
Martin et al. (2020)
(National Institute of Mental
Health [NIMH], 2020)
National Institute of Mental
Health (NIMH, 2020)
(NIMH, 2020)
(Stanford University, 2020)
NIMH (2020)
Stanford University (2020
Subsequent citations
Group author without
When citing periodicals, if the volume number is 22, the issue is 3, and the page range is 23 through
25. Write the information as follows: 22(3), 23-25. Do not use the words Volume or Vol., Issue or Iss.,or
Pages, p. or pp. (9.25)
Following the author’s name is the publication date. The date (in parentheses) is always the second
part of a reference. (9.4) List the date as follows:
• (year only). For example: (2009).
• (year, month). For example: (2007, January). Note: Do not use month abbreviations.
• (year, month, day). For example: (1998, June 16).
• (range of dates (e.g., range of years, range of exact dates) (9.13)
• (n.d.). Use n.d. for works without a publication date (9.17)
Capitalize only the first word of titles, proper nouns (such as names of people, places, studies, etc.),
and subtitles following a colon (:). (6.29)
Italicize the name of books, reports, webpages, and other stand-alone works (6.22) journals,
magazines, or newspapers (10.1 ex.3), but do not italicize the name of an article. (10.1 ex.5)
Book: Learn more now: 10 simple ways to learning better, smarter & faster. (10.2)
Journal: Journal of Social Psychology (10.1 ex.1)
Magazine: Newsweek (10.1 ex.15)
Newspapers: The New York Times (10.1 ex.16)
New Guidelines for Citing References: Keep the format as simple as possible.
 No retrieval dates needed unless the source material may change over time. (9.16)
 For electronic references, give the DOI, if no DOI is assigned provide the URL. (9.34)
 For works associated with specific location, include the location such as conference
presentations, include the location, (Example: New York, NY) (9.31)
The Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
The digital object identifier (DOI) is an alphanumeric string identifying content providing a link to
location on the Internet. Give DOI for journal articles, books, or book chapters accessed online. No
period at the end of the string. Do not use the phrase retrieved from. Do not give a retrieval date. The
DOI is typically located on the first page of the electronic journal article, near the copyright notice. (9.34)
For electronic references, give the DOI, if assigned. DOI’s always begin with the number 10. Database
names are no longer needed. If no DOI assigned, provide the URL of the journal or book publisher.
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APA 7th ed. Guidelines
For electronic references, give the DOI, if assigned. DOI’s always begin with the number 10. Database
names are no longer needed. If no DOI assigned, provide the URL of the journal or book publisher.
Search for a DOI: Go to a free DOI lookup:
Table 10.1 Periodicals Template
Author, A. A., &
Author, B. B.
(2020, January).
Name of Group.
Author, C. C.
(2020, February
Title of article
Title of Periodical,
34(2), 5-14
Title of Periodical,
2(1-2), Article 12.
Title of Periodical
(10.1 ex.1) Journal Article Reference with DOI Example
Last name, Initials. (yyyy of journal volume). Article title. Journal, volume number, (issue
number), pages. doi: xx.xxxxx
Roy, A.J. (1982). Suicide in chronic schizophrenia. British Journal of Psychiatry, 96(1), 171177. doi: xx.xxxx
It should be noted using the words Volume or Vol., Issue or Iss., or Pages, p. or pp. are not acceptable
in the reference citation. Also, the journal title and volume number are italicized.
***Note: For electronic references, give the DOI, if assigned, if not include the URL.
Last name, Initials. (yyyy of journal volume). Article title. Journal, volume number, (issue
number), pages.
Roy, A.J. (1982). Suicide in chronic schizophrenia. British Journal of Psychiatry, 96(1), 171-177.
It should be noted using the words Volume or Vol., Issue or Iss., or Pages, p. or pp. are not acceptable
in the reference citation. Also, the journal title and volume number are italicized.
Note: Provide URL if DOI is not available. (9.35)
(10.1 ex. 3) Journal Article Example
Last name, Initials. (Date). Title of article. Title of Periodical vol(#), p#. Source location if avail.
Anderson, M. (2018). Getting consistent with consequences. Educational Leadership. 76(1), 26-33
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APA 7th ed. Guidelines
(10.1 ex.17) Blog Post Example
Last name, Initials. (Date). Title of article. Title of Blog. Source location
Klymkowsky, M. (2018, September 15). Can we talk scientifically about free will? Sci-Ed.
Table 10.2 Books and Reference Works Template
Author, A. A., &
Author, B. B.
Name of Group.
Title of book.
Title of book (2nd ed., Vol,
Title of book [Audiobook].
Editor, E. E.
Title of book (E. E. Editor,
Editor, Ed.).
Editor, E. E., &
Editor, F. F.
Title of book (T. Translator,
Trans,; N. Narrator, Narr.).
Publisher Name.
First Publisher
Name; Second
Publisher Name
(10.2 ex.20) Book Reference Example
Last name, Initials. (yyyy). Title of book. Publisher Name. DOI (or URL)
Brown, L. S. (2018). Feminist therapy (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association.
(10.2 ex.22) Authored ebook (e.g., Kindle book) or audiobook without a DOI, with a nondatabase
Last name, Initials (yyyy) Title of ebook (Last name narrator.) [Media]. Publisher name. DOI (or URL)
Cain, S. (2012). Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking (K. Mazur, Narr.)
[Audiobook]. Random House Audio.
Table 10.3 Edited Book Chapters and Entries in Reference Works Template
Chapter title
Edited book Information
Author, A. A., &
(2020). Title of chapter
In E. E. Editor (Ed.), Title of
Author, B. B.
book (pp.3-13). Publisher
Name of Group.
In E. E. Editor & F. F. Editor
(Eds.), Title of book (3rd ed.,
Vol. 2, pp. 212-255). Publisher
(10.3 ex.39) Chapter in an edited book without a DOI Example
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APA 7th ed. Guidelines
Last name, Initials. (yyyy). Title of chapter. In E. E. Editor (Ed.), Title of book (if 2nd+ ed., pp. #).
Publisher Name.
Weinstock, R., Leong, G. B., & Silva, J. A., (2003). Defining forensic psychiatry: Roles and
responsibilities. In R. Rosner (Ed.), Principles and practice of forensic psychiatry (2nd ed., pp. 713). CRC Press.
(10.3 ex.40) Chapter in an edited ebook (e.g., Kindle book) or audiobook without a DOI, with
nondatabase URL Example
Last name, Initials. (yyyy). Title of chapter. In E. E. Editor (Ed.), Title of book (if 2nd+ ed., pp. #).
Publisher Name. URL
Tafoya, N., & Del Vecchio, A. (2005). Back to the future: An examination of the Native American
Holocaust experience. In M. McGoldrick, J. Giordano, & N. Garcia-Preto (Eds.), Ethnicity and
family therapy (3rd ed., pp. 55-63). Guilford Press.
(10.4 ex.50-59)
Reports and Gray Literature; i.e., government agency or other organization
reports; grants; briefs; press releases.
(10.5 ex.60-63)
Conference Sessions and Presentations
(10.6 ex.64-66)
Dissertations and Theses
(10.7 ex.67-69)
Reviews; i.e., film, book, TV series episode
(10.8 ex.70-74)
Unpublished Works and Informally Published Works
(10.9 ex.75-76)
Data Sets
(10.10 ex.77-80)
Computer Software, Mobile Apps, Apparatuses, and Equipment
(10.11 ex.80-83)
Tests, Scales, and Inventories
(10.12 ex.84-90)
Audiovisual Works
(10.13 ex.91-96)
Audio Works
(10.14 ex.97-102)
Visuals Works
(10.15 ex.103-109)
Social Media
Table 10.15 Online Media Template
Twitter and
Content of the post up to the
first 20 words.
media site
Site Name.
Page 17
APA 7th ed. Guidelines
Author, A. A.
August, 8).
Content of the post up to the
first 20 words [Description of
Name of Group
August 27, 2020,
[Description of audiovisuals].
Facebook and
Author, A. A.
Name of Group.
Name of Group
(10.16 ex.110-114) Webpages and Websites
Table 10.16 Webpages or Websites Template
Author, A. A. &
Author, B. B.
(2019, August).
Name of Group.
(2020, September 28).
Title of work.
media site
Site Name.
December 22,
2020, from
Many people think of plagiarism as copying another’s work, or borrowing someone else’s original ideas.
But terms like copying and borrowing can disguise the seriousness of the offense:
According to the Merriam-Webster OnLine Dictionary, to “plagiarize” means
• to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own
• to use (another’s production) without crediting the source
• to commit literary theft
• to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else’s work and lying
about it afterward.
Can words and ideas really be stolen?
Page 18
APA 7th ed. Guidelines
According to U.S. law, the answer is yes. In the United States and many other countries, the expression
of original ideas is considered intellectual property, and is protected by copyright laws, just like original
inventions. Almost all forms of expression fall under copyright protection as long as they are recorded in
some media (such as a book or a computer file).
All of the following are considered plagiarism:
• turning in someone else’s work as your own
• copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
• failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
• giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
• changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
• copying so many words or ideas from a source making up the majority of your work, whether
you give credit or not (see our section on “fair use” rules)
Attention! Changing the words of an original source is not sufficient to prevent plagiarism. If you
have retained the essential idea of an original source, and have not cited it, then no matter how
drastically you may have altered its context or presentation, you have still plagiarized
Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided by citing sources. Simply acknowledging certain material has
been borrowed, and providing the audience with the information necessary to find the source, is usually
enough to prevent plagiarism.
Page 19
APA 7th ed. Guidelines

APA Checklist
Sections of an APA paper: title page, text of paper, and reference page.

Title Page: Title Format: Center the title on title page in title case, bold, centered, and
positioned in the upper half of the title page. Author, Affiliation, Course, Instructor, Due
Date, Page Number: one blank double-spaced line between the paper title and the author.
Center – First name, middle initial(s), and last name; Center – Affiliation; Center – Course;
Center – Instructor; Center – Due Date; Flush right header – Page-numbering for all pages.

Begin paper by centering title at the top of page two. The title is uppercase and lowercase
letters and located directly under the 1” margin.

Double space entire paper/Use 1-inch margin/Text is to be left aligned.

One space after punctuation at the end of a sentence, comma, colons, and semicolons.

Use the same font throughout the text of the paper. Options include
o 11-point Calibri
o 11-point Arial
o 10-point Lucinda
o 12-point Times New Roman
o 11-point Georgia

Same font throughout with the exception of italicizing: (1) key terms or phrases (2) titles of
books, reports, webpages, and other stand-alone work.

Numbers: zero through nine are expressed in words while numbers 10 and above are written as
numbers (Exceptions: numbers expressing approximate lengths of time written as words ex: 1
hr 30 min; 12:30 a.m.; about 3 months ago; at the beginning of sentences).

Punctuation when ending a Quote: If quotation is at the end of a sentence, close quote with
quotation marks, cite the source in parentheses, and end with a period or other punctuation
outside the final parenthesis.

Avoid using “etc.” at the end of a list or exclamation point unless it is part of the quotation.

Ampersand: If the citation is in parentheses, use the ampersand (‘&’) instead of the word “and”
in text of paper. Always use ampersand (&) in tables, captions and on reference page.

Capitalize first letter following a colon if clause is a complete sentence.

Use complete sentences and avoid slang. Use Spell Checker and proofread paper.

First sentence of every new paragraph must be indented.

Do not use contractions (it’s = it is; won’t = will not).
Page 20
APA 7th ed. Guidelines

Always spell out acronym on first use. Example: APU = American Public University.

Direct Quotes: must give page number. If no page numbers available, cite paragraph number
using abbreviation para. (para. 4). If no page or paragraph numbers, cite heading and
paragraph number where information found: (Discussion section, para. 2).

For a work with one or two authors, include the author name(s) in every citation. For three or
more authors, include the name of only the first author plus “et al.” in every citation.

Quotations of 40 words or more treat as block quotation. No quotation marks – indent the whole
block .5 in from left margin. Double-space entire block quotation; (a) cite the source in
parentheses after the quotation’s final punctuation or (b) cite the author and year in the narrative
before the quotation and place only the page number in parentheses. Do not add a period after
the closing parenthesis in either case.

The reference page is the last page (unless appendix). Insert a page break at end of the final
paragraph to prevent distortion when edits are made.

Double-Space the entire paper.

Insert one space after periods or other punctuation marks at the end of a sentence, commas,
colons, semicolons, periods that separate parts of a reference list entry, periods following initials
in names. Do not insert a space after internal periods in abbreviations (e.g., a.m., i.e., U.S.),
after periods in identity concealing labels for study participants (F.I.M.), around colons in ratios

Title of Reference page: Centered – Reference(s) on page directly under the 1” margin. Do not
underling, italicize or make bold.

Cite references in text of paper and include sources on reference page. PLEASE NOTE: Wikis
(like Wikipedia) cannot guarantee the verifiability or expertise of entries, and therefore are not
considered scholarly sources. DO NOT USE WIKIS AS PRIMARY SOURCES. Always have
additional sources if using Wiki’s to reaffirm Wiki’s accuracy.

References are in alphabetical order by author(s) last name on the reference page; list last
name, then first and middle initials (if applicable) only. Author. Date. Title. Source. When author
is unknown or cannot reasonably be Determined, move the title of the work to the author
position followed by a period before the date of the publication, i.e., Anderson, M. (2018).
Getting consistent with consequences. Educational Leadership, 76(1), 26-33. or Anonymous.
(2017). or Generalized anxiety disorder. (2019). respectively.

When citing a book on the reference page, capitalize the first word of the title only (with the
exception of proper names). Also, italicize the name of the book. i.e., Meadows, D. H. (2008).
Thinking in systems: A primer (D. Wright, Ed.). Chelsea Green Publishing.

Capitalize the FIRST word of all proper names in the title of books and articles and after a colon.
Page 21
APA 7th ed. Guidelines

Italicize the name of books, journals, and magazines, but do NOT italicize the name of the

Do not use the words Volume or Vol., Issue or Iss,. or Pages, p. or pp. on reference page.

The name of the journal and volume number are italicized. Pay attention to punctuation.

Citing a source within a source (secondary sources) example: In-text—Bennett (as cited in
Rudman, 1999) defined.

Reference list: Rudman, R. (1999). Human resources management in New Zealand. (3 rd ed.).
Auckland, N.Z.: Addison Wesley Longman

Citing references on reference page: use the hanging indent. Highlight the citations and press
Ctrl T automatically formats.

For electronic references, give the DOI or digital object identifier, if assigned. DOI’s always
begin with the number 10. Database names are no longer needed. If no DOI assigned, provide
the URL or uniform resource locator of the journal, book, source referenced.

Use 3rd person point of view (unless opinion paper) avoiding pronouns such as I, we, my, our
(1st person) and you, yours, your, us, we (2ndperson). Deal with facts, thus, providing citations
within paper and reference page. Focus on subject; not feelings about the subject. The use of
3rd person retains a formal tone: Academic writing is more formal than casual conversation.
Please be familiar with the exceptions to this rule in Chapter 4. (4.16)

Cite all references in paper AND on reference page. If listed on reference page MUST have
cited within paper.

No retrieval dates, retrieved from, or database name needed on reference page.

Examples: (Not to format scale)
Assembly of the minds. (2008, April 28). Mind and Body, 77(2), 526-528. doi:
10.1057/1024- 1027.29.4.123
Fenchel, J. (2009, October). Diving into the 21st century technology. School Talk, 15(1), 3-5.
Gelb, M. (2003). Discover your genius: How to think like history’s ten most revolutionary
minds. doi: 10.1045/2457-8953-85.2.452.
McKee, A., & Krueger, B. (2004). Learning multimedia principles. Journal of Multimedia
Technology, 21(4), 223-333. doi: 10.1234/5432-8989-34.8.456.
Rasmusen, A. J. (2008). Technology today . British Journal of Multimedia, 96(1), 171-177.
Stielow, F. J. (2003). Building digital archives. New York, NY: Neal-Shuman.
What’s your learning style. (2009). Retrieved from
Page 22
APA 7th ed. Guidelines
Scholarly Writing and Publishing Principles
1.1 – 1.10
Types of Articles and Papers
Ensuring the Accuracy of Scientific Findings
Protecting the Rights and Welfare of Research Participants & Subjects
Protecting Intellectual Property Rights
Required Elements
Student Paper Required Elements
Paper Elements
Title Page
Author Affiliation
Text (Body)
Reference List
Importance of Format
Order of Pages
Page Header
Special Characters
Line Spacing
Paragraph Alignment
Paragraph Indentation
Principles of Organization
Heading Levels
Journal Article Reporting Standards
3.1 – 3.18
Reporting Standards (JARS)
Continuity and Flow
Importance of Continuity and Flow
Noun Strings
Conciseness and Clarity
Importance of Conciseness and Clarity
Wordiness and Redundancy
Sentence and Paragraph Length
Contractions and Colloquialisms
Logical Comparisons
Page 23
APA 7th ed. Guidelines
Verb Tense
Active and Passive Voice
Subject and Verb Agreement
First-Versus Third-Person Pronouns
Editorial “We”
Singular “They”
Pronouns for People and Animals (“Who” vs. “That”)
Pronouns as Subjects and Objects (“Who” vs. “Whom”)
Pronouns in Restrictive and Nonrestrictive Clauses (“That” vs. “Which”)
Sentence Construction
Subordinate Conjunctions
Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers
Parallel Construction
Strategies to Improve Your Writing
Reading to Learn Through Example
Writing From an Outline
Rereading the Draft
Seeking Help From Colleagues
Working with Copyeditors and Writing Centers
Revising a Paper
Bias-Free Language
5.1 – 5.10
Bias-Free Language Guidelines for Reducing Bias
Spacing After Punctuation Marks
Quotation Marks
Square Brackets
Preferred Spelling
Words Beginning a Sentence
Proper Nouns and Trade Names
Job Titles and Positions
Page 24
APA 7th ed. Guidelines
Titles of Works and Headings Within Works
Nouns Followed by Numerals or Letters
Use of Italics
Reverse Italics
Use of Abbreviations
Definition of Abbreviations
Format of Abbreviations
Unit of Measurement Abbreviations
Time Abbreviations
Tables and Figures
7.1 – 7.36
Guidelines for Tables and Figures
When to Cite
Appropriate Level of Citation
Correspondence Between Reference List and Text
Use of the Published Version or Archival Version
Works Requiring Special Approaches to Citation
Classroom or Intranet Sources
Personal Communications
In-Text Citations
Author-Date Citation System
Parenthetical and Narrative Citations
Citing Multiple Works
Citing Specific Parts of a Source
Unknown or Anonymous Author
Translated, Reprinted, Republished, and Reissued Dates
Omitting the Year in Repeated Narrative Citations
Number of Authors to Include in In-Text Citations
Avoid Ambiguity in In-Text Citations
Works with the Same Author and Same Date
Authors With the Same Surname
Abbreviating Group Authors
General Mentions of Websites, Periodicals, and Common Software and Apps
Paraphrases and Quotations
Principles of Paraphrasing
Long Paraphrases
Principles of Direct Quotation
Short Quotations (Few Than 40 Words)
Block Quotations (40 Words or More)
Direct Quotations of Material Without Page Numbers
Accuracy of Quotations
Changes to a Quotation Requiring No Explanation
Page 25
APA 7th ed. Guidelines
Changes to a Quotation Requiring Explanation
Quotations That Contain Citations to Other Works
Quotations That Contain Material Already in Quotation Marks
Permission to Reprint or Adapt Lengthy Quotations
Reference Categories
Determining the Reference Category
Using the Webpages and Websites Reference Category
Online and Print References
Principles of Reference List Entries
Four Elements of a Reference
Punctuation Within Reference List Entries
Accuracy and Consistency in References
Definition of Author
Format of the Author Element
Spelling and Capitalization of Author Names
Identification of Specialized Roles
Group Authors
No Author
Definition of Date
Format of the Date Element
Updated or Reviewed Online Works
Retrieval Dates
No Date
Definition of Title
Format of the Title Element
Series and Multivolume Works
Bracketed Descriptions
No Title
Definition of Source
Format of the Source Element
Periodical Sources
Online Periodicals With Missing Information
Article Numbers
Edited Book Chapter and Reference Work Entry Sources
Publisher Sources
Database and Archive Sources
Works With Specific Locations
Social Media Sources
Website Sources
When to Include DOIs and URLs
Format of DOIs and URLs
DOI and URL Shorteners
No Source
Page 26
APA 7th ed. Guidelines
Reference Variations
Works in Another Language
Translated Works
Reprinted Works
Republished or Reissued Works
Religious and Classical Works
Reference List Format and Order
Format of the Reference List
Order of Works in the Reference List
Order of Surname and Given Name
Order of Multiple Works by the Same First Author
Order of Works With the Same Author and Same Date
Order of Works by First Authors With the Same Surname
Order of Works With No Author or an Anonymous Author
Abbreviations in References
Annotated Bibliographies
References Included in a Meta-Analysis
Textual Works
Books and Reference Works
Edited Book Chapters and Entries in Reference Works
Reports and Gray Literature
Conference Sessions and Presentations
Dissertations and Theses
Unpublished Works and Informally Published Works
Data Sets, Software, and Tests
Data Sets
Computer Software, Mobile Apps, Apparatuses, and Equipment
Tests, Scales, and Inventories
Audio Visual Media
Audiovisual Works
Audio Works
Visual Works
Online Media
Social Media
Webpages and Websites
Legal References
Guidelines for Legal References
Publication Process
Publication Process
Page 27
U.S. Dept. of Justice. (2020, October
20). Justice Department sues
monopolist Google for violating
antitrust laws. DOJ Press Release
No. 20-1124.
Research government’s allegations in
lawsuit and law based it is based on;
Google’s defenses; ethics issues; etc. Google
is rich ground for finding other areas of law
to research and discuss. Consider such
topics as privacy, contract, defamation,
intellectual property, employment.
Include in your research looking at
complaint DOJ filed.
Google has been involved in either a consumer protection or an antitrust problem. Use Google
as the subject of your paper. You are provided a source link in the table about Google to get
you started. You will need to conduct more research about Google as well as the applicable
ethical frameworks and law.
Research Google and cover the following points in a well written essay. Use APA7 format and
topical headings. Here is a sample APA7 student paper to follow for title page, headings, etc.
(at Purdue Owl).
1. In an introductory paragraph identify the company, the topic and a well crafted thesis
2. Briefly describe the company and the nature of its business and corporate business
environment. Do not spend a lot of time on the history of the company, but do
describe sufficiently to create meaningful context. This should only need to be a
3. Research, define and discuss the legal issues and regulatory environment for the
company’s consumer or antitrust issue. (i.e., What are the specific laws involved?)
Include case law.
4. Ethical dilemma and two ethical frameworks: Identify the ethical dilemma that the
company presents with respect to its antitrust or consumer problem. This should be
encapsulated in a single sentence. Evaluate two ethical frameworks with respect to
the company’s management’s decisions that led to the situation. One of these should
be the ethical framework you identify as the framework the company followed in its
decision-making. The other should be a contrasting ethical framework that might
have produced a different situation for the company.
5. Other legal topics that relate to the company’s business: Also, clearly define and
evaluate three (3) additional legal topics (NOT antitrust or consumer protection laws)
that we covered this term — and that are explained in your text and required
readings, and apply them to the company’s business. (Hint: Review the legal topics in
the textbook and cite to the text in your analysis. We covered many subjects.
Examples: contracts, torts, product liability, bankruptcy, securities & stocks trading,
employment issues, defamation, privacy, ADR, etc. Include illustrative case law.)
6. General recommendations for business leadership and managers that you have
learned from this study (not just for the company you have selected, but for
operating and managing a business).
7. Conclusion.
8. References list
Further Guidance:
1. Reflect on the class discussions and the text, required readings, articles that you have
read during the class and use the information, and other academic sources
2. Write a well-supported analytical essay critiquing the company, its operations, and
the ethical dilemma it caused. Discuss the legal issues and concepts identified and
make recommendations for management. LENGTH: – See RUBRIC
3. Number of sources: Exemplary level of performance states 7 sources, at least 2 of
which are from Trefry library and none of which are from excluded sources (e.g.
4. Proper citation and references formatting must be in APA 7th Ed.
5. Papers that do not include appropriate in text citations will lose points.
6. Dictionaries, encyclopedias — including Investopedia — Wikis, and the like, and
Internet generic quick-answer websites are not acceptable to populate your
Reference list. Use your text, required readings, and other scholarly sources.
7. Review Grading rubric.
8. Organize your paper with appropriate subheadings per APA formatting.
9. Do not write in 1st or 2nd person. Paper must be written in 3rd person.
10. Do not use contractions.
11. All sources on References list must be correctly cited in the text of the paper and vice
12. Length. Per rubric, Exemplary level is 2500-3200 words. Length excludes title page,
references, abstract.
13. An abstract is NOT required.
14. Please proofread! Use aids that will help you — spellcheck, grammarly, read your
paper aloud, etc.
Springer 2008
Journal of Business Ethics (2009) 85:453–478
DOI 10.1007/s10551-008-9783-3
Google, Human Rights, and Moral
ABSTRACT. International business faces a host of
difficult moral conflicts. It is tempting to think that these
conflicts can be morally resolved if we gained full
knowledge of the situations, were rational enough, and
were sufficiently objective. This paper explores the view
that there are situations in which people in business must
confront the possibility that they must compromise some
of their important principles or values in order to protect
other ones. One particularly interesting case that captures
this kind of situation is that of Google and its operations in
China. In this paper, I examine the situation Google faces
as part of the larger issue of moral compromise and
integrity in business. Though I look at Google, this paper is
just as much about the underlying or background views
Google faces that are at work in business ethics. In the
process, I argue the following: First, the framework Google has used to respond to criticisms of its actions does not
successfully or obviously address the important ethical issues it faces. Second, an alternative ethical account can be
presented that better addresses these ethical and human
rights questions. However, this different framework brings
the issue of moral compromise to the fore. This is an approach filled with dangers, particularly since it is widely
held that one ought never to compromise one’s moral
principles. Nevertheless, I wish to propose that there may
be a place for moral compromise in business under certain
conditions, which I attempt to specify.
KEY WORDS: censorship, China, Google, human
rights, moral compromise
Over the past several decades, the demands that
business act ethically in international settings have
markedly increased. These demands have been raised
in a variety of contexts, including sweatshops, the
environment, transfer pricing, and human rights
George G. Brenkert
It is terribly obvious that these issues raise many
moral conflicts. However, it is tempting to think
that there is a straightforward moral solution to these
issues, if we only gained enough knowledge of the
situations, were rational enough, and sufficiently
objective. Of course, we may encounter those who
are so self-interestedly focused that they cannot see,
let alone adopt, a moral solution. However, in
principle, all such conflicts have a moral resolution.
We need not theoretically encounter situations in
which we are faced with violating important moral
principles or moral compromise.
I have become less confident with this approach
and want to suggest that there are situations in which
people in business must confront the possibility that
they must compromise some important principles or
values in order to protect other ones. In the process,
their integrity comes into question. These are not
simply back sliders or bad apples. Rather, given their
circumstances, they might plausibly argue they could
(and should) do nothing else.
One particularly interesting case that captures this
kind of situation is that of Google and its operations
in China. In this paper, I examine the situation
Google faces as part of the larger issue of moral
compromise and integrity in business. Though I
look at Google, this paper is just as much about the
underlying or background views Google encounters
that are at work in business ethics.
In the process, I wish to argue the following: First,
the framework Google has used to respond to criticisms of its actions does not successfully or obviously
address the important ethical issues it faces. Second,
an alternative ethical account can be presented that
better addresses these ethical questions. However,
this different framework brings the issue of moral
compromise to the fore. This is an approach filled
with dangers, particularly since it is widely held that
George G. Brenkert
if one compromises moral values, this is a sign of
moral turpitude (see Kuflik, 1979). Others, such as
Halfon and Rand, have also argued that one ought
never to compromise one’s moral principles. Nevertheless, I wish to propose that there may be a place
for moral compromise under certain conditions.
Google’s situation in China
Though Google occupies a very significant role
today in the business world and in the lives of many
individuals, it was only founded in 1998. By 2000,
Google had a version of its search engine
( that was available in Chinese, though
provided by servers based outside of China. However, by 2002, users of Google within China began
to experience problems. At first, they found they
could use Google only sporadically, while at other
times it was simply not available (Schrage, 2006,
p. 1). Shortly later new problems developed. Internet inquiries regarding certain topics sensitive to the
Chinese government were not successful. The cause
of these problems, Google claimed, was ‘‘…in large
measure, the extensive filtering performed by
China’s licensed Internet Service Providers (ISPs)’’
(Schrage, 2006, p. 4). Accordingly, certain web
pages regarding topics such as Tibet, Tiananmen
Square, and the Falun Gong that the government
viewed as objectionable were simply no longer
available. This filtering process also slowed down
other searches on Google such that it was no longer
competitive with Chinese-operated search engines.
The result was that Google quickly lost market share
as fewer and fewer people turned to it.
At the same time, the number of Chinese Internet
users was steadily climbing. Elliot Schrage, Google
Vice President for Global Communications and
Public Affairs, reports 105 million Internet users in
China as of 2005. He also refers to projections that
there will be more than 250 million Chinese Internet users by 2010 (Schrage, 2006, p. 3).
Accordingly, Google was faced with a crucial
decision as to whether abandon service to China or
develop a new Google search engine (
with servers located in China that would submit
to government censorship. The stakes were obviously enormous. It decided on the latter course of
Its decision to create an Internet search engine in
China involved Google researching the terms that
were being blocked in China. The Chinese government did not tell Google which terms should be
blocked. On the basis of its own research, Google
identified a set of terms for which it would filter the
Internet. Absent this filtering, Google would not
receive, or be able to retain, the government licenses
required to operate. It would not be permitted to
operate in China.
Google’s decision to begin filtering the content of
searches undertaken through its search engine raised
a significant outcry from groups such as Amnesty
International, Reporters without Borders, Human
Rights Watch, and others. Google was accused of
violating an important human right of the Chinese
people, viz., the human right to freedom of
expression and information.1 It has been said to be
‘‘…complicit in the Chinese government’s censorship of political and religious information and/or the
monitoring of peaceful speech…’’ (‘‘Race to the
Bottom,’’ 2006, p. 6). It has been attacked for
compromising its basic values of honesty, responsiveness, trust, and ‘‘Don’t be evil,’’ all mentioned in
Google’s ‘‘Code of Conduct.’’ And, indeed, Google
has itself acknowledged that the self-censorship that
its business in China requires ‘‘runs counter to
Google’s most basic values and commitments as a
company.’’2 Still, Schrage maintains that their decision is compatible with the Google mantra of
‘‘Don’t be evil.’’3
Google’s actions and responses raise several
questions: (a) What should Google have done in this
situation? (b) How adequate is Google’s defense of
its decision? (c) What is the nature and role of moral
compromise in such situations?
Human rights and moral complicity
The question regarding what Google should have
done has two different dimensions to it. First, was
Google’s filtering of the Internet in China justified,
when considered simply by itself, i.e., independently
of other moral considerations? Second, was Google’s
filtering of the Internet in China justified, all things
considered? Quite often, an answer to the first
question is taken as tantamount to an answer to the
second question. Though this may suit the purposes
Google, Human Rights, and Moral Compromise
of some individuals or groups, this is not a correct or
plausible response to the situation Google faces.
Google must determine what it ought to do having
taken into account all the different aspects of the
situation it faces. Still, in making this determination,
an answer to the first question is crucial.
Accordingly, does Google do anything wrong
when we focus simply on its filtering of the Internet
in China? Does this, for example, make it complicit
in a violation of human rights or other rights?
Answering this question involves knowing whether
this human right (or any human right) applies to
The argument that Google is wrong to do this
filtering is centrally based upon an appeal to the
human right of Chinese people to freedom of
expression and information (UNUDHR, Article 19;
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
[Article 19]).4 A host of scholars has argued that this
right is particularly important, not simply a more
peripheral one, such as in Article 24 (UNUDHR) (if
it is indeed a human right), which requires periodic
holidays with pay.
To whom do human rights apply?
To whom does this right apply? Who has corresponding obligations regarding this right? Clearly
this right pertains to governments. This is true for
two reasons. First, they are parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and
they have signed off on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Second, this
right is violated when an organization is able to
effectively prevent certain information it chooses
from reaching individuals, under its authority or
power, who might justifiably seek it. Since governments may fulfill these conditions, they have
responsibilities corresponding to this right.
Accordingly, this right, possessed by Chinese
people, places an obligation on their government not
to violate it. I take it that this means that, valid
reasons not withstanding, a government, or other
official body, has a duty not to suppress or block
information that, absent those official actions, individuals could have access to.
What constitutes a valid reason is, of course,
subject to significant debate. I will assume that it is
justified to filter some content material, e.g., material
that might lead to the immediate and direct harm of
other people. In short, the right to information is not
an absolute right. For example, the U.S. government
has taken down Internet access to Iraqi documents
regarding how to build an atomic bomb.
However, filtering of materials that reflects poorly
on a current government or that criticizes that
government is mistakenly applied. Such information
should not be censored. Its censorship is only a way
to protect those in power from legitimate criticisms
of their failures and abuses of power. The justification of such views would have to draw on accounts
such as those of J. S. Mill on liberty. I cannot discuss
such views here, but will assume that some such
justification can be given. It surely is wrong,
accordingly, for the Chinese government to engage
in such censorship.
Google and the right to freedom of expression and
But what about Google? Does Google have a moral
responsibility not to violate or infringe on the
right to freedom of expression and information? Is
Google also a responsible party? Can it violate this
There are two important considerations here.
First, if the human rights identified by the UN are
portrayed as simply charter or treaty based, they
would apply only to those parties, i.e., governments
that have agreed to the charters or treaties. Further,
some of these human rights identified by the UN
could only apply to organizations that are capable of
arresting people or bestowing on them a nationality.
In either of these cases, private organizations such as
Google could not be said to be obligated by those
rights. Since private organizations cannot arrest
people or grant them a nationality, they cannot
violate the rights not to be subjected to arbitrary
arrest or to be offered a nationality. And since
Google and other MNCs have not signed these
documents, such rights could not entail obligations
that apply to them.
Second, however, inasmuch as these are rights
that have been identified as ‘‘human,’’ e.g., rights to
life, not to be tortured, to freedom of information
and expression, etc., they have been held to apply
George G. Brenkert
not only for governments party to those treaties or
charters, but also for other organizations and bodies
relevantly related to the rights holders. In this
manner, these rights are not simply charter or legal
rights. Further, the human right to freedom of
expression and to information is plausibly a derivative right from a more basic right. Commentators
such as Shue and Bedau (see Donnelly, p. 39) argue
that liberty or freedom is one of the basic rights.
Such basic (human) rights are held by all individuals
and impose duties on individuals and organizations
in relevant roles or relationships with those individuals. In short, governments are not the only ones
with duties corresponding to some human rights.
What, then, about the right to freedom of
information? What conditions would have to be
fulfilled for Google to be said to have a duty not to
violate this right? Do private organizations such as
Google, the New York Times, or CBS, etc. have
obligations corresponding to this right? When would
they be complicit in the violation of this right?
Some equate the violation of the right to freedom
of information with censorship. They also maintain
that ‘‘there is no such thing as ‘private censorship.’ It
is only when government uses its coercive powers to
inhibit speech that censorship occurs’’ (Bowden,
1999). On this view, Google could not be accused of
censorship. Supposedly, it would follow that it is
doing nothing wrong if it blocks some websites.
I think the situation is more complicated.
Censorship and the right to freedom of information
Censorship involves several different features. First,
censorship occurs when some entity prevents or
restricts members of some group from access to
information to which they may otherwise have
access. Second, the body doing the censoring must
have some authority or effective power over those
censored. Hence, governments engage in censorship – they have political authority and police power
over their populations. The Catholic Church has,
at least in the past, imposed censorship on its followers – it had spiritual authority and power over
them. A list of prohibited materials was to be found
in the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. So too some
Imams in Islam impose censorship regarding materials to which their followers should have access.
They claim spiritual authority to do so. However, an
invading army in an unjust war might capture
another country and impose censorship. It does not
have legitimate authority, but it does have effective
power. Third, the restriction of materials is either for
the benefit of those who no longer have access to the
material or for the benefit of those doing the
restricting. If, however, materials are restricted
simply because the entity doing the restricting is the
sole source of the materials but it does not have the
capacity to transmit more materials, then it is not
engaged in censorship, as it is standardly understood.
Censorship is not a function of the incapacity of a
particular organization to transmit information to
others who might seek it.
The widely agreed upon cases of censorship occur
then due to the actions of governments and churches. However, to the extent that the loyal or the
faithful, for example, agree to the authority of those
organizations, then their censorship does not violate
their right to free access to that information.
Now, a business might exercise power over a
group of people and seek to restrict information for
its own benefit that they would otherwise have
access to. For example, a company which virtually
runs a town might do so and would be viewed as
censoring the information to which its town members had access (Solely, 2002, p. 36). It would have
effective power (if not authority) over the town’s
people, the ability to block information, and would
do so to protect itself. As such, some private (nongovernmental) organizations may also censor the
information that others receive and it can either be
justifiable or not, depending on what and how that
material is censored.5
There is, however, a second sense of censorship
that occurs when a body has the power to restrict the
access of other people to certain information and it
does so to protect itself or those who might otherwise have received the information, i.e., it fulfills the
first and third conditions, but not the second – it
does not have authority or effective power over the
recipients. Thus, other businesses have been charged
with censorship when they use legal suits to prevent
others from researching or discussing problems with
their products or operations (cf. Solely, 2002). These
actions constitute a related form of censorship. Still,
in both cases of censorship, people are not able to
receive information to which they would otherwise
Google, Human Rights, and Moral Compromise
have access. When people can be said to have a right
to that information, such censorship is wrong, and
the business has an obligation not to interfere.
Google and the right to freedom of information
So does Google exist in a relationship with the
Chinese people such that the right to freedom of
information imposes a duty on Google not to block
or filter information they might seek through
Google’s search engine?
There certainly are things that Google can do that
will affect or impact that right in certain ways, e.g.,
limiting access to information. To this extent, it
fulfills a first essential condition, viz. that it can affect
claims made by rights holders. However, we should
be clear on what the right to freedom of expression
or information requires. It is not a right that private
organizations provide people with any and all
information they want. This is not even the case
with regard to the government. Instead, it is a right
that responsible parties not prevent a person from
obtaining information to which they would otherwise have access. Accordingly, the right to freedom
of information is a negative right that some relevantly situated entity not block access to information. It is not a positive right that such entities
provide that information. Thus, it is a right that
governments not prevent their own members or
other individuals and organizations from providing
information (with the exception of certain kinds that
may justifiably be circumscribed) to those rights
holders. Accordingly, when the Washington Post
does not publish certain stories they are not, as such
violating their readers’ right to information, since
their readers don’t have a positive right that the
Washington Post provide that information.
However, the Internet is different from a
newspaper or even a television or radio station.
Private newspapers, radio stations, and television
stations may provide their own content, which
they then transmit, as well as broadcast material
from other sources. Search engines such as Google
don’t provide the web pages themselves, but they
do allow people using the Internet to identify those
web pages and find sources of information that are
otherwise ‘‘out there’’ but difficult to find on one’s
Now the formulas they use to search the web to
provide this information favor some websites over
others, viz., those which, according to their formulas,
have a greater citation importance (more links point to
that page) and hence correspond with people’s subjective idea of their importance. As a result, some web
pages get pushed to the back of the pile (as it were)
and some not even picked up. This is not a case of
censorship or violating anyone’s right to information.
However, suppose there were a search engine,
New Hope, that decided to give precedence only to
evangelical websites and drop or block any others; it
would then be an evangelical source of information
on the web. Its intention is not to protect its users or
itself from access to other websites, so much as to
provide its users with the websites they support and
think most valuable. In this case, New Hope would
not be violating any one’s right to other information.
If it did this surreptitiously, as it were, then it might
be faulted for deceptiveness, but not for the limited
nature of its offerings.
Similarly, suppose a different search engine, Open
Source, that provides searches of the web. It too has
its own algorithms that select various web pages, and
place some up front. However, this search engine
blocks web pages that are critical of its operations
and its impact on communities. Further, it does not
inform its customers that it is doing this; it even touts
its open nature. This search engine we might accuse
of hypocrisy. But has it violated a right of its users to
those blocked web pages? They can, let us assume,
access them through other search engines or by
typing the URL addresses into their Internet Service
Providers (ISPs). If New Hope hasn’t violated anyone’s right to freedom of expression, I don’t see that
Open Source has violated any right those individuals
have. Still, I am inclined to say that Open Source is
now censoring (in the secondary sense above) the
material it provides. Its intention is to prevent some
web pages from being distributed for the specific
reason of protecting its own interests or those of
others. Thus, some search engines today block
websites advocating bulimia, the use of ‘‘mindaltering substances,’’ etc. Supposedly intended for
the benefit or well-being of their audience, these are
forms of censorship (albeit in the secondary sense).
Still, given multiple sites, this censorship may take
place even though a person’s right to information is
not violated.
George G. Brenkert
This conclusion is based on the assumption that
there are multiple sources of information and that
the censorship by Open Source does not prevent
people from obtaining the information they seek
from other sources. Accordingly, the right to
information is a right that one be able to obtain
available information (i.e., it is not blocked to one),
but not a right that necessarily attaches to particular
private organizations.6
Now Google can prevent those using its search
engine from connecting to certain web pages
through its services. However, it cannot prevent a
person from using other search engines or Internet
Service Providers to seek out those web pages.
Google is a service that people may (or may not)
use to obtain information. There are other search
engines: Yahoo, Altavista, Baidu (in China), etc. It
also does not have an obligation to provide access to
any and all web pages to those who want them.
This means that if Google, a private organization,
does not provide certain websites, it has not violated
people’s right to that information, even though under
some circumstances it could be accused of censoring
those web pages if it did so for reasons of protecting its
users or for protecting its own interests. Further, the
right to freedom of expression would apply to it only if
it could effectively prevent people from obtaining
information to which they had a right and which,
absent that its actions, they would have access.
However, this is not, in general, the case with Google.
I have also noted that Google, or similar private
organizations, are not the primary party responsible
for the right to freedom of expression and information. Private news organizations and search engines do
not violate that right if they withhold from their own
services certain information.7 Hence, the human right
to freedom of expression does not directly apply to
Google. In order to be accused of violating the right of
freedom of expression, Google would have to have
authority or effective power over those rights holders
or be part of a group which, acting in concert, prevented people from accessing the information they
Complicity and the role of the Chinese government
Of course, this last claim points us in an important,
new direction. The situation of Google in China is
complex because we cannot simply consider Google
and the Chinese people. We must also consider
Google as operating in the social and political context of China and the Chinese government. Google
is being required by the Chinese government, as part
of its license to operate in China, to filter items from
the Internet of which the Chinese government does
not approve and which filtering, on the part of the
Chinese government, does violate their citizens’
right to information. Google has become part of a
system-wide attempt to prevent Chinese people
from having access to certain information otherwise
available through the Internet. Further, its acting in
this way is part of an effort by the Chinese government to ensure that all Internet Service Providers
and Search Engines do not permit these web pages
to become available to people in China searching for
Does this filtering of the Internet at the direction
of the Chinese government make Google complicit
in the abuse of the right to freedom of information?
The answer to this simple question is considerably
complex. There is a number of different analyses of
To begin with, according to a UN document on
‘‘Embedding Human Rights in Business Practices,’’
a company is complicit in human rights abuses if it
authorizes, tolerates, or knowingly ignores human
rights abuses committed by an entity associated with it,
or if the company knowingly provides practical assistance or encouragement that has a substantial effect on
the perpetration of human rights abuse. The participation of the company need not actually cause the
abuses. Rather, the company’s assistance or encouragement has to be to a degree that, without such
participation, the abuses most probably would not
have occurred to the same extent or in the same way
(UNHCHR, 2004, p. 19).
There are at least two major conditions here for
complicity: (a) The Permits condition and (b) the
Assistance condition. These are distinct and separate.
Each one might be sufficient for complicity. The
Permits condition involves a company authorizing,
tolerating, or knowingly ignoring human rights
abuses committed by an entity associated with it.
When the entity associated with a business is a
sovereign government, especially of the size of the
Chinese government, this condition does not seem
Google, Human Rights, and Moral Compromise
applicable. Google is in no position to authorize the
Chinese government to do anything. It could, of
course, tolerate or knowingly ignore Chinese government human rights abuses. However, the significance of this is uncertain, absent the ability to
change what the Chinese government is doing.
Besides, the question here relates to what Google
itself does as a result of what the Chinese government is requiring them to do. Hence, the Permits
condition does not seem applicable to Google. It
does not render Google complicit.
The Assistance condition requires that what a
company does have a substantial effect on the perpetuation of human rights abuses. Clearly, Google is
blocking websites and hence is subject to the accusation (being considered here) that it is violating
people’s human rights. However, the UN document
qualifies this Assistance condition by saying that a
company’s assistance has to be such that without it
‘‘the abuses most probably would not have occurred
to the same extent or in the same way.’’ Now
understood in a non-trivial manner, it is quite likely
that with or without Google’s participation, the
abuses would have remained largely the same in
nature and extent. In fact, Google claims that it can
provide more and better information, even of some
sensitive materials, although all materials passing
through are filtered.8 Hence, the total
censorship may actually be lessened. On this
understanding, Google is not complicit.
In fact, I think that both of these conditions are of
questionable relevance or guidance in determining
Google’s complicity. Whether Google is complicit
depends, I think, on a different account than the one
just given.
We have already seen that a first condition of
complicity is that there must be something Google
can do that will affect or impact the right to information in certain ways. In short, Google must be
able to limit or block the web pages that its users
receive when they undertake searches. In this
manner, Google has a direct relationship with those
who use its services. Users of the Internet in China
load the Google program and use it to search for
information they want. However, as above, Google
is not obligated to provide any particular piece of
I have already suggested a second condition as
well. If an organization acts in concert with other
organizations having a direct responsibility regarding
a human right and the resulting combined actions
violate that human right, then they share the
responsibility for the violation of that right. This
condition might appear similar to the notion of direct
complicity that the UN Global Compact for business
has distinguished. On this interpretation, there is
(direct) complicity ‘‘…when a company knowingly
assists a state in violating human rights.’’9 However,
the Global Compact suggests that this requires participation in an act that would itself be a violation of
human rights. Hence, it gives the example of a
‘‘…case where a company assists in the forced
relocation of peoples in circumstances related to
business activity.’’10 However, Google is not directly
complicit in this manner. Their actions of blocking
Internet websites need not be, in themselves, violations of people’s rights, as would be the forced
relocation of people. Instead, I suggest that another
category of obedient complicity is more appropriate.
This would occur when a business follows laws or
regulations of a government to act in ways that
support its activities that intentionally and significantly violate people’s human rights.11 This requires
only that a business engage in actions mandated by a
state that significantly and knowingly violate human
rights – even though similar actions (in this case,
filtering) undertaken simply by the business itself
would not violate human rights!12
Other conditions for complicity?
Michael Santoro has offered a ‘‘Fair Share Theory’’
by which the responsibilities attached to human
rights are allotted among the diversity of potentially
responsible actors (Santoro, 1998, 2000). Two of his
conditions for an actor to be responsible for a human
right might be deemed relevant for determining
complicity. First, Santoro proposes that a multinational corporation (MNC) must be able to effectively engage in behavior consistent with human
rights duties for those duties to be allocated to it.
Hence, when an MNC is involved in the violation of
human rights due to government policies, Santoro
maintains that this condition requires that an MNC
has the ability to alter the policies of the government.
Accordingly, he looks to the potential effectiveness
of a business to ‘‘…have a substantial influence on
George G. Brenkert
the policies of the host government’’ (Santoro, 1998,
pp. 37–38). Only if this were the case, could we
attribute the responsibility for avoiding violation
of that right to the MNC (Santoro, 1998, p. 36;
cf. Santoro, 2000, pp. 154–157).
Second, Santoro maintains that an MNC must be
able ‘‘to withstand losses related to the proposed
duty’’ (Santoro, 1998, p. 36). If it could withstand
retaliation by a government, then the duty at stake
might be allocated to it. However, if an MNC did
not have the capacity to withstand retaliation by the
government, it could not be held to the fulfillment
of human rights duties.
In both cases, these conditions imply that Google
is not responsible and hence not (obediently) complicit with the Chinese government for violating the
right to freedom of expression. On the first condition, it does not appear that Google could substantially influence Chinese government policies. It
cannot effectively not engage in filtering and yet still
do business in China. It could, of course, as it presently does, offer its ordinary Chinese language (from outside of China), on which web
pages in Chinese are ‘‘open, unfiltered and available
to all Internet users worldwide’’ (Schrage, 2006,
p. 5). However, it could not effectively offer a from within China in an unfiltered version. It does not have sufficient influence within
China to alter China’s policies (Santoro, 1998, p. 38).
Accordingly, on Santoro’s view, Google cannot be
held responsible for these violations. It is not part of
its ‘‘fair share’’ allocation of human rights duties.
On the second condition, Santoro argues that
‘‘the capacity of a multinational firm to withstand
retaliation by the Chinese government is very limited in most cases’’ (Santoro, 1998, p. 38). Though
Google could withstand Chinese government
reprisals in the short run (i.e., by withdrawing from
China), this would result in the loss of the world’s
largest market to Google and significantly harm its
development in the long run. From such consequences, Santoro appears committed to the view
that the duty not to violate the right to information
is not applicable to Google. Accordingly, Google
does not have a responsibility to refrain from filtering
the Internet in China, and hence cannot be complicit with Chinese government actions.
I believe we should reject these two additional
conditions. First, if Google does not have a
responsibility to avoid violating this right under
these two conditions (it is not part of their ‘‘fair
share’’), then the implication would be that Google
is not doing anything wrong when it filters the
Internet at the behest of the Chinese government.
Accordingly, it would be unnecessary for Google to
make any adjustments. They should simply filter the
Internet and get on with it. No regrets or sense of
guilt is appropriate. They have not done anything
Some counter-evidence is suggested not simply
by the outcry of many people and organizations
around the world to Google’s actions, but also by the
fact that this doesn’t capture the response the owners
and executives of Google have expressed. They
express regret and appear to be troubled by the
actions they have undertaken. Of course, they may
be wrong. Perhaps, rightly viewed, they should give
up their sense of regret. On the other hand, it may
also be that Santoro’s ‘‘fair share theory’’ does not
correctly capture Google’s responsibilities in this
situation. Indeed, on this first condition, it would
appear that an MNC might engage in a wide range
of harmful acts for which it could claim no
responsibility because it lacked the capacity to
influence the government’s policies.13 This is an
open door to irresponsibility.
Second, Google is blocking websites at the behest
of the Chinese government in a manner that results
in Chinese people being unable to have access to
websites to which they arguably have a right of
access. Were the Chinese government itself to do
this blocking, and there be no ISPs or search engines
involved, it would be violating the right of freedom
of expression of the Chinese people. However, in
the present case, given that the filtering is done
through ISPs and search engines, Google is cooperating with the Chinese government in accomplishing this same end. China has set the rules and
conditions for Google to operate in China, even if
some of this is done only very indirectly.
Still, Google has chosen to place itself in this situation. Google agreed to operate by rules that are
part of the Chinese government’s violation of its
citizens’ right to freedom of information. Consider a
business that chose to operate in South Africa under
apartheid and then followed the South African
government’s apartheid rules. They would have
been considered complicit in the violation of the
Google, Human Rights, and Moral Compromise
human rights of South Africa’s blacks. So too, to the
extent that it follows the Chinese government rules
in blocking websites that violate the rights of
expression of its citizens, Google is also complicit in
this abuse of human rights.
It is true that Google and other companies must
follow the laws of the countries in which they
operate. Since China requires filtering, this is what
they must do. However, such pressure, even if
codified in a law, doesn’t answer the moral question:
Is this a just or moral law? And does following it
violate important international human rights? Governments may set unethical rules that are racist,
sexist, or corrupt. If a business follows such rules, it is
participating in the unethical practices those rules
structure. I have previously concluded above that a
case can be made that China has set up rules
regarding access to information that are unjustified
and that do violate people’s right to information. If
this is correct, then playing by those rules and
engaging in the resulting system is to engage in
unethical practices.14 Of course, some will argue that
they had little choice but to do so. Still, they did
explicitly choose to place themselves in this situation. If they engaged in actions that contribute to
accomplishing the purposes of the aims of the
Chinese government and these aims violate human
rights, then they are (obediently) complicit.15
Summary and Google’s inadequate defense
The upshot of the preceding argument is, I believe,
that Google is (obediently) complicit in violating the
human rights to freedom of expression and information of Chinese people. Actions that Google takes
do in fact filter out web pages that the Chinese
government finds unacceptable, even though the
government has not directly identified those items to
Google. Further, the web pages filtered out are the
ones that raise political questions and legitimacy
questions regarding the Chinese government. These
kinds of materials are illegitimately blocked from the
citizens of any country. It is true that if Google did
not take part in this filtering, the results might be
closely the same. However, in contrast to the UN
document, ‘‘Embedding Human Rights in Business
Practice,’’ referenced above, this does not mean that
Google is not complicit. In point of fact, the
importance of this consideration has been misapplied
by those discussing complicity (and Google).16
Given this analysis, the inadequacy of Google’s
own defense of its position is worth noting. Google’s
position has been defended, through its VP Elliott
Schrage, as resting on three legs. First, Google seeks
to satisfy the interests of its users. Google claims that
by operating in China it can provide a more reliable
and faster service than any of its competitors. Second, it endeavors to expand access to information to
those who want it. Again, by having a presence in
China, Google claims that it can offer more and
better information through the Internet than any
one else operating in China. Finally, it seeks to be
responsive to local conditions. The law of the land is
such, Google claims, that either it must filter or it
cannot operate in China. Google notes that its regular service,, on which web pages in
Chinese may appear, remains ‘‘open, unfiltered and
available to all Internet users worldwide’’ (Schrage,
2006, p. 5).
What is striking about Google’s defense is its
inadequacy. First, it does not respond to accusations
of the violation of the human right to freedom of
expression and information. In fact, it does not even
speak about human rights or other rights. It is a
thoroughly consequentialist response.
Second, this response treats all information on the
Internet as the same. Consequently, if Google can
offer more information even though it filters some
topics, then it is justified in proceeding. However,
more information about happy picnics on Tiananmen Square is not the same as less total information
(however that is measured) but some that includes
the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. At the least,
Google needs some way to respond to the human
rights violation charge. It is true that Google is not
engaged in a philosophical debate, but many other
businesses have undertaken to speak directly to human rights issues and do invoke talk about human
rights in explaining and justifying their actions (see
Novartis, Shell, and Levi Strauss).
Third, if Google’s response is consequentialist and
this adequately defends its ‘‘Don’t be evil’’ mantra,
then it is hard to understand why Schrage has also said
that self-censorship is counter to its basic values and
commitments. The only thing that would be counter
to those values is providing less information. Any
system will involve some restricting or censoring
George G. Brenkert
some materials. However, not all such information
comes under the notion of freedom of expression and
Finally, if Google’s consequentialist justification
were truly successful, then it would seem peculiar
that it would have any reservations about its actions.
It should simply continue on its present course
secure in the knowledge of the resulting good
consequences. And yet Google’s founders have
expressed concern about Google’s position. Sergey
Brin (one of Google’s two co-founders) has spoken
of their compromising their values (see Parr, 2006,
p. 86). I think this is suggestive of the type of
problems that answers that are wholly consequentialist or utilitarian have. They transform various
features of the moral landscape simply into their
results, rather than entertaining the intrinsic aspects
of those features that may be trampled by focusing
on their consequences.17
Moral compromise
If Google’s filtering the web in China infringes on
the human right to freedom of information, then
doesn’t it follow that Google should stop filtering,
and, as a consequence, no longer operate in China?
Some move seamlessly from the wrongness of such
filtering to the wrongness of Google engaging in
filtering all things considered. There is much to be
said for this view. However, at this point, we have
only considered the wrongness of such filtering.
Instead, we need a judgment regarding whether
Google should, all things considered, filter the
Internet. By this, I mean a judgment that is based
upon all relevant moral and non-moral considerations.18 If it is wrong for Google to filter the
Internet, all things considered, then it should
withdraw from China. This may take moral courage. However, anything else would be morally
In this section, I wish to look more broadly at the
full moral and practical dimensions of Google’s situation. Google has multiple responsibilities to various stakeholders. The fact that they may be morally
obligated to respond in one way with regard to the
rights of some stakeholders does not imply that they
must therefore honor that right above all others.
Google does not have the luxury of deciding what to
do based simply on the basis of this or that right.
Instead, they must reach an ‘‘all things considered
In this situation, I believe that a reasonable case
can be made that they may be morally permitted,
under the present circumstances and subject to certain conditions, to filter the Internet in China. In
doing so, they will have indeed morally compromised their values and infringed on the human right
to freedom of expression and information. However, all things considered, this is the best decision
they can make, even if it is not the most desirable
situation one might imagine.19 Should these conditions change, they would no longer be permitted to
engage in such filtering and must cease doing so,
even if it means withdrawing from China.
Two senses of ‘‘compromise’’
The sense in which I speak of compromise here
needs brief, initial attention. Frequently, when
people talk about (moral) compromise, they refer to
the compromises that occur between two negotiators or two parties who are disputing over some
topic or business deal. If each gives up something or
some part of what they are seeking, then they can be
said to have compromised. Henc…
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Strategy Features That Differentiated BJ’s BJ’s had developed a strategy and operating model that management believed differentiated the company from Costco and Sam’s Club: Offering

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