Google Analytics makes a geopolitical statement

Google makes decision on sovereignty, and just makes some places disappear

Google Analytics will tell you how many visitors came to your site from Taiwan, but takes care to show what it thinks of Chinese sovereignty. The company won’t show, however, whether you had any visitors from the West Bank. The Palestinian territories don’t exist in the Google Analytics world.

While I just discovered the China/Taiwan flourish, it was reported a while ago. For purposes of site metrics, Taiwan is treated as a separate country. But use the map overlay and hover your cursor over either China or Taiwan - both are highlighted.

Google Analytics - Taiwan

It’s certainly understandable - this even reflects the same semi-recognition of Taiwan in US policy. The US doesn’t officially recognize Taiwan; but still sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military kit. As for the Sinophiles, it certainly makes sense for the rest of the world to treat the PRC and the ROC as distinct web markets. Heard of the Great Firewall?

More curious is Google’s perceived stance toward the Palestinian territories, and the company’s reticence on the matter. They could have treated the West Bank and Gaza as two separate territories, one combined entity, a part of Israel, or an autonomous entity tied to Israel (as with Taiwan with China). Instead, they’ve just been disappeared.

Google Analytics - West Bank

On the Google Analytics map, the West Bank and Gaza are washed out areas. You can’t click on either of them. You can track user stats from the Falkland Islands, contested territory with a population of 3,100. But the Palestinian territories don’t even exist?

There are a couple of threads in the Google Analytics forums about the Palestinian territories. Is there no Internet access in the West Bank? Or is this a quiet statement by Google?

What do you make of all this, readers?