The Fri-Up: The Fri-Up: Google + Tax
Google is rarely out of the news. Last week, the tech giant’s developers
conference I/O was the main focus, taking place in San Francisco and
attended by some of the worlds most influential developers, CEO Larry Page
was there to lap up the praise. But it it was revelations in the papers
last weekend and this week’s Big Tent conference in London that drew the
most attention. Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt was hauled over the coals
over Google’s tax affairs.
The Google tax issue has been rumbling on for a while as we see from the
Fig 1. History graph to show mentions of Google’s tax issues.
The two notable spikes in the last week concerning tax affairs are clearly
shown. The first, swallowing the positive reaction to Google I/O as a
whistleblower, in the form of a former Google employee, claimed to have hundreds of incriminating emails detailing Googles tax avoidance in the UK via Ireland and Bermuda.
At the same time, Wikileaks published an interview with Eric Schmidt and Julian Assange, where Assange asks for a Google-US surveillance list. The second spike
rose, as UK politicians jumped on the bandwagon in berating Google both at
an EU summit in Brussels and Google’s London Big Tent conference, due to be
attended by Eric Schmidt who was unfortunately held up in traffic and so
missed Ed Milliband’s speech.
Social networks are one of the best searchable sources of public feeling
and often, people are vocal on issues they may not wade into in real
conversation, thanks to the anonymity of the internet.
Highlighting the seriousness of this particular issue, the graph below
demonstrates the proportion of news coverage in relation to social network
chat which is unusually high. It also demonstrates that despite their tax
issues, the damage done PR-wise to google in relation to the enduring
need/love for Google’s produces is still limited. Much of the chat on
social networks defends Google and rather slams UK and worldwide tax laws
for allowing loopholes.
Fig 2. Google tax issues breakdown by page-type
Finally, here are some of the most popular tweets over the last week
concerning Google’s woes, delivered via our Twitter Insights component.
Something for the weekend: