This really concerns me: Censorship and Google

Posted: April 10, 2007 in Uncategorized

The article below got me really concerned about Google:

Google censors China criticism in U.S.

Web site owner just wants to buy advertising for his work

(worldnetdaily.com) Internet search engine Google, which WND reported earlier censors its search results in China to meet government demands, now is censoring criticism of China in the United States, according to one website owner.

WND has documented that Google already disregards commemorations of national American holidays such as Memorial Day but honors China’s year of the pig, has refused to link to news sources critical of radical Islam but hosts blogs containing homosexual pornography, hosts blogs promoting “boy love” and sexual relationships between men and adolescents but refuses to run ads from a Christian ministry to homosexuals, and has blocked ads attacking Bill and Hillary Clinton but welcomes ads attacking President Bush and other Republican leaders.

Now website owner Chris Langdon said he found out that Google censors criticism of China within the United States, after he launched his ChinaIsEvil site and was denied permission to purchase advertising on the search engine. (more…)

Here is another article I found on this same issue of censorship:

Google Censorship – How It Works

Google Exclusion, introduction

Google is arguably the world’s most popular search engine. However, contrary perhaps to a naive impression, in some cases the results of a search are affected by various government-related factors. That is, search results which may otherwise be shown, are deliberately excluded. The suppression may be local to a country, or global to all Google results.

This removal of results was first documented in a report Localized Google search result exclusions by Benjamin Edelman and Jonathan Zittrain , which investigated certain web material banned in various countries. Later, this author Seth Finkelstein discussed a global removal arising from intimidation generated from the United Kingdom town of Chester, in Chester’s Guide to Molesting Google .

My discussion here is not meant to criticize Google’s behavior in any way. Much of it is in reaction to government law or government-backed pressure, where accommodation is an understandable reaction if nothing else. Rather, documenting and explaining what happens, can inform public understanding, and lead to more informed resistance against the distortion of search results created by censorship campaigns.

How it works

A Google search is not simply a raw dump of a database query to the user’s screen. The retrieval of the data is just one step. There is much post-processing afterwards, in terms of presentation and customization.

When Google “removes” material, often it is still in the Google index itself. But the post-processing has removed it from any results shown to the user. This system can be applied, for quality reasons, to remove sites which “spam” the search engine. And that is, by volume, certainly the overwhelming application of the mechanism. But it can also be directed against sites which have been prohibited for government-based reasons.

Sometimes the fact that the “removed” material is still in the index can be inferred. (more…)

Here’s another page that further explains the situation: Google Censorship FAQ

This last link explains that while Google is getting a lot of attention for censorship, other search engines are just as guilty. What disturbs me about this is that we are at the mercy of a relatively small group of individuals who can control online information based on THEIR own beliefs.

BTW: Blackinformant.com is banned in China. (link)

I used to get a regular flow of traffic (I think it was between 60-80 hits per month) from this country some months back.

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Comments
  1. MIB says:

    Google.cn has the right to refuse service to a customer as per its policies consistent with Chinese law. However, the WND article is incorrect in stating Google.com is ‘censoring’ criticism of China within the U.S..

    To demonstrate, go here, type ‘censorship in China’, hit ‘Google search’, and observe.

  2. MIB doesn’t know what he, or she, is talking about. Google refused to run ads for my website, http://www.chinaisevil.com, IN THE US.

    It does allow ads for Mao’s Little Redd Book, Hitler’s Mein Kampf and Marx’s Communist Manifesto. If you Google search “China” it is difficult to find any websites in the search results that are critical of Communist China.

    Google claims that its search results are unbiased, objective, the result of a computer algorithm. However, Google removed my website, http://www.ncjusticefraud.com, from some of its search results. That website accuses NC Attorney General Roy Cooper of lying to the US Supreme Court. My NC site has been in existence since October, 2005, without objection from Cooper. Google removed my NC site from its search results, then re-instated it, and then removed it again, when searching “Roy Cooper,” but Google allows it when searching “Attorney General Roy Cooper.” At the same time, Yahoo and Microsoft rank my NC site in the top 12 search results for “Roy Cooper.”

    Google has fooled a lot of people.

    Chris Langdon, qiology@aol.com

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