Day by Day

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Is Google the new Thought Police?


They'll censor web searches in China, they'll censor US blogs for political content, and now they censor videos with political or religious content - but they still won't help us catch pedophiles and child pornographers. And they wonder why their stock is in a nosedive?

About the time their stock price started falling, Google changed their censorship policy and tried to hide that fact.

Just for fun, try typing in “tienneman square” in regular google - you get this with 1,620,000 results - which is about 200,000 less than a couple weeks ago by the way - then go to http://www.google.cn/ and try the same thing. You get this - with about 10,000 results. Funny. I thought Tienneman square was in China. What was I thinking?

Google censors the content of their searches for the government of China, but won’t help catch pedophiles, though Yahoo and Microsoft are helping. Why? Are they trying to build up their pedophile customer base?

I came across the video linked here at Google Video and watched it with no problem a couple weeks ago. Offensive? Maybe to a Muslim, but all it is is Muslim extremists' words put to music really. Did they remove the video because it offends Muslims or because it is persuasive? I can find tons of Google videos that are offensive to Christians, like this one. So it does not appear that Google is being sensitive to religion in general, just to Islam. Since when does Google care about religion, anyway? (To be fair, it should be noted that Google Video hosts anti-Palestinian videos as well as anti-Israeli. Check out the new Michael Jackson tune in that last link. (Yes, I know the numbers are bogus.))

Anyway, I went to see that "It's In the Koran" video again and it was censored. It was no longer there. It was here, and now it is not.

This blog, hosted by Google (as is the one you are looking at now), has a content warning. Why? There are many pornographic blogs hosted by Google with no such content warning. Why does google censor political content but not pornography? There are thousands of blogs far more offensive or hateful than this one that have no such content warning.

Google Inc. no longer believes in free speech apparently. Why would they want to be thought police? That's just bad business, especially for a company at the center of worldwide information aggregation, storage and distribution. I don’t think the recent nosedive in Google’s stock price is just a coincidence.

UPDATE: These people get it:
Eagle Bridge, NY — February 16, 2006 — W Ketchup announced today that it has cancelled all advertising with Google, including both search engine ads and content network ads. The company took this step to protest Google’s agreement to help the Communist regime in China suppress liberty and free expression in that country.

Summing up the situation, Frida Ghitis in the Boston Globe wrote: “Google knows more about us than the FBI or the CIA or the NSA or any spy agency of any government. When a company that holds digital dossiers on millions of people decides profits are more important than principles, we are all at risk.”
I'm gonna go buy me some ketchup.

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