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Sites Google Censors  (View post)

Andrew [PersonRank 0]

Saturday, January 15, 2005
15 years ago

I agree with you – but are any of the Google sites required to list ALL websites? I think not; there is no obligation for them to list anything they dont want too.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

You are right, they are not obliged to. But they do also put up a note when it comes to them removing copyrighted material, which makes you wonder why they don't do this here. And they also often stress* how their results are automatically delivered with no human editing. Well, in the case of Germany and France, there was a deliberate human removal of those sites upon request by German and French authorities. They should note this fact right on the search result page the same they do for removal of copyrighted material.

---------
*Take the case for Jewwatch.org, which was once the top result when you entered "Jews" into Google. Google Inc. "said it had no plans to remove the site from the search results list because it trusts its automated program to rank Web sites accurately."
Yes, in Germany, this result (and the whole Jewwatch domain) is missing from the listings.
nytimes.com/2004/04/13/technol ...

Also, for the "Jews" Google issue, Google put up an explanatory page – and a link to it was shown on the search result page visibly:
"A site's ranking in Google's search results is automatically determined by computer algorithms using thousands of factors to calculate a page's relevance to a given query."
google.com/explanation.html

Google goes on to say that:
"Our search results are generated completely objectively and are independent of the beliefs and preferences of those who work at Google. (...)
he only sites we omit are those we are legally compelled to remove or those maliciously attempting to manipulate our results."
---------

Are they legally obliged to do this? No, I just think it would be more fair especially to German and French users, and possibly, other countries in the future. If Google *does* obey a country's law while *not* alerting its users to it on the result page, this means they are quietly approving the law – because they always have the chance to not offer a search engine for this country. Even if you obey the law you are still responsible for your acts – or else, you could work within immoral law and still do only moral things (in Nazi Germany, many immoral things were legal, which doesn't make them any more moral).

In other words, yes, Google made a conscious decision to work within Germany's law because they do not consider this law bad enough to protest against it or to "leave the country." All that is missing is the note on the SERPs.

George [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

It is really easy to hide one's moral obligations behind machines made excuses.

Phineas Fraser [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

YES – also.

Google states:

google.com/explanation.html

- as you said "The only sites we omit are those we are ... or those maliciously attempting to manipulate our results."

However-

firstmonday.org/issues/issue10 ...

" The "Jew" Google bomb was a successful effort to demote an antiĀ–Semitic Web site from the number one Page Rank resulting from a search of the term "Jew." This effort resulted in the promotion of the wikipedia.org definition of "Jew" (Wikipedia, 2005) to the number one position."

Surely this is a malicious manipulation of Googles results.

Why has Wikipedia not been relegated to conform to the results Google would have us believe it wants?

Brian Mingus [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Wikipedia is not in the business of "defining" things, putting spin on them or harassing others for their beliefs.

Brian Mingus [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

By the way, Jewwatch is once again the top result on Google for `jew'. flickr.com/photos/breflection/ ...

Phineas Fraser [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

Brian,

I think I get it now, thanks.

What we do is ask Google to change the search algorithm so only um.. err.. ahh.. sites that will not harrass me etc (or in this case evidently Brian, you) show a high ranking, even if sites we do not like far outrank other sites in reality.

Yes that will help. there is nothing like truth to help the programmer develop accurate software.

BTW jewwatch is still #2 from where I am.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

I think the "maliciousness" (e.g. link farms, hidden links) has to be on the page itself, not pages linking to it. Wikipedia didn't do the googlebombing, it were bloggers and similar. Or else, I could penalize CNN.com by creating a linkbomb directed towards CNN.com. However, there may be a *small* factor given to such links, for example, when a site has linkfarmish links pointing to it with very little real things, and/ or if the site itself does something slightly suspicious, it might be penalized faster...

Andrew Hitchcock [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Jewwatch is #1 for me. However, if you don't like the results, you can login, search for Jew, and remove the result yourself from all searches. It'll only work for you, but it'll guarantee you never see it again.

Brian Mingus [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Good point..not that I ever search for `Jew' when not discussing this topic =)

Tim [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

Philipp

   If you went to China (say on a trip) would you have a board in your hand asking for democracy and crusading against the government? Obviously not since that would land you in trouble. The gist is that you have to abide by the laws of the country where you work or live. Google ain't bigger than the law of any country. In the US, Google has recourse to the courts so it can at least stand against the government. Not so in China. Also Google does display the fact that some information has been left out unlike Yahoo and MSN. Though, I do agree that the same thing can be done for Google Germany and France.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

> Also Google does display the fact that
> some information has been left out unlike
> Yahoo and MSN.

Do you have a screenshot of that Tim?

> If you went to China (say on a trip) would you
> have a board in your hand asking for democracy
> and crusading against the government?

People opposing the Google decision don't ask Google to crusade against the Chinese gov't – people are asking from Google to *not actively partner with the Chinese government*. There's an important difference here.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

I agree with Philipp. THe regime once wanted the crytpo codes.. and the industry refused to hand over that type of information. I dont see why partnerships are being done with countires which goes against the grain of human rights declaration.

what is the world (corporations!!) doing at large to help those people in china to gain their freedom in terms of free speech ?

Tim [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

Philipp,
  
   I searched for 'Falun Gong' and the following is at the bottom of the page:
(...)

   Using Google translate (google.com/translate_t) this becomes:
"According to the local law laws and regulations and the policy, partially searches the result does not demonstrate." (sounds like yoda speak :)

   Danny Sullivan also has the same observations at:
blog.searchenginewatch.com/blo ...

   If you think of Google operating their server in China as actively partnering with the Chinese government, I think of it as providing a great service to the Chinese people. Earlier when the Google servers were operating outside of China, the Chinese government would anyway filter out results thorugh their firewall. Now:
a) The end user is able to get Google results faster since the server is local
b) Its made clear in the results that some information has been left out.
  
   If b) was not there (as in the case of Yahoo and MSN), it would definitely have been bad since the user could not then differentiate between uncensored and censored results.

   Since 95% of the searches will be on non-political topics, the end user experience is greatly enhanced with a faster search. In the case of the remaining 5% censored results, if the curiosity of the user is piqued, they can always go to Google.com and see the uncensored results.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

I agree that displaying what gets censored is much better. You don't get this notice here in Germany for all searches. I've asked for this many times, but Google ignores it.
google.de/search?hl=de&q=s ...

Josh R [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

Just so you know, google doesnt just censor racism sites, for example, should you type rape into google images of google.de compared to google.cn or google.com all have different results

also certain websites are completely band in germany such as Bmezine.com a tatoo and body modification website, if you type bmezine.com into google.de it has zero results whereas google.com has 1 result of bmezine.com

if you experiment for 5 minutes with different countries google, and controversial topics you will see varying differences.

Oh final thought, every google no matter what country has a link to google.com on its main page so if people are that bothered about ommisions from their government they can always go to the homepage and click google.com (typing google.com into the main address bar automatically directs you to your countries google usually)

just my few thoughts

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