Google Blogoscoped

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Differences in Google Image Results for Tiananmen Square Protests

The first page of the around 44,000 results for tiananmen massacre on the international Chinese version at

The 11 results in China on for the same query, along with a censorship notice at the bottom:

The results of a Google search may vary greatly in different locations around the globe. Above is a search for tiananmen massacre – once on Google international Chinese, and once on Google China – in reference to the Chinese protests culminating in violence 20 years ago today. You will get similar differences when searching for Chinese phrases like 六四事件, June Fourth Incident. This is due to Google having agreed to censor the China results when they decided to further move in the country with their technology in the years 2004 (starting with Google News) and 2006 (organic web search and other services), a compromise which they suggested they hope to be for the better, overall, but to which they do not provide many details to the outside world. “All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.”


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