Earlier this week, TechCrunch writer MG Siegler’s Google+ profile pic vanished without explanation. The profile picture featured MG looking away from the camera with middle finger extended (seen here). After thinking it may have been a bug, the photo was uploaded again, and once again removed – this time with the following message from a Googler: As the first point of interaction with a user’s profile, all profile photos on Google+ are reviewed to make sure they are in line with our User Content and Conduct Policy. Our policy page states, “Your Profile Picture cannot include mature or offensive content.” Your profile photo was taken down as a violation of this policy. If you have further questions about the policies on Google+ you can visit http://www.google.com/intl/en/+/policy/content.html, or click the “Content Policy” link located in the footer of Google+ pages. So Google is now modifying user accounts when they think … [Read more...] about Google+ Censoring Borderline Offensive Profile Images; Author Images in Search Results To Blame?
Google censors search results
In response to court orders, Yahoo and Google are censoring search results in Argentina about a variety of celebrities, including public officials, models, actors, and sports stars. According to an in depth article on OpenNet Initiative, this has been going on since 2006 and more than 100 people have succeeded in getting Google and Yahoo to filter search results in Argentina. Astonishingly, a search on Yahoo Argentina for [Diego Maradona] — one of the world’s most well known soccer stars and the current national team head coach — produces zero results, along with a message from Yahoo that’s roughly translated as follows: “On the occasion of a court order sought by private parties, we have been forced to temporarily remove some or all of the search results relating to it.” According to OpenNet, both Google and Yahoo are following court orders to filter their search results, but only Yahoo is completely scrubbing search results (as seen above). The … [Read more...] about Argentina Forcing Google & Yahoo To Censor Search Results
A report on Bloomberg.com claims Mosley’s lawyers filed a suit in a French Court, asking Google to create filters that could identify and remove content referencing “Nazi-themed” sex parties in association with Mosley. A lawsuit has also been filed in Hamburg, Germany. In response to the lawsuit, Google’s associate general counsel authored a blog post saying, “True responsibility for unlawful content lies with the people who produce it,” and asked the French and German courts to reject Mosley’s lawsuit. According to Keller: We sympathize with Mr. Mosley, and with anyone who believes their rights have been violated. We offer well-established tools to help people remove specific pages from our search results when those pages have clearly been determined to violate the law. In fact, we have removed hundreds of pages for Mr. Mosley, and stand ready to remove others he identifies. Google claims that the E-Commerce Directive already has rules in … [Read more...] about Google Says European Law Does Not Support Mosley Lawsuit To Censor Search Results
The article asserted that Bing search results for Chinese language speakers in the US were radically different than those in English for controversial terms such as Tiananmen Square or Dalai Lama: Microsoft’s search engine Bing appears to be censoring information for Chinese language users in the US in the same way it filters results in mainland China. Searches first conducted by anti-censorship campaigners at FreeWeibo, a tool that allows uncensored search of Chinese blogs, found that Bing returns radically different results in the US for English and Chinese language searches on a series of controversial terms. These include Dalai Lama, June 4 incident (how the Chinese refer to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989), Falun Gong and FreeGate, a popular internet workaround for government censorship. The Guardian says the comparison and charge were first made by Greatfire.org. After an outreach to Microsoft the company said it was not censoring search results for Chinese speakers … [Read more...] about We Don’t Censor Search Outside China
Europe and the U.S. continue to drift further apart on Google. Even as European parliamentarians and regulators seek ways to restrain Google’s discretion over search results, U.S. courts continue to affirm Google’s right to do whatever it wants with search results — paid and organic. A California state court in San Francisco recently granted Google’s case-ending motion in lawsuit against the company (per GigaOm). The action, filed in June of this year in San Francisco Superior Court, was called S. Louis Martin vs. Google Inc. Drafted and filed by the non-attorney publisher of San Francisco Bay Area Tourism website CoastNews.com, the complaint alleged unfair and deceptive business practices against Google. The basic factual allegations included the claim that CoastNews ranked at the top of search results on Bing and Yahoo for San Francisco neighborhood keywords but didn’t rank in a comparable position on Google. Plaintiff Martin asserted that Google’s … [Read more...] about Another Court Affirms Google’s First Amendment Control Of Search Results