Google Sees 'Alarming' Level of Government Censorship

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  1. tammybarnette profile image60
    tammybarnetteposted 11 years ago … ensorship/

    "Google reports it has seen an "alarming" incidence in government requests to censor Internet content in the past six months."

    "The Web giant said it received more than 1,000 requests from governments around the world to remove items such as YouTube videos and search listings. The company, which said it complied with more than half the requests, released a catalog of those requests as part of its biannual Global Transparency Report."

    1. recommend1 profile image59
      recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I am all in favour of censoring some internet materials available generally.  Why do I have to put up with child porn appearing on my computer screen when I google search "childrens bed" or some other 'normal' phrase.  Why do I have to put up with krazy kristian blather appearing when I google search almost anything not specific.

      The citizens of some countries are deeply offended by certain images and content,  why should they be subjected to it ?  Why should the remarkable lack of moral and ethical values that swill around the cess pit of US materials  be imposed on everyone else?

      1. Josak profile image62
        Josakposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        There is an important difference between ensuring that people don't accidentally stumble on something some would find offensive and censoring things so that even people looking for them can't find them, the first is fine and makes sense, the second not so much.

        1. recommend1 profile image59
          recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Absolutely agree - and generally I am not in favour of censorship.  However, the normal barriers to obscenity in civilised society have been detroyed and so some other protection is needed.

          I think Google are as much to blame in this regard by not using their obvious technical abilities to work on it sooner and finding ways to corral this stuff out of the general stream but where the perverts and sexually inadeqauate can find it.

          1. tammybarnette profile image60
            tammybarnetteposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Yes, I can't understand why this is even an issue...I mean it seems simple, if the word "porn" is not part of the search request then porn sites should't pop up...doesn't that seem simple enough, non-censorship and non-smut for the ordinary viewer...

            1. recommend1 profile image59
              recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Not really.  Any string of any combination will bring up matching results - so if you put in "Essex child" Google could also return results for "sex child" which can occur somewhere within many different titles that I can leave to your own imagination.

              1. tammybarnette profile image60
                tammybarnetteposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                I know, A short while back I was searching for pictures of young women for a hub I was working on, all porn sites! Eventually I used high school children to get what I was looking for, but my point is it should be the other way should be harder to find the smut...just typing in girls goes straight to porn, that is ridiculous and fixable...

                I was wondering if you, or anyone else on the thread, followed through the links of the transparency report? I noticed the conversation has been mainly about China when there was so much to see about places such as Iran and Russia...also that while governments and court orders have fought against porn, it has been to a tiny degree(under5%), while 405 of government requests/court orders have been under the title "defamation," Now, I know there has been a lot of truth to the internet being used in that way, but I wondered what else might fall under that category? I was also impressed that google said no to most request from most countries unless provable to be unlawful to not comply...but apparently the US was able to convince them a lot more having greater success of banning material, strange.

                1. psycheskinner profile image81
                  psycheskinnerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  You can set an adult filter on your Google search.  I have it set off at home but on at work.

                  Most porn is legal and searching for it is a valid use of a search engine.  If the result came up fort, that meant the majority of people using those search terms were in fact looking for porn.

                  1. recommend1 profile image59
                    recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    The adult filter removes pretty much every site I try to search for and they are not porn, just not mainstream.

                    Most porn is legal in the US, not in most of the rest of the world.  I would suggest that the rest of the world is right and the US is wrong.

      2. wilderness profile image94
        wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Why?  Because you are using a free service provided by someone you don't control.

        "I disagree strongly with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."  Voltaire

        You want to leave specific results out of search results, build your own SE.  Or provide strong evidence that what you don't want to see actually causes personal harm to people, whereupon I might join you in asking it be removed. 

        Child porn, I'm with you. 

        Krazy Kristian blather not at all.  I could not care less that certain peoples are "deeply offended" by certain images or that you (or anyone else) finds the US to be a moral and ethical cess pit of objectionable images.  You don't like it, build your own SE, as I say.

        1. recommend1 profile image59
          recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

          We are talking WWW here - World Wide Web - the whole point of the internet is that it is global.

          Here in China the recent expulsion of Google were certainly motivated by many things - but on the issue that they used (of unrestricted pornography) they were completely right.

          So now I can use the Chinese version of Google, or the unreliable Google HK, or most other services - and incidentally I can use Google through my VPN.

          BUT  this censors half the world from using Google, the half that do not have access to VPN etc, and makes it a Half World Web - and that is censorship in itself.

          1. profile image0
            Peelander Gallyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            The Chinese government's gratuitous censorship is kind of a given. As wilderness said, we don't control any of the major sources from which we receive anything, be it news and information or food. I miss the high seas days of the Internet, too, but unless you're willing to risk your life by exposing classified government documents and whatnot, elevating people like Julian Assange to little folk hero pedestals is about all you can do. Imagine how much was hidden from people before we were able to instantaneously transmit information to the other side of the planet. People are simply more aware of more things these days, which is why there are also so many paranoid conspiracy theorists about.

          2. profile image0
            Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            But that is not the fault of either Google, or the U.S.  CHINA made the decision to censor it's search engine results.  I would think that you might take issue then with the Chinese government.  Oddly enough, I'd venture to say that child pornography can be found on many sites that neither originate nor are maintained in the U.S.

            1. recommend1 profile image59
              recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Of course it is the fault of Google - they are the gatekeepers to much of the internet information.  I could take issue with the Chinese government but I live here, earn my money here, and abide by their rules as only polite in their country with their culture and requirements.

              Every country censors the information it's citizens sees, including your own.  You do not see any of the 'other' side of anything - have you ever seen in mainstream media the Syrian side of that particular dispute ??  Did you ever see the Chinese human rights report on the US, using the exact same criterion as the US used for China, did you see how you fall even shorter than China on many issues  - Did you see all across your news that China sent rescue and reconstruction teams to Haiti after their (fairly) recent devestation, pretty much equal to the US contribution ?

              In respect to child pronography, of course it is worldwide, but Google is the biggest gatekeeper and with all its resources and abilities it is clearly making no effort to exclude it from its search and find machine.

              1. profile image0
                Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                Has it occurred to you that most individuals who use the web are capable of tuning into multiple news sources - including other national media streams such as Al-Jazeera?  BBC? 

                Did you speak as highly of the U.S. when you lived here?  Or as passionately in support of our government?

                1. recommend1 profile image59
                  recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  Most individuals do not look for alternative news.

                  IK never lived in the US, I am UK.

                  I do not passionately support the Chinese government - you are deliberately misrepresenting what I wrote.

                  I was posing news that you will not have heard,  I could just as easily used news from any other country.

                  1. profile image0
                    Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    I apologize for misrepresenting anything.  If I did, it was unintentional. 

                    I'm glad you're aware of most people's news consumption habits.  Almost every friend I have online seeks out alternative news sources - and they come from all over the world, not just the U.S.

                    I guess I'm just confused by what you're saying.

              2. wilderness profile image94
                wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                Google used to count incoming links to determine the value of a site.  Unfortunately that was "gamed" to the point that we saw Panda.

                The point is that anything google might do to eliminate these things is going to be quickly got around by suppliers and viewers.  Google can try (and perhaps is - who really knows?) but it will never work in the long run.

                Although I personally think G owes it to the world to try and eliminate such things a child porn, it is ultimately up to the people themselves to eliminate the source.  Only in that manner can any effort be actually effective for more than a few days or weeks.

                1. psycheskinner profile image81
                  psycheskinnerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  I think the control of child porn belongs to law enforcement.  The illegal act is on the server, not the search engine.

                  Google already deindexes illegal sites by jurisdiction when they are reported.  I know this because they deindex pirate site urls offering my novels illegally. I just have to send in the request.

                  1. wilderness profile image94
                    wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    You're absolutely right in that it belongs to law enforcement.

                    I do have a problem with tasking a private company to become a moral policeman.  It's one thing to ask Google to shut down a pirate site; it's quite another to ask them to police the web for immorality.  If they try, Google will never succeed in the slightest; if two neighbors cannot agree on what is moral how can two people in different cultures across the world from each other?  What can Google use to determine what should be allowed?  Matt Cutt's personal opinion?  Do we really want that?

            2. psycheskinner profile image81
              psycheskinnerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Google actually co-operated with the censorship for a long time, so it was Google's fault to some extent.

          3. innersmiff profile image66
            innersmiffposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            The World Wide Web doesn't physically exist - it's simply a contact between two or more computers that are privately owned, and it's your relationship with the other owners that decides what you see and what you don't see, not the government.

            1. recommend1 profile image59
              recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Absolutely - it is not government and I did not say it was - the gatekeeper is Google.

          4. wilderness profile image94
            wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Recommend, you've left me totally befuddled here.  We often disagree in these forums, but I've always found your posts to be well thought out and with reasoning that I can follow whether I agree or not.  Somewhere this time, though, the gremlins have twisted what I see from what you mean into something unrecognizable.

            Here, you want child porn (and, I think, all other porn as well) removed from Google.  You want the Kristian blather gone.  You want anything that might offend other cultures or peoples left out.  You don't want to see results from the cess pit of American morality on the web.  You want the private, third party that provides a search function that you voluntarily use free of charge to conform to what you think should be on it.

            OK - I obviously disagree, but I can follow the reasoning.  With this post, though, you decry the fact that the Chinese government has censored what you see.  Someone has censored your results and you don't like the fact that only half a web is available in your country. 

            While it sounds like we may agree on censorship of material that will harm another person, I'm completely in the dark as to what you think of material that is merely offensive to some segments of the world.  You can't be claiming that only you are competent to determine what people see (that negates my impression of a thoughtful person able to reason their way through life), so where do you stand?

            Do you wish the web censored, according to whatever a government or particular group wants?  Do you want it open to everything that might be offensive?  Do you believe that humanity throughout the world is close enough in ideology that they could agree on what should be shown?  Should government provide it's own SE, barring all others in that country and thus satisfying the censorship wants of each govt.?  Should the world force every private search engine to provide a "G rated" version as well as one for adults? 

            What is your version of a correctly designed search engine in regards to censorship?

            1. recommend1 profile image59
              recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

              I do not object to the Chinese government censoring the net here, it is not my business and I respect the rules and customs of wherever I live.  It pisses me off that I have to use a VPN to use the google toos etc but hey . .

              I do not think it is so hard to decide what to censor, this is a social issue, not political.  My guess would be that the far greater proportion of the world population do not want to see child porn - probably what is becoming for the US 'normal' porn.  You would object to seeing some young girl being 'banged' by several large guys around your streets and in the bars so why is it ok on the net ?

              1. wilderness profile image94
                wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                If you believe that child porn is alright in the US you are very sadly mistaken.  It may be that the concept is promoted by those that hate the US throughout the world, but there isn't a shred of truth in it.

                Yes, it happens here, just as it happens everywhere in the world.  The man in the street, though, is intensely against the practice.  Child molesters that hit the prison environment are in for a very rough time as even the criminal element detests the practice.  My local area has, in the last few months, caught and sentenced a half dozen child porn cases.  It might be a part of the problem, but people here find the practice so detestable that it is seldom discussed, except to say "shoot the ba***** and be done with it".

                Sites that promote harm to others should, in my opinion, be shut down immediately and child porn is probably at the very top of that list.  Others might (might) include listing names and addresses of undercover agents, plans for bomb making, military plans or instructions for causing a riot.  All cause harm and should absolutely be censored.

                Ordinary pornography, depictions (satirical or otherwise) of famous figures (including religious ones), discussions of homosexuality - all of these and thousands of others fall, in my opinion, under the category of offensive but not harmful and there should be no censorship.  They are also what makes it impossible to ever find a consensus as to what should be censored as world wide, country wide and even city wide agreement will never be reached.  Many, for instance, would demand that any ads or discussion of the Harry Potter books be censored from the net.  Book burning is always popular with some, and the WWW is no different in that respect.

              2. Drive-by Quipper profile image57
                Drive-by Quipperposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                Party pooper panda pandering to the party.

              3. tammybarnette profile image60
                tammybarnetteposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                Child-porn should be illegal and it should be easier to catch up to these persons and charge them with the grotesque crimes they are perpetrating...this is not considered "normal" in this Country, not by a long shot!

                1. wilderness profile image94
                  wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  So?  When you find one in Nigeria, or South Africa or Denmark, what then? 

                  Not defending child pornographers (my solution is a bullet for anyone found running a server with child porn on it), just pointing out that control of an international assemblage of data streams isn't easy OR universally accepted.

                  1. tammybarnette profile image60
                    tammybarnetteposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    You make a great point, my thoughts have always been that if the garbage can not cater to such a large audience it may become less lucrative to the perps...

      3. Barefootfae profile image62
        Barefootfaeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Are you actually equating children's porn and Christian opinion?
        If so you have been in China too long.

        1. Josak profile image62
          Josakposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          The equating is things people find offensive, there are in fact people who find both those things offensive so he was absolutely correct.

          1. Barefootfae profile image62
            Barefootfaeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Whatever....they are not the same thing but when you say that in the same breath you give the impression. I am sorry if you think so but it ain't so.

            1. Josak profile image62
              Josakposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              No one said they were the same thing what was said is they both have the power and ability to offend people which is simply a fact, no two ways around it.

          2. blican468 profile image59
            blican468posted 11 years agoin reply to this

            I took the the time to write a post
            yet still there is a topic on porn ,

    2. profile image60
      logic,commonsenseposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      It will only get worse.  We already have red light cameras, traffic cameras, cameras on street corners, and workplace cameras.  Won't be long before the government will want them in your home as well.  For your own safety of course.  Sounds far fetched, but so did the others at one time.  When people ask the government to be their nanny, they should realize they may get more than they ask for.
      Look at the posts on these political forums.  The left wingers want the conservatives to shut up just because Romney lost.  A true sign of what leftists stand for.  Censorship and submission to their way of thinking.  Doesn't sound much like a free society to me.

      1. tammybarnette profile image60
        tammybarnetteposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        You are describing "1984," and I see that as well, this is not a leftist thing as you would like to believe, it is all of government and all governments...Where is the fine line between security and invasion of privacy...?

        1. downloadbokep profile image59
          downloadbokepposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I think Google is too much to take the decision to remove some content in youtube. because for many people youtube content is very beneficial.

  2. FIS profile image74
    FISposted 11 years ago

    As a general rule I'm opposed to censorship period. I think there are more than enough filtering options available to avoid getting porn if you don't want it... and like being out for a walk, you should be aware of what neighborhood you are in. If you are using the internet.. you should know enough about how it works to protect yourself. Of course.. though I've been online since the late 80s, I haven't stumbled across any child porn yet.. I suppose if I did it might change my mind.. still I've been in some nasty internet neighborhoods and if I haven't stumbled across it.. I find it hard to believe that it's that easy to stumble across... of course.. people might define it differently from each other. If I were going to censor anything.. it would be violence I suppose. I would include child porn as violence against children. I saw on a news show last night a discussion of fascist groups in Greece that are following immigrants and videoing themselves beating them up.. and posting the videos to Youtube. That's pretty twisted and shouldn't be allowed. However.. censoring anything is a slippery slope. While we all might agree that child porn or videos of people being beaten up are a bad thing... there are bound to be some things that we disagree about.. and.. once a mechanism is in place to stop what we agree on.. what is to stop us from using it against each other if we can get a slim majority on our side?

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Personally, I would encourage those committing violent crime (or any other crime for that matter) to tape it and post it on Youtube.  It makes a conviction so much easier.

      You're right that it is a slippery slope.  Sounds here like we all agree that SOME censorship is necessary, but we need to constantly be on guard and fight any more than is absolutely necessary for protection.  Against actual harm, not hurt feelings or to "protect" the morality we so often project onto others against their will.

      1. recommend1 profile image59
        recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I can agree that some censorship is required, this is not about someone being censored for standing on a platform and giving a speech, (though the US and the UK both do that currently) this is about displaying digusting (to someone) images and video in a place where everyone has access to it, and it is displayed randomly on everybody's computer screens when using the google service. (and other similar services  but NOT those of Chinese origin)

        Unacceptable is quite different to different people, however, cultural preferences are well understood and documented - it is not hard to make a socially agreed list of the few things that fall into this category, I suspect that it would include pornography generally, child porn without doubt, snuff movies, racist videos, anti religion video and images - such as burning piles of koran or pissing on piles of bibles - and not much else. 

        I personally would like to see all religion banned from any exposure but I can accept that this is a personal preference and I can accept that this would not be included in the list.

        I can also see that the US would like to ban all video and images of the violence it is wreaking in the mid-east in the form of bus-fulls of women being machine gunned (by accident) , dead children from drone strikes etc etc - Oh sorry, they already do this.

        In other words loads of stuff out there is already banned or otherwise not available through google - adding socially unacceptable material to the list would be a doddle.

        1. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Nope.  Never work.  Say that the world decides that a worldwide vote of 90% is sufficient to censor something. 

          You'll probably get child porn banned (I would certainly hope so) and maybe actual snuff films.

          You won't get even 50% to agree on what "normal" pornography consists of, let alone get it banned. 

          Racist videos are popular any time we have two different races living in close proximity.  Lip service will be paid to banning such things, but a hidden, private vote would never pass.  Far more than 10% of the world population is highly racist - just think of how many black africans hate anything with a white skin.  Not to say that whites are one whit better.

          Religious icons - few Christians will care about burning a Koran, just as few muslims care one iota about violating Christian sensibilities on the web.  Neither will give up their right to violate another religion in return for leaving their own alone.  Both have a god given mandate to convert the world, and that means the right to "violate" other religions as necessary to accomplish that goal.

          Recognizing that I have a poor opinion of humanities ability or tolerance to leave each other alone to live their own lives, I could be wrong on the religious and racist issues.  But I'm not - hate lives strong in most of the human race, particularly in groups as large as an entire culture.

          1. recommend1 profile image59
            recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

            I could not disagree more.   Hate is a very American thing which you export to other countries on the backs of drone missiles and exocets.

            The world is generally a very peaceful place when left alone, your 10% is more like 90% you would find if you came out here and met actual people rather than the media portrayal of them.

            I am sure that the only thing that religions would be able to agree would be to stop putting descration into the media.

            OUtside of the US, porn is still seen as unnacceptable by the majority of the populations, even in those places where it is shoved down their throats.  In fact any socially unnacceptable activities are still seen as unnacceptable in the media, maybe getting this message back into US culture might be a good idea.

            I do think you have a poor opinion of human nature - I guess that is a reflection of where you live and the job you do there ?

            1. Uninvited Writer profile image81
              Uninvited Writerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              I will always think the best about human nature. It has gotten me criticized but I still stand by the argument that the vast majority of people in the world are good and just trying to live their lives in peace.

              If you only listen to the news, which is mostly bad, you will never get a true picture of the world.

              1. blican468 profile image59
                blican468posted 11 years agoin reply to this

                thats true. Much propaganda surrounds us

  3. blican468 profile image59
    blican468posted 11 years ago

    Its an issue, but its everywere discrimination in everyform exists! If only we learn to better understand eachother, even with opposing ideas. This discussion is ridiculous, poligomy , marijuana, rape, video survaillance, freaks, baby porn, and drugs. If a discussions oppened it should be based on one topic dont ya think.   !!everything is personal because we are all individual minds!!

    so which is the topic, or are we all listing fuck ups of man kind. . .


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