Monday, June 9, 2008

Google and the Censorship Problem

Google "Censorship" and you get "Google"

While surfing by The People's Cube to see what shenanigans the comrades were up to, the following post caught our eye. It also changed our minds about the topic of this post.

The People's Cube is not the first to bring up Google's holiday logo nuttiness. Little Green Footballs is a regular Google-watcher on holidays. NewsBusters also noted that Google ignored Memorial Day (Google Ignores Memorial Day). Michelle Malkin noticed that Google honors World Water Day, but not Easter.

So, instead of some light-hearted tomfoolery, "Google and censorship" was now in the air.

This Day in History: An Open Letter to Google

Dear Google comrades Sergei and Larry!

The Party looks kindly at your attempts to correct and improve history by unobtrusively modifying the Google logo on notable calendar dates. For years you have zealously informed the masses about progressive and useful events like Earth Day or Earth Hour, while purposefully ignoring Memorial Day (no logo change on this reactionary American holiday). Most recently, you enlightened the unwashed about the Spanish artist Velázquez on June 6 without mentioning the Allied Invasion of Normandy on D-Day, a celebration of which would indeed be offensive to National Socialists.
The time is ripe for us to reinforce your amateurish efforts with our brand of historical revisionism that stands on a firm scientific foundation of the Party doctrine. The next big holiday is Independence Day. Review the following list of Party-recommended events and logos for mandatory inclusion.

After a list of suggested logo topics Google might use for the Fourth of July, instead of Independence Day, TPC wound up with the picture below.

The reader is sent to a page entitled, "Google Purges The People's Cube Worldwide". This is how it began:

Dear comrades at Google:

At some point, quite recently, our popular site "The People's Cube" ( was purged from Google search results. MSN , Yahoo and other search engines still have it - but Google has erased/blocked any link to the site in its database. One can still find links to us from other sites - but not even one from Google to We tried American, French, German, British, Australian, and Russian versions of Google - they used to give us traffic only a few days ago - but all we got was the same line in various languages: Sorry, no information is available for the URL And if we clicked on Find web pages from the site we got Your search - - did not match any documents.

Sad and outrageous--both at the same time!

"Those bastards!" is the first thought that came to mind. The second was to Google "Google + censorship".

We got over 330,000 references. Including one by Search Engine Watch about Google cooperating like a good lackey in censoring Chinese users. Picture Says 1000 Words About Google's Censorship In China by Danny Sullivan.

Plenty are writing and writing about Google's agreement to censor results for China. But pictures perhaps better illustrate the differences that Google now endorses.

Google Images Censors Too in China from Google Blogoscoped shows you how a search for [tiananmen square] on Google Images China provides happy scenes while over at uncensored Google Images, there are tanks rolling in.

I took a look for just [tiananmen] at Google Images China versus Google Images. Here's a side-by-side:

Below are a few of the forbidden pictures the Communists and Google forbid the Chinese surfers to see.

You won't get this picture if you're using Google in China

Another picture the Chinese authorities keep from Chinese Google users--with Google's help

The comrades at the People's Cube will survive nicely the Soviet-style antics by a search engine apparently full of hubris. Google is the darling of Wall Street--for the moment. But those things have a way of changing when a company is unresponsive to its customers--of which the People's Cube is but one.

The Googleteers are on top at the moment, but stunts, such as pulling the web pages of the brave workers at the People's Cube from its search engine, will land Google in a place that familiar to many companies that were once on top: on the bottom.

Just 20 years ago, K-Mart was the number one retailer, light years ahead of Wal-Mart. Just 45 years ago, Carling's Black Label beer was mopping the floor with Budweiser. How long will it be until "Google" is only a funny-sounding stock worth pennies?

Not as long as you think--if the search engine company keeps trying to finesse freedom and censorship.

Whether it occurs in China or the People's Cube.

by Mondoreb
* This Day In History: An Open Letter to Google
* artforprofit
* photobucket
* Picture Says 1000 Words About Google's Censorship In China

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