The major search engines censor access to many web sites. 11 min
They all have internal organizations responsible for executing the censoring policies of their company. We can be confident that none of these organizations is called the “Censoring Division”. The people in these organizations may also sincerely believe that what they are doing is in the best interests of their users and that every single site that they block is “doing something wrong”.
The problem with Internet censoring is the same as any other form of censoring. As history has repeatedly demonstrated, once you start censoring it is very hard to stop. It is always possible to rationalize that people would be better off if they didn’t have access to certain information.
Google has often censored some of my own pages. These pages have completely and utterly disappeared from their search engines. They do not exist!
(And please do not bother writing to me to explain that this might be because their ‘blind’ algorithms might simply have changed – because I have far too much evidence pointing to the conclusion that these ‘algorithms’ include site-specific and/or page-specific instructions and I also know the internet extremely well.)
You see; Google has a problem. And it is this.
Just like the telephone companies, Google claims that it cannot possibly have any responsibility for what information flows through its system. After all, in much the same way that the telephone companies cannot possibly monitor all the billions of telephone conversations that flow through their systems, Google cannot possibly monitor all the information on the billions of webpages that it lists.
Or so it claims.
And, on the surface, this claim seems to be a reasonable one.
If Google is, indeed, censoring information (e.g. delisting pages from its search engines or demoting them in the rankings because of their content) then, quite clearly, it is monitoring this information.
And if it is monitoring this information, then it can surely be deemed to be liable for the presentation of it!
And if this was the case then, for example, this would mean that Google could be held responsible for any libel that appeared on webpages that it had listed – or, perhaps, responsible for aiding terrorists etc etc etc.
In short; if Google admits to monitoring, then it can be held to be ‘liable’.
So, Google is somewhat stuck between a rock and a hard place.
On the one hand, it proudly proclaims to be a defender of free speech and that it would not dream of censoring (blocking, de-listing, demoting etc etc) any webpages of information, and it insists most strongly that, therefore, it cannot possibly be held liable for any of the content but, on the other hand, it does not want to upset governments; and it can only do this by doing what governments tell them.
And so Google has chosen to worm its way out of this dilemma by, quite simply, accommodating to the wishes of governments – and lying to the people about it.
Now some of my long-time readers might recall that the last time that I had a barney with Google – when, if you believe it, they removed all advertising from a single innocuous page concerning men’s issues on my other website – I had to maraud around for three or four days demonstrating to Google that I would trawl the internet here, there and everywhere in order to spread the news about Google’s heinous activities to whomsoever might seem interested – especially journalists.
And I think that what finally convinced Google to be more accommodating was me pointing out the fact that not only was I, clearly, a very energetic activist, but that rushing around the internet badmouthing Google would do absolute wonders for my site’s traffic – and that, therefore, I would find the experience most rewarding – which meant that I was very unlikely to stop badmouthing Google hither and thither – week after week if necessary.
My ads came back.
Well, it looks as if I am now going to have to create a fuss over http://www.HarrietHarmanSucks.Com – because its pages have been disappeared into the abyss – having all first appeared for a few days hovering between pages 5 and 20 following a search for “Harriet Harman”
And so my plan is this.
I am going to write a piece about why Google needs to be ‘controlled’ and restricted in some way and explain how outrageous it is that it should have so much power.
And then I am going to start marauding around the internet again.
I will not be censored!
(And you can forget all the BS about Google being a private company and so it should be able to de-list or demote whatever pages it likes, because it is illegal for companies to cheat people. And if Google is censoring my pages, then it is cheating the people most horribly!)
The alternative, I suppose, is to re-write the pieces so that they are less ‘hostile’.
I’ll think about it.
Maybe if I grovelled to Harriet Harman in my pieces instead of castigating her Google would re-list my pages.
I would rather that my missus be torn apart and devoured slowly by a gruesome herd of flesh-eating crocodiles.
(While I watched her writhing in agony, ate ice cream, and chatted to my new girlfriend, of course!)
Anyway. The piece above is very good indeed, and definitely worth reading.
+ We have private companies like Google deciding what we can and can’t see based on their self-interested readings of poorly-drafted national laws, taking advice from unnamed and unaccountable Government agencies and telling nobody what is going on. Bill Thompson
And, of course, this is one of the ways in which western governments intend to stifle dissent.
This is the deal in a nutshell.
Government: “If you, Google, do not disappear from view those most effective pieces that are hostile to us, then we shall bring some kind of law to bear upon you.”
Google: “Yes Sir. No Sir. Three bags full, Sir.”
Government: “But you must not tell the people of this secret deal.”
Google: “Yes Sir. No Sir. Three bags full, Sir.”
There is no question in my mind that this is going on.
And this means that we do not have a democracy.
Of course, Google would not dare to nobble websites that were very influential – because too many influential people might get upset about it.
So, between them, Google and the government keep it all secret and under the carpet.
In other words, as usual, our own governments – and, in this case, Google – are cheating us.
And talk about hypocrisy! – with all our politicians forever criticising the Chinese government for blocking access to websites that are critical of government and its officials, when they are doing something very similar over here.
Indeed, our governments – through their officials – are lying to us all the time.
Furthermore, when, at the time, I did a whole load of research into the matter of ‘adverts’ and the ‘blacklisting’ of them, it became fairly clear to me that the sites that had lost their adverts were mostly on the right side of the political spectrum in that they were often anti-feminist and/or not politically correct.
So, as in so many other areas, my guess is that internet activists who are anti-feminist and/or not politically correct are also having to cope with the customary institutionalised biases against them; but this time, with the aid of Google.
But decent lefties must also be very much concerned about this, firstly, because it might not be too long before those who are pulling the strings are more right-wing and, secondly, because “men’s issues” have precious little to do with being on the left or the right of the political spectrum; because when it come to issues of concern to ‘men’, the official left and right are just as bad as each other.
In other words, all men should be very concerned indeed about Google’s underhand censorship because not only does this undermine the democratic process most seriously, it also means that those activists who are fighting the corner for ‘men’ (rightly or wrongly) are being unfairly treated and that the issues of concern to ‘men’ are – once again – being purposely sat upon and hidden.