Sunday, January 29, 2006

Google Censorship

Google won plaudits this week for refusing the US Government's request for search phrases. Knight-Ridder News Service. Notice how anything the government bureaucrats do that the media don't like is done by President Bush himself. But anything good is done by your US senator. On the other hand, in China Google is helping the Communist government to repress information. There are millions of Christians in China and they have churches, as much as the Communists allow. But you can hardly find either on - that's Googles China search engine. Junk Yard Blog reports:
Specifically, is Google helping Communist China suppress religious freedom on the web? Is an American company jumping at the beck and call of a Communist regime? It’s easy enough to check. Google’s Chinese page for image searches is We’ve been running searches from there and the surprising thing is that you don’t always get the same search results each time you run it. It’s almost as though your own machine’s cache of previous searches is influencing the results you get on subsequent searches. Or maybe Google is still tweaking the filters, so some things slip through sometimes but not at other times. Whatever is happening behind the scenes, it’s beyond argument that Google users in China are not getting the same search results as Google users in the US and elsewhere. The difference in search results can be striking. On a clean search, Google-China turned up 10 hits on an image search for jesus christ. Just like that, no quotes. By comparison, the US version of Google image search turns up 168,000 hits on the same exact search terms. 168,000 versus 10. And this is just an image search. We’re not searching for the teachings of Jesus, just pictures. China’s version of Google significantly filters the search Further, Google-China is even censoring photos of churches for some reason. On the US image search page, a search for church turns up more than 2.8 million hits. On Google-China, church turns up just 723 hits. How about christian? In the US, 2.36 million hits; Google-China nets 819. This is no accident. Google is helping its business partners in Beijing airbrush Jesus Christ right off the Chinese internet. Its cyber dragnet even nets people with the word “Christian” in their name, just to make sure Chinese citizens won’t get religion from their search engine results. Google needs to drop its “Don’t be evil” motto and replace it with something more honest, like “We help evil be evil.”
The article has live links to the searches mentioned. Fortunately the Chinese use arabic numerals. Read it. Hat tip to Michelle Malkin

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