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Following In Bing's Footsteps, Yahoo! and Flickr Censor Porn In India 167

Posted by Soulskill
from the searching-for-morality dept.
bhagwad writes "Following recent news on how Bing decided sex was too sensitive for India, Yahoo! and its associated site Flickr have decided to do the same. While it's true that this is because of India passing laws that prohibit the publication of porn, no complaint was ever launched (and never will be), and glorious Google still continues to return accurate and unbiased results. So why is Yahoo! doing this? Is it because of its tie-up with Bing? I assume this is the case. Indian ISPs have already told the government and the courts that it's not their job to restrict porn and it's technologically infeasible too. In the absence of a complaint, I can only assume that Yahoo! has decided to do this of their own volition. Given that the 'sex' search term is searched more in India than in any other country, isn't it the duty of Yahoo! to provide accurate results to its customers? It can always plausibly deny control of its results and claim that filtering porn is infeasible. Since Yahoo! already has a low search market share in India, this will drive it even lower."
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Following In Bing's Footsteps, Yahoo! and Flickr Censor Porn In India

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @12:08AM (#30590436)

    Bing!

    • by Fluffeh (1273756)
      Well, I would say that Sridhar (known as "Mike" on the switchboard) and his friend Narednra (known as "Tim" on the switchboard) who want to be more western world, what else ARE they going to search for to fit in with the rest of us?

      Having said that, I only ever recall seeing one bit of bollywood porn, and it was a blooper (don't ask), so maybe it's just not around that much. Of course I might just not be that into that sort of thing and be missing out on a vast cultural experience. Better to use the simp
      • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @12:25AM (#30590534) Journal

        The whole subcontinent is littered with statues of stylized large-breasted women and phallic lingam. It seems a little odd to ban online porn, when sexuality lies at the heart of Hinduism (as it does for all the Indo-European religions).

        • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @01:25AM (#30590826) Journal
          I suspect that the ban is simple prudery at work.

          However, I'd say that, rather than "seem[ing] a little odd", the connection between sexuality and Hinduism could arguably be a strong incentive for banning online porn.

          Consider, for example, the matter of medieval Catholicism and vernacular bibles. The whole continent is littered with churches full of stained glass depictions of biblical scenes, and the gospels lie at the heart of Catholicism, and yet, early vernacular translators got suppressed good and hard for their trouble. This was because the centrality of the bible to Catholic practice implied acceptance of it; but also implied an established order controlling its use, dissemination, and interpretation.

          Similarly, it could well be(arguing from principles, not direct anthropological evidence) that the long connection of sexuality with Hinduism means a certain acceptance of it; but almost certainly also means an established set of rules and practices concerning its use, allocation, and proper role. Pornography from all over the world, in any style you like, available swiftly and anonymously over the internet, likely stomps on the toes of at least a few of those rules and practices.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ozmanjusri (601766)
      Bing!

      Not loud enough.

      You're sacked!

    • Ah. Good for you!

  • In the meantime, please read the summary again. It says Google continues to return accurate results. Check whether this fits consistently into your opinion about supposed censorship in India.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by maxume (22995)

      No no, the summary contains paranoid Microsoft bashing, not India bashing. Not to mention the hilarious part about filtering being infeasible (I guess it would sort of suck for Indians if search engines started returning only white-listed results, but it isn't exactly hard to think of a way to filter output that you control (but the end result might suck for the searcher).

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @01:30AM (#30590842) Journal
        Not nearly as paranoid as it could be. Tighten your tinfoil hats and consider the following insane hypothesis:

        Microsoft, in their limitless greed and avarice, has an insatiable desire for cheap H1B and outsourced programming labour. India is a major source of this labour; but has rising incomes and standards of living, which threaten to make that labour more expensive. Pornography reduces birth rates by providing the sexually frustrated an alternative to procreation. If Microsoft(and its subservient minion Yahoo) can cut off India's porn supply, they can insure a bumper crop of future programmers. Supply and demand being what they are, the more programmers born, the less Microsoft has to pay, per programmer!

        See? It's all very simple when you recognize the sinister conspiracy at work...
        • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

          Furthermore, by eliminating pornography in India, Microsoft will have assured that everyone will want to come to America to work^Wget porn. Brillant!

        • "See? It's all very simple when you recognize the sinister conspiracy at work..."

          That is a ridiculous theory. It is far too complicated. You got the first part right: "Microsoft, in their limitless greed and avarice, has an insatiable desire for cheap H1B and outsourced programming labour." From there you go horribly astray. My good friend Occam tells me that it is something more like this:

          Microsoft Recruiter: We won't pay you much, but we don't block porn.
          H1B Candidate: Where would I be finding the

        • by physburn (1095481)
          Rubbish, weepy love story movies limit birthrate, not porn. Its been many a year since men had much choice in weather to have children. Not tonight darling, i'm sticking to porn until you go back on the pill.

          What i'm paranoid about is american multinational ignore the wishes of worldwide consumers and helping enforce local censorship policies at the expense of freedom. This has already happenned with china, where of course is political content rather than sexual content which is suppressed.

          ---

          Censorsh [feeddistiller.com]

    • by dhavleak (912889) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @01:46AM (#30590894)

      There shouldn't be any bashing at all in this article.

      .
      India is a democratic country -- their laws are by definition reflective of their social values. If they want porn cencored, they are within their rights to want it. I don't agree with it -- but it's their call. If at some point in the future there is a change in social attitudes towards porn in India, they can vote for a government that will change their laws accordingly.

      .
      If you want to bash anyone, bash Google for not respecting local laws -- but even that would be stretching it a bit.

      • I don't bash google, or yahoo on this regard. My opinion is that India has a right to enact laws that coincide with the moral status quo of that country. I would recommend all companies to comply with the laws of the countries they have physical locations at, but I don't know if Google actually has a physical presence in India. If they don't, I can't see why they would care what India's laws are.

        If Yahoo! wants to comply with India's laws, then good for them. But they need to be honest with the Indian users

        • by dhavleak (912889)

          I don't know if Google actually has a physical presence in India

          They do.. hence the bit about respecting local laws.

          But they need to be honest with the Indian users of their service and make it publicly known that their results are filtered due to the laws of that country .... Censorship, when done in the dark is evil. Censorship done in the light of day is slightly less evil.

          Completely agreed, and a great idea at that.

      • by bnenning (58349) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @02:50AM (#30591120)

        It's entirely reasonable to criticize governments when they enact stupid policies, whether they're democratically elected or not. As I recall one or two foreign entities on occasion said less than complimentary things about the Bush administration; were they wrong to do so?

        • "It's entirely reasonable to criticize governments when they enact stupid policies, whether they're democratically elected or not."

          If only we had some kind of formal document that explicitly outlined these new and radical ideas in the United States. We could teach our children that all US citizens have a responsibility to understand the concepts held within it, and the flawless democratic system would allows us to make sure we elect officials who respect it, as well as the rights of all US citizens. Alas,

          • ...the flawless democratic system would allows us to make sure we elect officials who respect it...

            I hope you were going for +5, Funny; I can't tell what you mean by that otherwise.

            • You read the whole post and that is the only thing you picked out as being facetious? (hint: we have such a paper already; I was referring to the US Constitution)
      • India is a democratic country -- their laws are by definition reflective of their social values.

        This is a fallacious correlation. Just because laws have been arrived at through a democratic process does not necessarily mean that they represent social values. There are much more important driving factors for legislation in a democracy than these social values. There are many ways (for example, lobbyists/bribery) that groups can influence democratic legislation, even in directions contrary to social values. The only possible government in which your ideals of democracy would be upheld would be one that's extremely limited socially so that no one's social values could be trampled upon.

        If they want porn cencored, they are within their rights to want it.

        I disagree with this. This is a case where your social values are at odds with personal liberties and just because such regulations would be arrived at through a democratic process doesn't mean that it's okay to take these liberties away. You could make the same case with racial segregation, where only a few really wanted to integrate, but the views of the majority democratically determined that segregation was legal and allowable. Another example could be gay marriage, where a majority is often against it, but since it is (arguably) within a gay couple's right to marry, these social values should not influence the democratic process to take their rights away.

        • by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @03:43AM (#30591260) Journal

          This is a case where your social values are at odds with personal liberties and just because such regulations would be arrived at through a democratic process doesn't mean that it's okay to take these liberties away.

          The thing here is, you are making a value judgement. You're also making a value judgement when you say that racial segregation is bad. I happen to agree with that judgement, but it is still a judgement. Who is there to say that your values are correct and some other person's values are incorrect? Unless we have absolute truth, we cannot know these things.

          You are confused about the point of democracy: it doesn't exist to protect what you consider to be liberties, it actually exists to avoid some of the problems we have with kings (violent regime changes), and to have government that roughly represents the will of the majority. It is hard living in a single place with a bunch of people: if you think about it, even living in a family is hard, and how many more people are there in a country? Democracy solves the problem better than anything else so far, but still if the majority decides to take away your personal liberties, they can because there are more of them than you. You may think it is 'wrong,' but once again that is a value judgement.

          • by selven (1556643)

            The idea that what the people want matters is a value judgement. The idea that violent regime changes are bad is a value judgement.

            • Indeed. And if some day, a large enough majority of Americans decide that it will be better to have a king, then we will have a king, and he will be free to ignore the will of the people (although even then within limits: if he makes enough people mad, that's where the violent regime change comes in).
              • by selven (1556643)

                I'm confused as to what you actually want. Is it rule of power? You need to have some kind of core values to go toward because otherwise there's no point to anything.

                • You are right, values generally boil down to what people want. And democratic societies are generally responsive to what people want.

                  If you are asking me what I personally want, it's a government that does not get in my way too much, because I can personally take care of myself. If the rest of the country decides it wants some massive, expensive, useless healthcare plan (as an aside, and as an observer, we are in an interesting situation here because the democratic party is trying to push a project that t
                  • by selven (1556643)

                    I agree that getting people what they want is what we're trying to maximize, and democracy does that fairly well, but there are problems if the system is not reined in. The problem is that some people's wants are stronger than others. For example, consider a country with 10 people and a vote between two plans. Plan A gives everyone 10 apples. Plan B gives 6 people 11 apples and 4 people 1 apple. A pure democracy would pick B even though A is superior. This is how I see human rights issues. Their joy from se

                    • Yeah, you are right. What you are describing is the tyranny of the majority, and the constitution has laws built in to try to limit them, including the concept of rights, but a large enough majority can change these limitations (and have in the past, see slavery). It isn't a good idea to make these completely unchangeable, because if the majority gets large enough, they will be tempted to change things through violence if there is no other way.

                      Ultimately all society depends on some level of trust and coo
          • "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." - The Declaration of Independence.

            Upon that very clear value statement America's founding fathers overthrew Colonial rule and founded what is still in-arguably, despite recent lapses, THE model for Democracy. They did not assert political or religious authority, as clearly evidenced by the very care

            • by Cabriel (803429)
              You missed the point. "We hold..." means the founding fathers made a value judgment. Just because they hold those truths to be "self-evident" neither means they are self-evident nor means they are right. If a government represents the people, anything it does democratically is right, even if you or some country's founders might disagree.
            • The declaration of independence, while a great document, is not law. I do agree with that opinion, but it is worth noting that until the civil war, a large segment of society did not have these rights.

              Furthermore, your argument is a logical fallacy; it says, "X argument is correct because these great people said it" which is of course wrong. It doesn't matter what certain people believed, it only matters what is right.
      • There are plenty of examples of democracies getting it wrong. Just look at the California gay marriage bill that passed last year, or the various EU plans that were shot down by voters. Thank goodness there are ways around those.

        Voting is pure gambling, there is no guarantee of a positive outcome. Any sort of referendum is just a roll of the dice and you hope the voters will get it right, but frequently they get it wrong. Simply saying "the voters have spoken" is childish and not at all fashionable amon

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'm Indian so I can say this - Indians want porn, all classes and all backgrounds. Actually, it's only some of the uppermost class (class = money & background) that don't want or like it and it's social-suicide to 'rally' for porn or anti-censorship.

        Notice how many 'Indian girl' porn vids have started coming up over the past 2-3 yrs? Yeah. And the summary already pointed out that Indian ppl (pun intended) search for sex more than any other country.

        It's all very two-faced and about what you show rather t

      • by selven (1556643)

        So 51% of the population has the right to deny 49% the right to engage in perfectly legitimate activities? I wouldn't approve of this even if 90% of the population voted for it.

      • "India is a democratic country -- their laws are by definition reflective of their social values."

        Right. Because laws always reflect the social values of society as a whole in a democratic society. That is why marijuana is now perfectly legal in the United States, and we stopped having one of the largest rates of incarceration in the "free" world when we stopped locking up people for committing victimless "crimes" long ago.

        Thank Shiva and Shakti that democracies are flawless, and the all might dollar nev

      • There is an interesting issue here. "it's their call" may be true. There may be a line though that you can speak out against or a precedence that may be dangerous to democracy in India. Here we are talking about prior constraint which is a very dangerous precedent. Now for images and ideas surrounding human procreation. Which I contend is necessary for our continued existance.

        A democratic system that controls information is probably not a real democratic system. Democratic systems require a free flow and c

  • Heh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @12:19AM (#30590512) Journal
    Given that the 'sex' search term is searched more in India than in any other country... Based on population, I can only assume that India, at number 2 aspires to overtake China.

    Clearly, if you have to google "sex", you already know what it is.
    • Won't this just cause Bing and Yahoo to lose marketshare in India? I haven't RTFA'd very carefully, so correct me if I'm completely off the mark.
    • Re:Heh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @12:36AM (#30590608) Homepage Journal
      Heh. I doubt it's entirely true that Indians search for sex more than everybody else, just that others are just more specific.

      Hypothetical example: for every Indian who looks up "sex", there are four Americans who each look up "fisting", "creampies", "MILFs", and "jailbait" :)
      • by PachmanP (881352)

        Hypothetical example: for every Indian who looks up "sex", there are four Americans who each look up "fisting", "creampies", "MILFs", and "jailbait" :)

        What about the guy who's searching for "MILFs fisting jailbait creampies"? or "MILF"+"fisting"+"jailbait"+"creampies"? Or "jailbait fisting MILFs"? Or any of the previous with +"midget"?

        I mean if you just search for "sex" you get stuff like wikipedia and psychology today...

      • Interesting you chose the number 4, since their are almost exactly 4 times as many people living in India compared to America.

        There are way more people both searching for sex on the internet and having sex IRL in India than in America, based on nothing more than population numbers.

    • Clearly, if you have to google "sex", you already know what it is.

      Or, more succinctly, sex != porn.

    • Re:Heh (Score:5, Funny)

      by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @01:02AM (#30590732)

      Clearly, if you have to google "sex", you already know what it is.

      "Sex" you say? Let's just give that a try.....open Google and.....OH MY GOD WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO ANOTHER PERSON???

      • Awesome. The Illinois State Police's Sex Offender Registry is the *second* hit on the list (the first is "pornhub", which I assume is actually a porn site). The rest aren't porn sites (at least, not in the "creampie milf jailbait fisting" sense from comments earlier in the thread). And yes, I have safe search turned off - I'll censor my own web, thanks.

    • by andy1307 (656570)
      you already know what it is.

      Clearly if you are on /., you don't know what it is.

      • by Bigbutt (65939)

        I think the reverse would be true. Sex and porn would be well known subjects. As we all know (sorry), Knowledge != Experience.

        [John]

  • Gone downhill... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by headkase (533448) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @12:23AM (#30590526)
    Remember when the Internet was all porn (1994)? Yeah, it's really gone downhill since then...
  • Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by robvangelder (472838) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @12:29AM (#30590554)

    Didn't the Kama Sutra come out of India?

    • Didn't the Kama Sutra come out of India?

      Have you ever tried reading it? It's about as exciting as the Bible (or any other ancient text), though at least it's more relevant.

      • by dsoltesz (563978)

        Dude, you're doing it wrong: it's a hands-on tutorial, not a reference manual... you're supposed to work through the exercises, not just read them.

      • In the original, you're correct (and it's just one of a series that cover various aspects of leading a spiritual life). The most popular versions for the last few hundred years, however, have been very carefully and artistically illustrated. These are the ones that most people talk about. You'll also find larger copies of the illustrations in various temples and palaces.
      • by batquux (323697)

        I beg to differ. http://www.xkcd.com/414/ [xkcd.com]

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It is difficult to understand India, unless you have visited and lived for some time. There is a great level of hypocrisy in India about everything including sex.

      Sex is not new to India, and also it is not kept as hidden as we think. Kama Sutra is one example, Khajuraho temples in India showing different positions of intercourse is another example...and according to many experts, Shivalinga [wikipedia.org] worshipped almost everywhere in India is a symbol of sex. Of course, the worshipping represents respectful recognit

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        Sex is not new to India

        You don't say. I was wondering how all those people ended up getting born there. Next thing you're going to point out that sex isn't new to Iran either.

  • by fermion (181285) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @12:30AM (#30590558) Homepage Journal
    If I were a search engine desperately trying to gain market share in an environment dominated by a competitor, I might look for the largest growing open market, in this case India. I might accommodate some vagaries in hopes that a positive official recommendation might help my market share. If no school allows access to google, not even colleges, if no major corporate office allows access to google, if no government office allows access to google, then one can imagine that in a generation Google will be gone as a viable entity in India. And then there is the issue of Google having offices in India(I think they do), which means that Google will not be in compliance with the law.

    In this case, I don't see this as a 'Bing and Yahoo are bad' issue. If Google does not comply, that is business decision, just like Bing and Yahoo.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mattventura (1408229)
      Didn't Google do the same thing with China? Censor themselves or be completely blocked? Possibly, if Google was blocked, it would piss enough people off to lower the people's opinion of the government and possibly effect change. I don't know though, I don't live in India, so I don't know if a few million people being pissed about something like this would effect any changes from the government.
      • by ZosX (517789)

        They did. Search for Tienanmen Square on images.google.cn. Then search on any other flavor of google. Quite the difference!

        They do give the wikipedia pages, but it seems to be picking up on my locale, but I do distinctly remember searching google on a tor exit node from china and being surprised at how censored the great wall really is.

      • by dhavleak (912889)

        Try over a billion people :) -- almost three billion if you combine India and China.

        I don't have first-hand knowledge, but it seems to me that in China it doesn't matter if people get pissed. Events damaging to the govt. seem to literally disappear from their history, like Tiananmen sq., events in Tibet, and much more. I guess it's a chicken-and-egg thing when it comes to censorship -- you can't get mad about stuff you don't know about. Perhaps people in China just think the 'net has a lot less porn than

      • Possibly, if Google was blocked, it would piss enough people off to lower the people's opinion of the government and possibly effect change.

        OK, let me get this straight, just so I understand. You're saying that if the Chinese government blocked Google, the Chinese people would be enraged? Sufficiently enraged to rise up and overthrow the government? Are you deranged, man? Or are you just totally unaware there's a world outside of Google, Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter? Honestly, where did this attitu

      • by giorgiofr (887762)

        Possibly, if Google was blocked, it would piss enough people off to lower the people's opinion of the government and possibly effect change.

        Actually what happens is that half of the government points to t3h ebil corporashuns and screams "See? They're trying to strong-arm us! They threaten us! Down with corporashuns! And multinationals while we're at it." and half of the population supports them when they enact idiotic laws (statalization, regulation, etc)

    • by dhavleak (912889)
      Not really. People will search for porn whether you server up the right results or not. The search engine that serves up the best porn results will win the search wars (in India, in the world, anywhere). It's bad for business (for Bing's business) as long as competitors (Google) don't do the same. It is respectful of local laws however. India is a democratic country -- if social attitudes are such that they choose to censor themselves, they are within their rights to do that. They can change the relevant la
    • Exactly; businesses make business decisions. This may be a poor business decision (although I agree with you that it also may be a very shrewd one) but nobody should be heaping blame on Bing and Yahoo for censorship. That blame should be directed squarely at the Indian government. Bing and Yahoo (and yes, Google too) are concerned only with revenue streams. You will disappointed if you feel otherwise.

      Governments should be accountable for upholding human rights, like free speech, by creating sensible, correc

  • by syousef (465911) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @12:32AM (#30590580) Journal

    We all know that there is no sex in Bollywood. It is a chaste and pure place where the pixies and fairies cavort in peace, love and mung beans.

  • Wait a minute (Score:2, Interesting)

    by francisstp (1137345)

    It can always plausibly deny control of its results and claim that filtering porn is infeasible.

    Well it's obviously feasible if they're actually doing it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mattventura (1408229)
      You're implying that they somehow block every single search term related to porn. Guess what? Not only are there tons of slang terms for various things they haven't heard of, but even whole genres of porn that they can't block because they've never heard of. Sure, they can block most mainstream porn, but a lot of genre-specific porn would also apply to mainstream.
      • by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @01:09AM (#30590760)

        You're implying that they somehow block every single search term related to porn. Guess what? Not only are there tons of slang terms for various things they haven't heard of, but even whole genres of porn that they can't block because they've never heard of. Sure, they can block most mainstream porn, but a lot of genre-specific porn would also apply to mainstream.

        2 snakes 1 charmer?

      • by wisty (1335733)

        Just wait till they try to ban slashfic ...

  • Says who? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by do_kev (1086225)

    Since Yahoo! already has a low search market share in India, this will drive it even lower.

    I suspect the executives at Yahoo! don't share your opinion. It's not like they did this because of their personal moral codes; this is probably a calculated risk, based upon the societies public values, intended to increase market share by appearing to be more family-oriented and appropriate. The goal is to spawn conversations such as: "Oh, you're using Google? Haven't you heard about the immoral content it tries to force upon users?"

    I don't know if it will work, but it's not like it's downright stupi

  • no complaint was ever launched (and never will be), and glorious Google still continues to return accurate and unbiased results

    Never say never.

    Money, politics, law and religion make a volitile mix in any culture. You cannot predict the outcome.

    Apple Censors Dalai Lama IPhone Apps in China [pcworld.com] [Dec 29]

    Google's China Blues [forbes.com] [Dec 21]

  • Wait, wait... there's porn on flickr?

    • Yeah, there's some. It's more "artsy nakedness" than simply "porn" though there was that octopus on women gallery....

      I think it was Flickr anyway.

      (It was on BoingBoing.net and only Tubgirl and the like are the bounds of my curiosity. The Daily Cervix was pushing it though.)

  • It can always plausibly deny control of its results and claim that filtering porn is infeasible.

    Well, clearly since Bing is doing it, yahoo can't claim that they can't. They've just shown that they can make at least a minimally successful attempt. Your "plausible deniability" isn't looking so plausible.

    LK

  • Who is bhagwad? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @01:10AM (#30590766) Homepage

    Is bhagwad someone famous, or someone with particular insight into the Indian ISP situation, or someone who has some other qualification that would make it worth having most of the submission be his blithering speculation on the subject?

    It would be really nice of Slashdot were to hire some editors to actually edit the submissions.

    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      Slashdot "editors" have an explicit policy on not doing any... editing [slashdot.org]. That's just how they roll. In other news, I have decided that despite being employed as a coder, all I'll be doing from now on it copying and pasting random hits from Google Code. Compiling and debugging it is my customers job. That's just how I roll.
  • by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3@nosPAm.phroggy.com> on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @01:46AM (#30590892) Homepage

    isn't it the duty of Yahoo! to provide accurate results to its customers?

    You make the mistake of assuming that the users are the customers, rather than the product being sold.

    • by dangitman (862676)

      You make the mistake of assuming that the users are the customers, rather than the product being sold.

      Oh no! How creepy and dystopian. It's like I'm in the Matrix, and I'm being used as a human battery! Thank you, Phroggy, for opening my eyes to that which I have been so ignorant of all my life! It's like you have amazing powers to see the real truth.

      • by SharpFang (651121)

        Sorry, but this is a truth well established within web portal corporations.

        Customer = advertiser
        Product = ad impressions
        Essential components of the Product are:
        - ad itself (usually outsourced to advert/gfx agency)
        - content within which the ad is displayed (whatever is used to attract the user)
        - medium (platform to run it on, servers, network infrastructure to serve the ad and so on)
        - users - audience to view the ads.

        The customer is only interested in user receiving the message of the ad. This is what the wh

        • by dangitman (862676)
          Well yes, the purpose of the advertising company is to drive people to the advertiser's services. What I was making fun of was the over-the-top way it was presented as "you are the product!!111oneone11one!" It reminds me a bit of Soyent Green. The self-righteous tone it was delivered with did not help - as if this was something that we did not know, and had to be revealed to lesser beings by the superior intelligence of Phroggy.

          It's true that the role of advertising is to get people to visit the advertiser'

  • Well, after reading this article, I can see why porn films might be a sensitive issue in India... ;-)

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6161691.stm [bbc.co.uk]

  • It will never work (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bradbury (33372) <Robert@Bradbury.gmail@com> on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @05:33AM (#30591640) Homepage

    If one has a cultural framework in which on values males over females (in spite of the fact that India, at least from my reading of PBS programs, has a high respect for females). If you check the CIA World Factbook, regarding the "People" ratios it becomes fairly obvious. Sex selection is occurring in India taking place either by implicit or explicit actions (the most explicit actions being the clandestine abortion of female fetuses). If one has a sex selection process going on (and one could argue the same thing is taking place in China) then there is obviously going to be a demand for online "sex" information, esp. if one has rations involving 10's of millions of males with respect to females. And if you happen to think that constraining search engine results (presumably what the governments or the puritanical U.S. search engine providers might think) is going to constrain access then you fail to understand what outside of the box thinking of millions of individuals can accomplish. You cannot correct the problem by constraining internet access, you can can only correct it by changing the culture (a slow and difficult process, but one which the "west" has been through) or by changing the fundamental nature of human beings (clamping down on the natural desires to mate, etc.) which probably requires genetic engineering beyond our current capabilities.

    Thus complaining about this (at least from a "West"ern perspective) is pretty much of a no-op / noise). Complaining about this from an "East"ern perspective (India/China) (combined population 2+ billion people or 30+% of the world's population) simply gives the creative individuals information required to do what they do best (i.e. work around the "system"). I could within a few hours easily work up a Perl script which figures out which keywords are blocked and which are not and the best way around such systems. Until government officials learn that attempting to "censor" the thought paths of their populations is relatively pointless exercise in an internet world, then conversations like this one (at least in the "West"ern world are relatively pointless). The paths to change (where females and males are valued as equal) have to come from within the individual cultures.

  • didn't India write the book on porn !

  • India has what are probably the largest red light districts in the entire world. One district in Calcutta has an estimated 500,000 working whores all the way from three years old up into their nineties.
                    That being a given just what the heck is porn supposed to do in that nation? It would be far better to get the men to wear condoms as the prostitutes often don't even know what a condom is and AIDS is a huge problem in that nation.

  • by afabbro (33948)

    isn't it the duty of Yahoo! to provide accurate results to its customers?

    No. It's just a search engine, for pity's sake. It's not like they took an oath to serve up truth, justice, and Western decay.

  • Sex: none

    Well, in fact there is an awful lot of this, largely because of the total lack of money, trade, banks, art, rainfall, or anything else that might keep all the non-existent people of the Universe occupied. However, it's not worth embarking on a long discussion of it now, because it really is terribly complicated. For further information see Chapters Seven, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Fourteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Nineteen, Twenty-One to Eighty-Four inclusive, and... most of the rest of the book.

Thus spake the master programmer: "After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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