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Censorship Google Piracy Your Rights Online

Google Censors "Piracy Terms" From Instant Search 246

Chaonici writes "A few weeks ago, Google promised that, on behalf of the entertainment industries, they would begin filtering 'piracy related' terms from their search system. Now, TorrentFreak reports that Google has lived up to their promise, and certain keywords (such as 'bittorrent' and 'rapidshare') will no longer produce results with the Autocomplete or Instant Search features. The standard search feature, however, continues to display results as normal. Simon Morris of BitTorrent Inc., RapidShare, and Jamie King (the founder of Vodo) are critical of the change, pointing out the many legitimate uses of popular file-sharing technology."
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Google Censors "Piracy Terms" From Instant Search

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  • by bughunter ( 10093 ) <> on Thursday January 27, 2011 @09:47AM (#35019086) Journal

    Yes, it only applies to autocomplete. But since this story hit the media a month ago, I've been watching how I use autocomplete, and learned something:

    I use autocomplete to help me phrase my search terms, almost subconsciously. Any geek knows that phrasing a search is the key to getting proper results. I will frequently use the autocomplete to validate or invalidate several attempts at phrasing the search before I hit enter. Same goes for spelling. Autocomplete results in me creating more successful searches with more pertinent results.

    Now, I seldom use this for porn because, 1) i use filestube as my porn search engine, and 2) I usually don't need help phrasing a search for "big butts." (And, I've noticed that Google autocomplete stopped working for pornstar names a long time ago, far earlier than their announcement in late 2010.)

    But, for torrents, autocomplete is sometimes a valuable tool. No, I don't need it, but the responsiveness of autocomplete is an aid to the thought process of editing the search phrase. If they start extending their autocomplete bannination to other topics, I'd start getting concerned. Right now it's only the top of a slope which may or may not be slippery.

    But "its just autocomplete" isn't a valid excuse, for several reasons. Google is making editorial decisions when they're relied upon to be a neutral, content-independent indexing service. It scares some people because, there's no easier and more effective way to censor something than to cripple its index entries. What's next?

  • Re:Not a big deal (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @09:51AM (#35019108) Journal

    The problem is that they filter "breast" on what they think might be offensive to us.

    No, they filter breast on what they think might be offensive to the 'think of the children' crowd. They filter 'torrent' based on what is offensive to a different pressure group.

    If they were filtering based on what might be offensive to you, then it would be opt-in.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes