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Google Advertising Patents Technology

Google Patents Censorship of "Annoying" Content 114

An anonymous reader writes "Google has been granted a patent for a rating engine that reserves the right to approve or reject content that is published on the Internet. The patent especially refers to advertising and those rather invasive and disturbing blinking ads that exploit the entire range of color pairs that are found displeasing to the human eye: 'The embodiments described herein enable Flash and animated image documents (e.g., advertisements). Some of these types of ads are annoying.' However Google notes that ads are just an 'illustrative example' and the idea could be applied to 'content pages (e.g., web pages), search results, emails, applications, IM messages, audio content or files, video content or files, other files, other data or applications that may reside on one or several (e.g., a network) of computer systems, or other definable concepts or content.'"
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Google Patents Censorship of "Annoying" Content

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  • . . . they have a patent on censoring content farms and expert sexchange.
    • On the same note... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @02:37PM (#36614016) Journal

      On the same note, while they're at censoring ads, I'd like to see crap censored that includes:

      - before/after images that either aren't even the same person, or are the same thing with a different zoom factor. Seen it from penis enlargement pills to diets to God knows what else. Yeah, it's soo not insulting my intelligence to try to sell me a diet where the before and after aren't even the same person.

      - all those retarded "free IQ test" ads that actually have nothing to do with IQ, but are just ambiguous images that have no right or wrong answer. Sorry, if I'm to trust anyone to give me an IQ test, it kinda helps if the ad doesn't convince me up front that they're drooling morons who don't even understand what IQ means.

      Though a new low in stupidity was such an IQ ad recently which was about solving a maze... where blatantly one end was completely walled in and quite within a short distance of it too. As in, next square.

      - ads which are unskipable movies, and with sound too. I don't give a fuck about what colours they are in, nor about whether they blink or not. In an age where bandwidth caps are becoming the norm, and are sometimes measured in single digit gigabytes, serving a 100 MB video as an ad is just plain old evil. I don't care how important some cretin PHB thinks his new product is, if they waste so much of everyone's resources for it, they should be not just censored, but taken out back, put in a sack and beaten savagely with a stick. But I'll settle for just censorship too.

      - ads served in the wrong dimension. I mean, not only it's some annoying animation, but now it's something that was in horizontal banner format and is squeezed and stretched in a vertical banner box. So not only it blinks and makes funny noises, but I can't even read what the fuck is it trying to sell me, even if just to avoid those idiots.


      Yeah, yeah, I know, there are plugins that do that. But, hey, if Google is going to take over the web, they might as well solve that problem for everyone. Right? :p

      • Genuine question here - where are data caps becoming the norm?
        • Genuine question here - where are data caps becoming the norm?

          You mean there are places where they aren't?

          Certainly in the US and Canada you increasingly hear about ISPs imposing caps on how much data you can transfer before you have to pay more. Lots of coverage about how "unlimited" doesn't actually mean "without limits", but some arbitrary number which is deemed "big enough for anybody unless they're willing to pay more".

          This is happening for both internet connections, and mobile data plans.

          • Ah. I'm not in those places. Thanks for the heads up though- if I ever move there I'll run an Ethernet cable from home!
  • Will this allow them to censor trolls??? This will get rid of 99% of the content on the Internet and 4chan won't show on their search results....

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      Just install AdBlock Plus and you will get rid of all ad trolls.

      That's good enough for me.

      The human trolls trolling forums - they are a different kind of business/animal, but when you have some experience you know how to troll them back.

      B.t.w. 4chan is an excellent training ground for trolling trolls.

  • by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @01:59PM (#36613658)
    Google will now apply this patent to censor all the annoying crap that gets published by or about Oracle. Payback is a bitch, Larry.
  • how impartial? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by slick7 ( 1703596 )
    Does the ability of the rating engine correspond to financial payments to Google?
    • I'm not sure exactly what it'll censor, TBH. I mean, even they identify flash ads as the main problem it applies to, but it's not like most of those flashing or fake UI ads were coming from Google in the first place. And I should hope that google didn't index the ads on the page. (If I search for, say, "Rift MMO", I want to get to its home page or a page relevant somehow to it, not just to some unrelated gaming site that has an ad for Rift.)

      There aren't many sites I've seen that actually have such content a

      • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )

        Hm, your gaming example reminds me that most large gaming websites have templates for any game title whether they have actual content or not, searching for a review of an obscure game will spew out pages full of IGN, Gamespot and so on advertising themselves as the best source on the game when all they have is a page stating the title and basically "we know nothing about this". I'd like to see Google do something about that.

        • Hell yeah, good example. If Google could get rid of those content-free template pages, THAT would get them a lot of good will from me.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So when are religious nutjobs, politicians and NewsCorp going to be "censored" off my internet? Why stop at that internet, can Google please remove these annoying entities from the planet?

    • And the atheist nutjobs and NBC!
  • by milbournosphere ( 1273186 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @02:08PM (#36613728)
    but they really have a tasteful approach to their advertising. On their sites and services, the plain-text ads go almost un-noticed. I'm glad to see them making an attempt to get rid of the 'You won! Shoot the monkey to claim your prise!' type ads. Next up: content farms.
    • Google seems to be just like any other corporation these days. They do some good stuff, and they do some questionable stuff. I do like what they are trying to do with ads though.
      • But hate that they patented it. Patent implementations, motherfuckers, not ideas!
        • I think you might have missed the whole idea with patents and how patent law differs from copyright law..
          • I do understand the difference and what I'm saying is that from what I've gathered of this patent, it is, like so many software patents, too broad. I'm annoyed that do-no-evil Google would patent such a thing. At least in principle. Practically speaking, I don't really care. I simplify the whole thing and block all advertising because I find it all to be annoying unless I'm seeking it out.

        • From TFA, the patent seems a lot closer to an implementation than an idea - they might not have actually written code, but they didn't just patent "anything that blocks annoying content."
          • Pretty close. They patented "anything that blocks annoying content using a rating system and content patterns." Not only is it extremely vague in terms of how it is implementing the system and where it can be used, but I'm pretty sure prior art can be found in many different spam filters. It is a bullshit patent that never should have been granted.
    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      As long as the ads are static and doesn't look like the day after a bad party I can stand them, but the problem is that when there are ads bloating a site and craps all over the content you want to watch or limits your readable area to a mailbox slot and at the same time plays some shitty music or starts to moan unexpectedly then it's time for softwares like AdBlock Plus.

      125 tabs open - which tab is moaning?

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      the plain-text ads go almost un-noticed

      Which mean's they're almost un-effective.

  • by mooingyak ( 720677 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @02:09PM (#36613738)

    mod patent down.

  • Too bad they patented it. Every site would benefit from this...
  • lol u tk him 2 da bar|?

    (user was banned for this post)

  • Oh, this would have been so useful for about 90% of the "content" on GeoCities.

  • The title should have been: Google Patents "Censorship" of Annoying Content.

    I don't see how this is any different (in application - in implementation maybe) from something like AdBlock, or even the exiting ability to block images, Javascript, etc in a browser's settings. As long as the user has the ability to override it, it's *not* censorship, it's a content filtering feature - one that many people would *like*.

  • Considering Microsoft's insanely aggressive bogo-patent onslaught; who could blame google for aquiring as many patents as possible.

    M$ flogs ANOTHER Android license


    REDMOND, Wash., June 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Microsoft Corp. and Velocity Micro, Inc., have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for Velocity Micro, Inc., Android-based devices, including Velocity Micro, Inc.’s Cruz Tablet. Although the contents of the agreement have not been disclosed, the parties indicate that Microsoft will receive royalties from Velocity Micro, Inc., under the agreement. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO) “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Velocity Micro, Inc., to address and secure IP rights for its Android-based Cruz tablet devices,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft. Randy Copeland, CEO of Velocity Micro, Inc., said, “By entering into this agreement with Microsoft, Velocity Micro, Inc., will be able to better meet the needs of our customers with the introduction of exciting new Cruz tablets having increased performance and functionality.” Microsoft’s Commitment to Licensing Intellectual Property The patent agreement is another example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 700 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft’s significant R&D investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio.

  • by element-o.p. ( 939033 ) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @02:52PM (#36614144) Homepage
    So you mean it works like /.'s comment moderation system?
    • I threw a brick through my TV set back in 1982. I claim prior art.
    • by torgis ( 840592 )

      So you mean it works like /.'s comment moderation system?

      Similar, except that this system might actually filter out the useless content instead of posting it on the front page as a breaking story.

    • Only if slashdot's moderation system automatically detected and censored new posts that were very similar to previous posts that had been moded down.

      Oh, you DID actually read the patent, right?
  • I researched the web using google chrome with the annoying content filter on and i could not find any software patents of third parties regarding my product. Also the TOS fields in the web were always empty.

  • I always wanted Google to calculate page ranks by gauging "Page Crap Factor". Of course, I'd really like Page Crap to include Google ads too. I won't hold my breath!

  • It seems to me that once they have this technology in place, it would be a very simple matter to re-purpose it, to, say, provide restricted search results in China based on Chinese government censorship, provide restricted search results in Iran based on what the Iranian government wants censored, or produce a special "evangelical" search page that only produces pages friendly to creationism, Biblical literalism, etc.

    Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but I think such a tool could be used for things that are co

    • The internet as force for democratization has long since failed. People tend to use it so selectively that they create their own echo chambers, doing nothing than reinforcing their previous beliefs. I think we had an article on that lately, and it is most definitely my experience when I talk with other people about what they are actually doing on the net.
  • But Google makes money from ads, and this sounds like what the Adblock extension already does. Does anyone think they got this patent is so they can remove that extension for violating it?
  • ...with mod up or down.

    • No, it's not. Slashdot's mod up/down system would only be relevant prior art if it was able to automatically rate new comments by analyzing the ratings of similar previous comments. But I love how it's impossible for there to be a patent story on slashdot without a hoard of people shouting "prior art! prior art!" about irrelevant bullshit because they haven't actually read the patent...
  • Now here is a solution! Patent the act of 'placing annoying content on a website' and then let Google rake in the money. The benefit to the world at large is that the "annoying" content goes away and we the users/readers are left with just the mundane and easy to ignore advertising content, the way the world should be. Unfortunately there is already plenty of prior art to fight such a patent.
  • ... or other definable concepts
    They just couldn't keep themselves from taking a piss on the patent system, haha.
  • There is still quite a bit of content slipping past my filter bubble that I wish I could get rid of. Wouldn't it be nice if google were able to scrub, clean, and filter 100% of the content that you get from the internet? Why can't I just pay someone to spoon feed me what I want to hear?
  • http://adblockplus.org [adblockplus.org]

    Why rate ads when you can block them just as easily?

  • Step one, make it so if we want to rid ourselves of your obnoxious instant search it fucking sticks for more than a week

  • The summary of the patent does not actually describe what the patent is about. I know, it's shocking to think that such a thing could happen on slashdot.

    Claim 1 is: 1. A computer-implemented method of approving a document, the method comprising: analyzing content of a first document to identify one or more first portions, wherein the first portions are visual, textual, or audio portions; identifying one or more second documents that are similar to the first document, wherein the one or more second docume
  • I am just curious...once 3D technology evolves, the advertisers would want to cash in on that...you open a website and splat! a pie hits your face!
  • A good 91.9566348% (of the remaining) profiles on MySpace will be inaccessible when this patent is implemented!

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!