Monthly Archives: May 2014

Censorship & Search: Pick a Side

Posted on May 28, 2014 by - Uncategorized

Should the web crawlers be able to show any search results they want, as long as what is presented doesn’t violate any local, state or national law? That’s the crux of the debate. U.S. law (and the search engines themselves) forces limitations as to what is displayed on browsers. But in the last decade, individuals have been challenging what results Bing and the like present to Web surfers.

Formula One icon Max Mosley sued Google starting back in 2008 for images that surfaced from a hidden camera showing Mosley in black leather with five women engaged in sexual situations. Because the pictures were from a breach by the legal system, the court ruled in Mosley’s favor throughout several European countries, including France and Germany—Google had to remove the content.

Max Mosley won a privacy suit against Google.

Max Mosley won a privacy suit against Google.

Mosley’s lawyer Clara Zerbib said, “Google is perpetuating not only the spread of these illegal images but it is perpetuating the curiosity of Internet users.”

Search Engines Fight Back

In August of 2010, Yahoo and Google were victorious, setting a precedent in South America. An Argentinean appellate court ruled that the crawlers weren’t liable for the content that appeared related to Virginia Da Cunha results. The popular entertainer’s name and picture would show up as a means to get traffic to adult websites, of which she was not associated.

In that same year and country, however, Maria Belen Rodriguez won a judgment of $15,000 against Google and Yahoo for pictures of her engaged in sexual activity in a home movie. The judgment was later reduced to $6,200 by another court and now the Supreme Court of Argentina will decide the matter.

Belen_Rodriguez_2

Belen Rodriguez’s suit against Yahoo & Google is headed for the highest court in Argentina.

From Google concerning the ongoing Rodriguez case: “Search engines are neutral platforms that do not create nor control content on the web.”

Let’s examine that statement.

1. What does the term “neutral platform” mean? Search engines give display and position preference to paid ads. They favor their own social platforms over the competition’s. They show results based on algorithms they created to directly manipulate and control what is shown.

2. “…that do not create or control content on the web.” The issue is that Google is more than just a search engine. Google creates content in the Gmail, Google+, analytics and mobile universe. And they directly control content because almost all users are unable to access websites without a browser. You can order anything you want at the Google restaurant, but it has to be on the menu.

Controlled Search Sucks

Where’s it stop? So Safari can’t show certain images of celebrities doing sexual or embarrassing things, then soon after that, all images must be approved? Next image search is obsolete (and illegal). Maybe the U.S. gets some filtering tips from China and well, you know how it goes.

The Internet is writing history, just like the books in the classroom. It’s a matter of what version of the Civil War you are getting—the Mississippi or the Ohio.

 

Trying to Monopolize Search

Posted on May 6, 2014 by - Uncategorized

Google is the most used search engine with 11.9 billion monthly searches, beating out Yahoo!, Bing, Safari, etc. Google’s rise to the top is mainly because they have continued to provide the best search results through their advanced algorithms that are constantly tweaked and improved upon. That is to say, Google didn’t buy their way to the top; it was a result of free market consumers rewarding the best product with their business. But the customers still had a choice. One you may not be able to make very soon.

Search censorship coming to a computer near you.

Search censorship coming to a computer near you.

In a recent article in Search Engine Land, Amy Gesenhues reported that in the new Spider-Man 2 film, Peter Parker searches via Google, not Bing, like he did in the first movie. Gesenhues goes on to speculate that wasn’t an accident, “Whether or not it was a paid product placement on Google’s part is unknown, but ComicBook.com speculates there’s a chance money probably did exchange hands somewhere along the way.”

A chance? Let’s follow this line: Disney bought Marvel comics. Disney entered a multi-million dollar deal with YouTube, which is owned by Google. Disney and Google now share a common interest: profit margins. The result? Expect every Star Wars, comic book or princess movie to be saturated with Google platforms, devices and advertising.

Prima facie, no big deal, this is American capitalism at its finest. Two giant companies combining for a universal effect. But the reality is a monopoly. And controlled search. It will soon get to a point that negative articles and press about either Disney or Google simple won’t show up on search. And no matter the keywords or queries, you will receive the results they want you to see. Too paranoid and delusional? Right, because 1.35  billion Chinese don’t deal with censored search on a daily basis.