Is Google being hypocritical, especially in light if their robust SOPA protesting? Is there legitimate reason for blocking Infowars, and other sometimes controversial sites from appearing in their search results? Is this even happening?
According Infowars.com, it is happening. While Google doesn’t appreciate the government illegally censoring certain web material, they seem fine taking the liberty to do it themselves. Here’s a video by Alex Jones from a little over a year ago addressing the issue. This seems SOPA-esq in nature:
This is a truly provoking video from Jones however; there is some contradiction in what he’s claiming. Apparently, the entire story is a big misunderstanding or sensationalism (who knows which). Here’s is what BigJimW10 had to say about, which captures the essence of what happened quite nicely:
“If you read the email he posted in his video, you will see that it clearly states that he had his video flagged and they reviewed the flagged video and agreed to it. Since he obviously had more than 2 comunity guideline strikes within the past 6 months, this was the third and they put a temporary restriction on UPLOADING new videos until he goes into his account page and acknowloges the strikes. At that point, his ability to UPLOAD videos will automatically be reinstated within 2 weeks. There is no conspiratorial censorship going on at all. Everyone (including Jones) would have this happen if community guidelines are broken”.
“As for Prisonplanet.tv and infowars, this seems to be a totally seperate unrelated issue that just happened to come along at the same time Jones had received his guidelines strike notification. Google news apparently is starting to clean out the spam news that they get daily, and it just happened that these two sites are no longer a news source to Google News. Google has no authority to shut the sites down and the sites are still indexed into Googles search engine”.
Still Jones and Infowars persists most recently that Google does have it out for them and make reference to the number of direct orders, to Google, by the U.S. Government, increasing by 70% and compliance, as reported by Google, is at 29%. Jones is viewing this as a direct assault on his news organization. The predominant reason given for the censorship by Google is “government criticism”.
To me, it seems just as likely that Infowars has it out for Google, as is the reverse. One thing is clear however; it doesn’t appear that Google’s censorship is unique to Infowars. Controversial material or “government criticism” is prone to removal from Google search results by admission of Google themselves. Censorship is not a cut and dry issue, there are a lot of grey areas, we can’t fight every battle. Infowars may have a legitimate claim though….
I’ll leave you with this sentiment from a current Infowars report:
“Who needs government to censor the Internet when large corporations are already doing it? Amidst all the anti-SOPA rage, we should not be so naive as to give the likes of Google a pass when considering the totality of threats posed to free speech on the world wide web”.