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Is Google Silently Removing Posts?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the communication-prevents-most-conspiracy-theories dept.

Google 153

mrbill writes to tell us that several music bloggers believe that Google may be silently removing posts. Those especially prone to conspiracy theories think this may be a part of some greater nefarious action in cooperation with the RIAA. The LA Weekly story cites several sites and email/chat room discussion that points to the only common ground being Google's Blogger platform for sites that have had content mysteriously disappear. This still resides firmly in the wildly speculative realm of unfounded rumor but raises the question, should Google be required to notify a content creator when their IP has been deleted/removed?

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They shouldn't be required... (3, Insightful)

cmprsdchse (656291) | more than 5 years ago | (#26791855)

but it would certainly go a long way towards the perception of their actions as, "good form".

According to Their Terms I Think They Should (3, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26791891)

but it would certainly go a long way towards the perception of their actions as, "good form".

Actually, when they say this about content [blogger.com]

We respect our users' ownership of and responsibility for the content they choose to share.

(Emphasis mine) One would hope that entailed at least a notice about why your posting was deleted.

Although I'm certain the RIAA has a trick for every day of the week to get content deleted instantly. Ex: Quotation of one line from a song without proper fair use attribution listed, DMCA notice sent.

Re:According to Their Terms I Think They Should (3, Insightful)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 5 years ago | (#26791951)

Actually, when they say this about content

We respect our users' ownership of and responsibility for the content they choose to share.

(Emphasis mine) One would hope that entailed at least a notice about why your posting was deleted.

I don't see how failure to provide notice about why your content was deleted can, in any way, be construed to disparage users' ownership of that content. I can think of many different cases in which a service provider could respect that a user owns some creative content and concurrently removes it from their service consistent with their terms.

The question of who owns some content and whether it is appropriate to be posted on some service are entirely different.

Re:According to Their Terms I Think They Should (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792439)

Well... they'll just have to start backing-up their blogs to their c: drives, and that way when some get removed off the net, the blogger can instantly restore the censored post (with a note that it was censored). And keep doing it. Until Google bans them completely. And then the blogger can sue for breach of contract.

Or just shoot the RIAA CEO in the head, which is probably easier and faster.

Re:According to Their Terms I Think They Should (1)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792723)

I'd like to second that motion with the addendum that we make it pay-per-view with the proceeds funding anti-*AA lobbyists.

Re:According to Their Terms I Think They Should (1)

skaet (841938) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792667)

The question of who owns some content and whether it is appropriate to be posted on some service are entirely different.

I agree. Since this is all firmly in the Rumour Camp there's no evidence of what content was actually removed. What's to say the content was not blatantly infringing on copyrighted material? Let's say the user was providing links to torrents or explaining how/where to obtain illegal copies of music/movies. Who's right in that case? Is Google necessarily "evil" for protecting it's own arse and enforcing the studios and artists legal rights?

Certainly proper attrition is required but if they can remove content why not contact the user to either remove the post entirely (the issue of The Mysterious Disappearing Post is resolved) or simply add a byline within the post something to the effect of "** Some content reproduced here is (c) Example Studio and is not affiliated with the user in any way **" (another legally gray area but more clearly defined than no attrition at all)

Re:According to Their Terms I Think They Should (2, Interesting)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793071)

Last time I cruised around Blogger (I have one there) it was about 100 to 1 ratio of bots and spammers sites, porn ads, and you name it to real user content.

Very very little actual user updating a blog-type content.

It's about time they started deleting stuff out of there.

When an actual, real live blogger says their content was removed I'll be concerned. Otherwise this is probably just a case of "cleaning up a shithole".

Re:According to Their Terms I Think They Should (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793043)

What about when they crawl a web page are they responsible to inform the webmaster then as well. I could understand that if someone requests then they could be told, but your demand is excessive. Google runs a service at their own expense. They are not a part of the government. They are allowed to make choices on how their business conducts itself. If you don't like how they conduct business, well its a capitalist society so deal with a another company. That said I think its a bad move for a company that doesn't "be evil".

Re:They shouldn't be required... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792559)

Repeat after me: If you use a free service, you are entitled to exactly what you paid for.

Repeat after that: If I don't back up my work, one day I may lose it all.

It's not like either of these things is news, and if it really is a freebie blogging service that Google provides where this is allegedly happening, then of course Google are perfectly within their rights to do anything up to and including shutting down the whole service without notice if they want to.

It also amazes me that people still trust so much stuff they'd want to keep to free on-line e-mail services, Google's or otherwise. These things do go wrong or get closed down, and you have absolutely no comeback if that happens.

Re:They shouldn't be required... (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793335)

Well... nobody has complained the posts were removed (from the fine summary). The problem was that they didn't even notify people they were removing the content.

Now, what you say is absolutely true; it's a free service and you get what you pay for.

As someone quoted above, the terms state: "We respect our users' ownership of and responsibility for the content they choose to share."

Deleting is OK, deleting without notification is well within their rights, but deleting without notification is hardly "respectful."

Re:They shouldn't be required... (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#26794057)

What about the freedom of speech?

If it isn't illegal - is it permitted to remove it?

OK - it's the internet, laws have a different meaning and different consequences.

Re:They shouldn't be required... (2, Insightful)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | more than 5 years ago | (#26794081)

Google is not a government entity. Freedom of speech doesn't apply.

Re:They shouldn't be required... (1)

Lord Flipper (627481) | more than 5 years ago | (#26795131)

They shouldn't be required, but...?

Wow, you might have set the record for the most terse combination of talking out of both sides of the mouth, mixed with some pretty neat self-canceling logic. Nice one. That's not easy to do. Unless you're a politician or a banker. In which case one can apparently do it in their sleep.

I'm glad that laws like assault, murder, etc., weren't "composed" with the same, um, cyclical logic, house of mirrors, razzle dazzle. It's kind of like an intellect's version of an Escher drawing. Artistic. Totally dangerous, too, of course. It's no wonder politicians and corporations have such a highly-evolved sociopathic death grip on our so-called "citizens."

Please don't do it Mr Google, oh no, we aren't saying you can't, just please don't. Okay?

Priceless, and the first post, to boot. Wonderful, no really.

This can only mean one thing: (5, Funny)

sstpm (1463079) | more than 5 years ago | (#26791859)

The Google tin foil hat is about to be launched. This is a ruse to drum up demand.

Re:This can only mean one thing: (3, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26791955)

Do you really want to use a tinfoil hat in perpetual beta?

Re:This can only mean one thing: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26792243)

You've obviously never worn a tinfoil hat before!

Re:This can only mean one thing: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26792689)

Many of us have indeed worn them, [myspace.com] you insensitive clod!

p.s. anybody know how to sing?

Re:This can only mean one thing: (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792091)

I have my own, "The RIAA is a Bunch of Rectum Licking Whores"

Tell us how you stole music and got away with it.

Re:This can only mean one thing: (4, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792511)

I have my own, "The RIAA is a Bunch of Rectum Licking Whores"

You shouldn't make them sound so positive. The real RIAA never does anything that pleasing.

Re:This can only mean one thing: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26792575)

Caveat: Pleasing to more people than their actual actions at least.

Re:This can only mean one thing: (5, Informative)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792655)

Hey, don't knock it until you've had your rectum licked.

Re:This can only mean one thing: (2, Funny)

SmlFreshwaterBuffalo (608664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26794313)

Score: -1, Excessively Informative

Re:This can only mean one thing: (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793797)

Where's the "-1 TMI" mod when you need it?
   

What do the Terms of Service say? (3, Informative)

winkydink (650484) | more than 5 years ago | (#26791861)

There should be something in there about what Google can and cannot do wrt unsubstantiated rumors and pure speculation. It think it's after the Indemnification clause.

Protection in case this is true (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26791869)

thinfoil hat on.

Re:Protection in case this is true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26792005)

Don't worry, I've dealt with this before. Just don't click the 'Empty Recycling Bin'

Depends on the terms of the agreement ... (4, Insightful)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 5 years ago | (#26791921)

This still resides firmly in the wildly speculative realm of unfounded rumor but raises the question, should Google be required to notify a content creator when their IP has been deleted/removed?

Is there any requirement in the agreement between Google and the creator to so do? I highly doubt it. In the absence of such a requirement I don't see any reason to think that they have any such obligation. I searched their web-site and I see no indication that have made any representations to the contrary.

Now, if the current agreement between Blogger and the content creators is satisfactory, they can take their content elsewhere. Perhaps a competing blog service can offer more agreeable terms and attract more content creators, or perhaps content creators prefer Blogger's service, even with onerous TOS, over the competitor's service for whatever reason (after all, IP policies are the not the end-all here).

In short, I don't see any reason for people to become histrionic when a service provider doesn't deliver goods that they never promised.

Re:Depends on the terms of the agreement ... (5, Informative)

jdunlevy (187745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26791997)

Google's outline of its DMCA procedures for Blogger [google.com] : They require complainants to "IDENTIFY EACH POST BY PERMALINK OR DATE THAT ALLEGEDLY CONTAINS THE INFRINGING MATERIAL." They also have provision for counterclaims, and when they "receive a counter notification," they say they "may reinstate the material in question." But they don't specifically say that they will notify the blogger in response to receiving a claim -- or even in removing a post.

Re:Depends on the terms of the agreement ... (4, Informative)

jdunlevy (187745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792049)

Though, in the comments on the laweekly.com story, a Rick Klau, "product manager on Blogger" does say [Feb 8th, 2009, 14:16 pm] [laweekly.com] , when taking down content:

we send an email to the blogger using the address associated with their account and submit the original DMCA notice to chillingeffects.org. If a blogger wishes to challenge the DMCA notice, they can file a counter notice, at which time the original DMCA complainant has 14 days to file suit, or we will reinstate the removed content.

Re:Depends on the terms of the agreement ... (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792459)

He's a marketer.

He lied.

It's in their job description.

Is the site getting a new tagline? (5, Funny)

SterlingSylver (1122973) | more than 5 years ago | (#26791931)

Slashdot: Wildly Speculative Realms of Unfounded Rumor for Nerds. Stuff that Could Conceivably Matter if in Fact True.

Re:Is the site getting a new tagline? (4, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26791967)

No, I think that one's already taken by Macrumors.com.

Re:Is the site getting a new tagline? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792285)

That could also apply to the Inquirer (www.theinquirer.net). My comment about speculation on rumors: Let's face it, it can be entertaining.

Re:Is the site getting a new tagline? (2, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792071)

Now look, everybody knows that the Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the reverse vampires, has been secretly monitoring the meaningless babble of music nerds in order to develop non lethal weaponry capable of putting just about anyone to sleep.

Re:Is the site getting a new tagline? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793093)

California attacks to control the Secret Masters of Fandom with the assistance of The Gnomes of Zurich. Take that!

Re:Is the site getting a new tagline? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792959)

"Slashdot: Wildly Speculative Realms of Unfounded Rumor for Nerds. Stuff that Could Conceivably Matter if in Fact True."

"..., And Ponies!"

Re:Is the site getting a new tagline? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792989)

"New"? That's been the invisible tagline for a while now, especially when Zonk used to post or when kdawson currently posts stories.

WTF? (4, Funny)

Al Al Cool J (234559) | more than 5 years ago | (#26791935)

I had first post, and now it's gone!

Re:WTF? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26792017)

I had first post, and now it's gone!

Preview button strikes again!

alphabetically challenged (5, Funny)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26791941)

FTA:

on everything from Abba to Zappa

So posts on ZZ Top are safe? Good.

Re:alphabetically challenged (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26792155)

ZZ comes before Za in some sort orders.

Re:alphabetically challenged (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26792737)

ZZ comes before Za in some sort orders.

And Aa comes after Za in some sort orders.

Your point?

Re:alphabetically challenged (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26792685)

on everything from Abba to Zappa

So posts on ZZ Top are safe?

Not to mention posts on Aardvark [progarchives.com] and Zzebra. [alexgitlin.com]

Re:alphabetically challenged (2, Funny)

the phantom (107624) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792751)

Maybe ZZ Top is sorted as "Top, ZZ."

I heard about this a while back.... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26791977)

This blog had some of it's posts removed without warning or explanation.
 
"Without warning, Google removed three old posts from the blog, and offered no explanation. They then followed by removing Remix Sunday 131, and 132- and offered a brief explanation."
 
http://palmsout.blogspot.com/search/label/Remix%20Sunday

Re:I heard about this a while back.... (2, Insightful)

dcollins (135727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793153)

That's actually a pretty informative example. Google is complying with the legalities of a DMCA takedown notice, and clearly informing the blog owner. The blog owner is responding by saying that they can't narrow down what part of the blog post in question is objectionable, and therefore picking up and moving their blog to another site.

In this particular case I don't that Google could have done anything one whit better.

wtf is this? the rumor mill? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26791989)

can we please refrain from a "news story" which is comprised entirely of a rumor about missing data and a conspiracy theory explanation? is their anything whatsoever which may implicate google in terms of intentionally doing so other than coincidence of a blog host?

Web Sheriff (3, Informative)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26791995)

Oh FFS, not those bloody clowns again...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/27/canada_rocker/ [theregister.co.uk]
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/14/prince_b3ta_dmca/ [theregister.co.uk]
http://torrentfreak.com/village-people-hire-web-sheriff-080215/ [torrentfreak.com]
http://stereogum.com/archives/web-sheriff-to-mp3-bloggers-happy-easter-thanks-fo_008539.html [stereogum.com]
etc.
etc.

But I've figured out a way to defeat them: someone should take Bob Marley's lyrics literally.

Free Ride (2, Insightful)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792019)

In the end, this is like a hitchhiker bitching when their ride only takes them part way. If it's free, you don't have much to complain about. If you'd like complete freedom, host your own blog, but do it on your own server... with your own lines... etc etc...

Re:Free Ride (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792549)

It's like if you're hitchhiking from St. Louis to Denver, and someone picks you up and tells you they'll take you all the way to Denver, then kicks you out of the car somewhere in Kansas. What, you haven't seen a building or another car for an hour? Tough shit, pal, get out and walk.

Free or not, it doesn't matter. If you say you're offering a service to someone, you need to offer it. If you're not willing to live up to the offer, don't make it.

Re:Free Ride (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792911)

Or don't ever use something free, in the end there are NO guarantees and since you paid NOTHING you have no loss.

Re:Free Ride (3, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793053)

Or don't ever use something free

EVER? Uh... where can I buy some bottled air then?

Re:Free Ride (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793233)

At scuba shops, airgas suppliers and industrial suppliers. And, oddly enough, since they do sell bottled air it comes with a certain set of guarantees. Not entirely sure what your point was, since this is a prime example of getting what you pay for.

Re:Free Ride (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26794607)

Not entirely sure what your point was, since this is a prime example of getting what you pay for.

That "not using anything free" strictly speaking means not breathing. Just a joke.

Re:Free Ride (2, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793695)

So in your mind, there's no obligation unless money changes hands? If you say you'll do someone a favor, do you feel free not to do it unless they pay you?

How much do they have to pay you to create a sense of obligation in your mind? A penny? A dollar? A thousand dollars? What's your price for keeping your word?

If you tell someone upfront that you'll only do something for a certain amount of money, then fine; you're under no obligation to do anything unless they meet your price. But once you commit, saying "oh, well, they didn't pay me enough" even if the price is zero marks you as a liar. Honest people do what they say they're going to do, and liars don't, regardless of money.

Re:Free Ride (1)

ErroneousBee (611028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26795055)

With favours, there is an implied social contract. There are even laws covering it, see promisory estoppel.

Re:Free Ride (5, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793073)

It's like if you're hitchhiking from St. Louis to Denver, and someone picks you up and tells you they'll take you all the way to Denver, then kicks you out of the car somewhere in Kansas. What, you haven't seen a building or another car for an hour? Tough shit, pal, get out and walk.

I think a better metaphor would be that a neighbor invites you to a party at his house, you're enjoying yourself. Then suddenly he turns off the lights for a minute, complete dark. It's fair, they're his lights and he's paying the bill, but it is annoying, pointless, and he did invite you there in the first place.

Re:Free Ride (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26794557)

Er, what? No. The hitchhiker is exchanging nothing. It's charity. If the driver changes his mind for any reason at all and wants to terminate the charity, that's the driver's full right. You say thank you and stick your thumb back out.

I've been the hitchhiker. I did back'n'forth across Canada a few times. I've been left in some pretty grim places. (Bible belts are the /worst/ for getting another lift. Go figure.) I honestly don't follow your analogy.

Back to Google, you're right that we have to look at the contract. It's charity, but one with a TOS. They have to be expected to be held to that.

(Props if you simply meant to extend /.'s bad-car-analogy meme.)

Re:Free Ride (0, Flamebait)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792609)

Absolutely.

Though, it is common courtesy to inform a hitchhiker of your nefarious plan to sodomise them, prior to entering into an agreement.

This is generally discouraged in the "Little Book of Highway Rape" handbook, though.

Re:Free Ride (2, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 5 years ago | (#26795067)

In the end, this is like a hitchhiker bitching

Like all car analogies here, it's quite inappropriate and misleading.

Google is getting FREE CONTENT from bloggers, and SELLING ADS on the pages. It's not a charity.

Impossible (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26792023)

google is not evil. you don't believe me. just ask them! better yet google it ...post removed my google!!

They're Afraid (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792035)

It's no suprise really. Hell, artists (the people who actually come up with the material) might get the impression that they would get better results and be better off financially going it alone and using blogs and other forums as promotion than they would being protected by the RIAA from all those nasty pirates and copyright violators. The excutives need to be kept in nice suits, BMWs and have enough left over to snort coke off the arses of strippers wearing clear heels. It has little to do with any concrete violation of copyright and everything to do with the prospect of losing the Don Simpson lifestyle.

This is preferable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26792063)

...to their former approach of playing a Mexican Hat Dance ringtone every time they deleted a post.

Please stop. (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792075)

Every week now it seems there is a new target of our collective paranoia. So let's set the record straight for this and all future stories like this. First, the internet is global. The wires, routers, satellites, cables, and equipment are collectively owned by hundreds of companies, scattered throughout every country in the world. Each of those countries feels they have a right to censor or control, to varying degrees, what their citizens say and do. In each of those countries, there are states, counties, municipalities, cities, corporations, organizations, groups, and individuals, all of whom believe they are also entitled to the same thing. Their ideologies are varied, as are their methods, their targets, and their success.

People have been trying to shut other people up and control them since time began. And people have fought back. Whether Google is censoring or not is irrelevant. What matters is whether anyone fights back. All any of us can do is support anyone who does, and continue to provide the tools to ensure that anyone who wants to listen, can. So if you are one of those being censored by google, step forward, give us your message, and we will do our best to put it everywhere there is an audience for it. Otherwise, can it about the conspiracy theories. They have their laws, and we have ours.

Re:Please stop. (5, Insightful)

try_anything (880404) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792355)

Whether Google is censoring or not is irrelevant. What matters is whether anyone fights back.

I'm confused. Fighting back, supporting those who fight back, and bypassing censorship require knowing when censorship happens and who is responsible for it. By that reasoning, it's hard to see how it's irrelevant whether Google is censoring or not.

"Please stop." Please stop sharing information and doing collective investigation about censorship? Just fight back randomly against... everybody? Even those who don't censor? Work hard to find alternative means of distribution for... all speech? Even the stuff that hasn't been censored?

It seems more constructive to focus efforts on actual censors and instances of actual censorship. Hence, discussions like this are important and relevant. The facts have to be established before anyone knows what action to take. Whether this particular discussion should have made the front page of Slashdot before the facts were better established is another question (and IMHO the answer is "no.")

Re:Please stop. (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792631)

By that reasoning, it's hard to see how it's irrelevant whether Google is censoring or not.

Whether google is censoring or not is irrelevant because it is difficult to prove censorship. And the determination of whether censorship is (or is not) occurring is immaterial to our response. And our response should be to copy and disseminate the allegedly censored information.

"Please stop." Please stop sharing information and doing collective investigation about censorship? Just fight back randomly against... everybody? Even those who don't censor? Work hard to find alternative means of distribution for... all speech? Even the stuff that hasn't been censored?

I was referring to the wasting of time and energy on guessing whether google is censoring or not absent hard evidence, not everything else you just mentioned. And as an aside, do you find it difficult to connect people's individual statements into a cohesive process? Because you seem to be taking the wrong interpretation to everything individually, which would not be happening if you could look at the larger statement being made.

It seems more constructive to focus efforts on actual censors and instances of actual censorship.

Somehow, I don't think a few hundred regular posters and a few thousand regular readers on slashdot will do what over 170 governments to date have been unable to do. But I am open to any argument on how to go after the top fifty thousand major censors in the world utilizing the power of... keystrokes.

The facts have to be established before anyone knows what action to take.

A group of people are marching down the street shooting at random passerbys. You are at the end of the street. Do you: a) Stop and ask who, how they are armed, why they are shooting, etc., or b) run like hell?

Whether this particular discussion should have made the front page of Slashdot before the facts were better established is another question (and IMHO the answer is "no.")

Nothing would make front page of Slashdot if we had to wait for all the facts to come in... Because nobody would read slashdot. Part of why slashdot is popular and exists is because it provides information quickly, not necessarily perfectly.

Re:Please stop. (1)

try_anything (880404) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793543)

I'm not sure if I'm getting trolled or not, but....

And the determination of whether censorship is (or is not) occurring is immaterial to our response. And our response should be to copy and disseminate the allegedly censored information.

This is a recipe for abuse. Crying censorship is a regular tactic in art (where being comfortably tolerated by the establishment is the ultimate embarrassment,) commerce (get the new super cure that the pharmaceutical industry doesn't want you to know about!) and politics. Think of how often conservatives lament the liberal media that keeps them down, and how the liberals went on and on about Fox News hosts who shout over everything their guests say. Being censored is chic and always will be in a society that values freedom.

In this case the alleged victims are music bloggers, one of the most self-dramatizing and attention-whorish categories of people on earth -- yet these particular bloggers might have a legitimate complaint and might deserve support. You have to take each case on its merits, and you have to withhold help and publicity from attention whores so you can afford to give it to people who have been legitimately wronged.

Somehow, I don't think a few hundred regular posters and a few thousand regular readers on slashdot will do what over 170 governments to date have been unable to do. But I am open to any argument on how to go after the top fifty thousand major censors in the world utilizing the power of... keystrokes.

Your fatalism here is out of step with your eagerness for action elsewhere. Plus, why would you expect governments to go after censors? Governments in many cases are the censors, and when the censors are private entities, they are usually acting within their legal rights, so the government rarely helps. It does take keystrokes, or to put it another way, words. The chattering classes don't change things directly by their chatter, but through their chatter (or keystrokes -- maybe we should call them the "clattering classes") they decide how to wield their real power -- voting and consumption.

Nothing would make front page of Slashdot if we had to wait for all the facts to come in... Because nobody would read slashdot. Part of why slashdot is popular and exists is because it provides information quickly, not necessarily perfectly.

Point taken. I could go either way, but it seems at this point they need the attention of people who can help them investigate, so later the Slashdot headline wouldn't have to be phrased in the form of a question. It would help focus the conversation a bit ;-)

Re:Please stop. (3, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792519)

I must say that I find it odd. Someone posts a link to a pirated MP3 and that link gets taken down. People define that as censorship?
Then they wrap it in the flag of free speech and fighting for freedom...

I would think that posting a recording of someone else as their speech is at best plagiarism. Hey I can see saying that piracy is at worst a civil issue and not criminal. Or that suing your customers is a bad plan. However taking down posts to copyrighted MP3s just doesn't infringe on people's liberties.

Re:Please stop. (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 5 years ago | (#26795105)

Someone posts a link to a pirated MP3 and that link gets taken down.

RTFA. These cases are about music released by record companies (their "right hand") to promote their albums. The blogs in question were giving them free advertising. Then the lawyers, (the "left hand") discovers these same promotional tracks online and complains about it.

Terms of Use (3, Informative)

chicago_scott (458445) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792117)

What entity should require Google to inform the IP holder? If the answer is the government through legislation then my answer is no, Google shouldn't be required to notify the IP holder.

If the answer is that the users of Blogger should be able to hold Google accountable for deleted or lost IP through a Terms of Use agreement enforceable by the Courts, then my answer is yes.

But the first step would be for the IP holder to not agree to the Terms of Use set forth by Google/Blogger and pressure then to change the terms of service, which state in part:

o Google also reserves the right to modify, suspend or discontinue the Service with or without notice at any time and without any liability to you.

o You agree that Google has no responsibility or liability for the deletion of, or the failure to store or to transmit, any Content and other communications maintained by the Service. Google retains the right to create limits on use and storage at our sole discretion at any time with or without notice.

c'mon!!!! (1)

enter to exit (1049190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792149)

no conspiracy is complete without Microsoft!!!

and the bizzare thing is, most of us will think it's plausile no matter how much it contradicts itself.

If you use Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26792159)

it's your own fault. Why should you trust them? They have no obligation to you. They are a corporation that will fuck you over for profit or to please their masters at the drop of a hat. Nobody there cares about your work so get over it. Really, we all should be smart enough to see where this is going. I have no sympathy for any of the idiots using "cloud" computing, putting their valuable data and created content on someone elses system
at their whim and fancy. Buy yourself a server, or go into partnership with smaller groups you can trust, and do regular backups anyway. Cheap hosting is negligable cost. Two cheap shared servers, one as a mirror can cost you as little as $20 a year. Why risk using Google or any of the free services that have no interest in looking after your stuff?

This happens everywhere... (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792215)

I just posted something that was sure to be modded insightful +5, but it has vanished! Seriously!

Re:This happens everywhere... (1)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792271)

did it have a link to an mp3 of dubious legality?

Re:This happens everywhere... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792467)

Yes. It was an MP3 of Britney Spears' latest song.

Oh, you said dubious legality, I misread that as dubious quality.

My mistake, carry on.

Using the new "close enough" CPUs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26792223)

Google has been using some advance beta CPUs that use the lower accuracy math.

The data has been lost but may be restored in 10 years or so, when google's million monkeys stumble across it. :)

Re:Using the new "close enough" CPUs (1)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792293)

they were pidgins [google.com] you insensitive clod!

POST DELETED (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792251)

Post deleted by google due to copyright violation.

google removal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26792267)

i have a web site through Google's old googlepages domain and had several times when links embedded videos and trackers all disappeared. this al seem to happen when google would "update there web app" to "give you more flexibility and creativity" it usually ment that i had to find a new version of the code that worked with there new version and sometime it could not be fixed. it would have been nice to get a heads up, but what do i expect for free.
i suppose it is like my dad told me when i was a young one if a government or corporation is big enough to give you everything for free they are big enough to do anything to you with out much cost to them.
it would be nice if cuil or some other sites would compete with Google on web apps and services. maybe this would at least slow Google becoming the next microsoft in the very negative since of that stereo type.

Google doesnt remove your posts...... (0)

jmickle (941634) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792359)

Chuck Norris does.....

Re:Google doesnt remove your posts...... (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792739)

Chuck Norris doesn't need to remove posts. They delete themselves when he looks at them cross.

Re:Google doesnt remove your posts...... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26793305)

Chuck Norris su-NO CARRIER

spamers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26792401)

I have been getting spam that links to google blogs selling me all the usual spammer merchandise

riaatoday.blogspot.com (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792493)

well maybe we can see if it's true.
http://riaatoday.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]
http://riaatoday.com/ [riaatoday.com]
If you want to be able to post here, send me your e-mail address. ramjet at sfdj.net

You will be assimilated (1)

enricohale (1411063) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792495)

Dude, don't use google software for your blog. Wordpress: they'll host it for you, or you can set it up in 10 minutes yourself.

It's a free service (1, Informative)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792529)

... and you get what you pay for.

aaaaaarrrrgggh (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792547)

should Google be required to notify a content creator when their IP has been deleted/removed?

No, they shouldn't. And if you don't like it, quit being a pansy who wants everything for free and start hosting your own blog on an account that you paid for. Then the only person you can blame for "censorship" is yourself.

Re:aaaaaarrrrgggh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26792857)

By that reasoning, it is acceptable for your ISP to filter your content. If you don't like it, quit being a pansy who wants everything for cheap and lay your own fiber. If Google wants to offer free censorship services then it should be advertised as such.

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26792593)

It was weird. TONS of my blog entries got removed from Google recently. They were off for about three days before they were mysteriously put back up. I'm pretty sure it was just a glitch a la blanket malicious site error.

notify a content creator? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792599)

How about notify their users.

Yes, i know they are a private company, not held to constitutional standards, bla bla bla, but what they are doing is wrong.

tinfoil hat (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793033)

Those especially prone to conspiracy theories...

should have more important conspiracies to be theorizing than RIAA teaming up with google.

c08 (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26793417)

By simple fuckcing or make loud noi^ses

Hmm.. (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793473)

Slashdot posts article about Google silently erasing posts.

Slashdot goes down (I got all sorts of page errors first time I tried to read this thread).

Coincidence?

Re:Hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26793569)

In former Soviet Russia, Google Slashdots Slashdot for talking. Google then utters "ve may do no evil, but ve haf vays, muwahahahaha!"

Orkut (1)

starlighter (1473341) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793491)

The same thing is happening in the Orkut network, used by millions of brazilian users. Google has added new "spam measures" that are silently removing from communities sight several threads and even scraps. They just need to have any kind of hyperlink at all, to be targeted and removed. They are gone/missing without any chances of recovering, or placed in the "spam folder" (and then you/the admin need to go there and restore them). Just like we are doing with our email accounts, but even worse! I saw several threads/people complaining about this. And some threads were not recovered. Orkut was always bugged and awful, but now it's beyond our imagination. And I can assure you, some threads are not caught without reason. This was a good example of a thread "censored" by Orkut. I have reposted everything inside it, restoring the old lost thread. Use Frontpage Express to open it. http://rapidshare.com/files/196217826/soft.rar.html [rapidshare.com] I recommend that all of you get rid of Google as son as possible and use your own paid hosts, free from any censorship. Better yet - use the PirateBay method of hosting, and you'll be even safer. Youtube have followed the same path, with this new tool used to remove videos with music contents. They don't even bother to contest these measures. Since what they all have done was cooperate with bad people. Sadly, this is not a surprise.

Three Words (1)

imac1701 (997903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793767)

"Don't Be Evil."

Re:Three Words ("Don't Be Evil") (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793977)

But Google's Evil Prevention Dept. has been cut back due to budget problems. They're now looking for a bailout to prevent "massive and rampant sin".
   

Charge Posters for Copies before Deleting (1)

ImitationEnergy (993881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26794409)

Google could offer the poster a copy of all their posts before Deleting it. Same goes for SlashDot and the New York Times => it should be an industry standard, plus it would be an additional source of income for them all. Charge the posters for a copy of their comments is a Service that would be MOST APPRECIATED by posters the world over.

People's thoughts are a source of income for the online blogging media suppliers they have totally missed: Woodrow CloudSeeder Riley, 2/10/2009, and send my royalty check to my PayPal account at riley101@cox.net please. Once I receive enough royalties I will commence serious work on my solar device that does not use solar panels that wear out and die, or don't work when covered by snow or bird poop... and a few more royalty checks later I'll commence development of my Home Power Generation system that runs completely on Earth's Gravity.

After that I'll start into finishing my spacecraft flying home so we can get off this rock EN MASSE. (No, I'm not kidding around. See some of my work on http://www.newpath4.com/pdflistfor2008.htm [newpath4.com] ).

LOL, Long Time, /. Buds... Long Time Indeed (1)

Bluesee (173416) | more than 5 years ago | (#26794425)

I thought they said they wouldn't be evil? Google... they said that...

Re:LOL, Long Time, /. Buds... Long Time Indeed (1)

Bluesee (173416) | more than 5 years ago | (#26794427)

Wow, my sig totally dates me.

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