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Following In Bing's Footsteps, Yahoo! and Flickr Censor Porn In India

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the searching-for-morality dept.

Government 167

bhagwad writes "Following recent news on how Bing decided sex was too sensitive for India, Yahoo! and its associated site Flickr have decided to do the same. While it's true that this is because of India passing laws that prohibit the publication of porn, no complaint was ever launched (and never will be), and glorious Google still continues to return accurate and unbiased results. So why is Yahoo! doing this? Is it because of its tie-up with Bing? I assume this is the case. Indian ISPs have already told the government and the courts that it's not their job to restrict porn and it's technologically infeasible too. In the absence of a complaint, I can only assume that Yahoo! has decided to do this of their own volition. Given that the 'sex' search term is searched more in India than in any other country, isn't it the duty of Yahoo! to provide accurate results to its customers? It can always plausibly deny control of its results and claim that filtering porn is infeasible. Since Yahoo! already has a low search market share in India, this will drive it even lower."

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Here it comes... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30590436)

Bing!

Re:Here it comes... (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590506)

Well, I would say that Sridhar (known as "Mike" on the switchboard) and his friend Narednra (known as "Tim" on the switchboard) who want to be more western world, what else ARE they going to search for to fit in with the rest of us?

Having said that, I only ever recall seeing one bit of bollywood porn, and it was a blooper (don't ask), so maybe it's just not around that much. Of course I might just not be that into that sort of thing and be missing out on a vast cultural experience. Better to use the simplest English description and go from there than sort through all manner of strange things eh?

Re:Here it comes... (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590534)

The whole subcontinent is littered with statues of stylized large-breasted women and phallic lingam. It seems a little odd to ban online porn, when sexuality lies at the heart of Hinduism (as it does for all the Indo-European religions).

Re:Here it comes... (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590826)

I suspect that the ban is simple prudery at work.

However, I'd say that, rather than "seem[ing] a little odd", the connection between sexuality and Hinduism could arguably be a strong incentive for banning online porn.

Consider, for example, the matter of medieval Catholicism and vernacular bibles. The whole continent is littered with churches full of stained glass depictions of biblical scenes, and the gospels lie at the heart of Catholicism, and yet, early vernacular translators got suppressed good and hard for their trouble. This was because the centrality of the bible to Catholic practice implied acceptance of it; but also implied an established order controlling its use, dissemination, and interpretation.

Similarly, it could well be(arguing from principles, not direct anthropological evidence) that the long connection of sexuality with Hinduism means a certain acceptance of it; but almost certainly also means an established set of rules and practices concerning its use, allocation, and proper role. Pornography from all over the world, in any style you like, available swiftly and anonymously over the internet, likely stomps on the toes of at least a few of those rules and practices.

Re:Here it comes... (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590850)

Dude, there's a temple with porn carved into statues on the outside [wikipedia.org] .

(And there were many more before they were destroyed by the Mughals.)

Re:Here it comes... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591202)

The problem with watching porn is that it leads to people making porn...

Given the well known dimensional issues in india [bbc.co.uk] I would imagine that indians making porn is the last thing they want.

After all, they would rather that the rest of the world didn't know about their shortcomings.

Re:Here it comes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30590838)

debonairblog

Re:Here it comes... (1)

XnavxeMiyyep (782119) | more than 4 years ago | (#30592156)

it was a blooper (don't ask)

Look, I know you said not to ask, but I really have to know the source of this now.

Re:Here it comes... (2, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590750)

Bing!

Not loud enough.

You're sacked!

Re:Here it comes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30590784)

There is nothing wrong with porn

Sometimes I can't understand some people

Re:Here it comes... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590996)

Ah. Good for you!

Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (1, Troll)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590468)

In the meantime, please read the summary again. It says Google continues to return accurate results. Check whether this fits consistently into your opinion about supposed censorship in India.

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590546)

No no, the summary contains paranoid Microsoft bashing, not India bashing. Not to mention the hilarious part about filtering being infeasible (I guess it would sort of suck for Indians if search engines started returning only white-listed results, but it isn't exactly hard to think of a way to filter output that you control (but the end result might suck for the searcher).

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590842)

Not nearly as paranoid as it could be. Tighten your tinfoil hats and consider the following insane hypothesis:

Microsoft, in their limitless greed and avarice, has an insatiable desire for cheap H1B and outsourced programming labour. India is a major source of this labour; but has rising incomes and standards of living, which threaten to make that labour more expensive. Pornography reduces birth rates by providing the sexually frustrated an alternative to procreation. If Microsoft(and its subservient minion Yahoo) can cut off India's porn supply, they can insure a bumper crop of future programmers. Supply and demand being what they are, the more programmers born, the less Microsoft has to pay, per programmer!

See? It's all very simple when you recognize the sinister conspiracy at work...

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590998)

Furthermore, by eliminating pornography in India, Microsoft will have assured that everyone will want to come to America to work^Wget porn. Brillant!

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (1, Flamebait)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591130)

You're closer to the truth than you realize. The same thing is going on in America as well - the limiting of abortion coverage in our healthcare bill, our pop-culture's fairly recent obsession with babies and breeding, antagonism towards Planned Parenthood.

Corporations want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to have a huge foreign pool of cheap labor, and they want to have a huge domestic pool of proletariat consumers and disposable warriors.

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30592138)

"See? It's all very simple when you recognize the sinister conspiracy at work..."

That is a ridiculous theory. It is far too complicated. You got the first part right: "Microsoft, in their limitless greed and avarice, has an insatiable desire for cheap H1B and outsourced programming labour." From there you go horribly astray. My good friend Occam tells me that it is something more like this:

Microsoft Recruiter: We won't pay you much, but we don't block porn.
H1B Candidate: Where would I be finding the line to sign sir?

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (4, Insightful)

dhavleak (912889) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590894)

There shouldn't be any bashing at all in this article.

.
India is a democratic country -- their laws are by definition reflective of their social values. If they want porn cencored, they are within their rights to want it. I don't agree with it -- but it's their call. If at some point in the future there is a change in social attitudes towards porn in India, they can vote for a government that will change their laws accordingly.

.
If you want to bash anyone, bash Google for not respecting local laws -- but even that would be stretching it a bit.

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (1)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590982)

I don't bash google, or yahoo on this regard. My opinion is that India has a right to enact laws that coincide with the moral status quo of that country. I would recommend all companies to comply with the laws of the countries they have physical locations at, but I don't know if Google actually has a physical presence in India. If they don't, I can't see why they would care what India's laws are.

If Yahoo! wants to comply with India's laws, then good for them. But they need to be honest with the Indian users of their service and make it publicly known that their results are filtered due to the laws of that country. If enough Indians get fed up, then they can make a go of trying to change the laws.

Censorship, when done in the dark is evil. Censorship done in the light of day is slightly less evil.

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (1)

dhavleak (912889) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591020)

I don't know if Google actually has a physical presence in India

They do.. hence the bit about respecting local laws.

But they need to be honest with the Indian users of their service and make it publicly known that their results are filtered due to the laws of that country .... Censorship, when done in the dark is evil. Censorship done in the light of day is slightly less evil.

Completely agreed, and a great idea at that.

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (3, Insightful)

bnenning (58349) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591120)

It's entirely reasonable to criticize governments when they enact stupid policies, whether they're democratically elected or not. As I recall one or two foreign entities on occasion said less than complimentary things about the Bush administration; were they wrong to do so?

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (3, Insightful)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591192)

India is a democratic country -- their laws are by definition reflective of their social values.

This is a fallacious correlation. Just because laws have been arrived at through a democratic process does not necessarily mean that they represent social values. There are much more important driving factors for legislation in a democracy than these social values. There are many ways (for example, lobbyists/bribery) that groups can influence democratic legislation, even in directions contrary to social values. The only possible government in which your ideals of democracy would be upheld would be one that's extremely limited socially so that no one's social values could be trampled upon.

If they want porn cencored, they are within their rights to want it.

I disagree with this. This is a case where your social values are at odds with personal liberties and just because such regulations would be arrived at through a democratic process doesn't mean that it's okay to take these liberties away. You could make the same case with racial segregation, where only a few really wanted to integrate, but the views of the majority democratically determined that segregation was legal and allowable. Another example could be gay marriage, where a majority is often against it, but since it is (arguably) within a gay couple's right to marry, these social values should not influence the democratic process to take their rights away.

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591260)

This is a case where your social values are at odds with personal liberties and just because such regulations would be arrived at through a democratic process doesn't mean that it's okay to take these liberties away.

The thing here is, you are making a value judgement. You're also making a value judgement when you say that racial segregation is bad. I happen to agree with that judgement, but it is still a judgement. Who is there to say that your values are correct and some other person's values are incorrect? Unless we have absolute truth, we cannot know these things.

You are confused about the point of democracy: it doesn't exist to protect what you consider to be liberties, it actually exists to avoid some of the problems we have with kings (violent regime changes), and to have government that roughly represents the will of the majority. It is hard living in a single place with a bunch of people: if you think about it, even living in a family is hard, and how many more people are there in a country? Democracy solves the problem better than anything else so far, but still if the majority decides to take away your personal liberties, they can because there are more of them than you. You may think it is 'wrong,' but once again that is a value judgement.

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591366)

Democracy solves the problem better than anything else so far,...

That depends on what you mean by "democracy". Pure democracy, where everything is decided by everyone voting, isn't feasible in a country the size of the USA (or India). But, more fundamentally, something like the USA's (and even India's) government consists of much more than letting people vote.

For one thing, there's a whole system of checks and balances (e.g. separation of powers) and various mechanisms to promote transparency. And then there's the whole idea of "rule of law" - that you have a process rather than an individual (king) make decisions (e.g. whether someone is guilty of a crime and should be punished). But there's also basic stuff - like the concept of freedom - the idea that a person should be the one making the decisions that affect them (for example, a person should be free to say what they want even if the majority disagrees).

So, unless you define "democracy" to be a whole hodgepodge of different mechanisms to try to make a government work well for its constituents (rather than just individual voting), democracy is definitely not better than anything so far (the hodgepodge is better - though less logically pure).

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591826)

The idea that what the people want matters is a value judgement. The idea that violent regime changes are bad is a value judgement.

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591302)

There are plenty of examples of democracies getting it wrong. Just look at the California gay marriage bill that passed last year, or the various EU plans that were shot down by voters. Thank goodness there are ways around those.

Voting is pure gambling, there is no guarantee of a positive outcome. Any sort of referendum is just a roll of the dice and you hope the voters will get it right, but frequently they get it wrong. Simply saying "the voters have spoken" is childish and not at all fashionable among the intelligentsia these days. You need a solid core of well-educated people to ensure that society makes the correct decisions, otherwise you'll end up with a racist hate-state.

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591570)

> Any sort of referendum is just a roll of the dice and you hope the voters will get it right

What do you mean 'get it right'? You are assuming there is an objective standard of what's right and what's wrong. There isn't. If Indians want to ban pornography, then this ban is 'right' by *definition*. In any democracy, if a law takes a stand on a social question, then the stand it takes is the 'right' one simply because the majority believes it is the right one.

This argument does not work for new or controversial issues (where the people have not really made up their minds, but the laws have not been left in an analogously ambiguous state for obvious reasons). But I think you'll find that the ban on pornography (in India) is neither new nor controversial.

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591888)

In any democracy, if a law takes a stand on a social question, then the stand it takes is the 'right' one simply because the majority believes it is the right one.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, a thousand times wrong. Let me guess, you watch Fox News and Limbaugh, right?

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591400)

I'm Indian so I can say this - Indians want porn, all classes and all backgrounds. Actually, it's only some of the uppermost class (class = money & background) that don't want or like it and it's social-suicide to 'rally' for porn or anti-censorship.

Notice how many 'Indian girl' porn vids have started coming up over the past 2-3 yrs? Yeah. And the summary already pointed out that Indian ppl (pun intended) search for sex more than any other country.

It's all very two-faced and about what you show rather than what you are. Pomp and Show are very big in India, so it's self-righteous to say you're against porn. Porn is not the only issue and India is not the only country.

On another note - seems Indian police don't know the difference between 'illegal to publish' and 'illegal to have'. If they raid you for say, pirated software, and find porn as well, that's gonna make it worse for you.

Re:Wait a minute before the India-bashing begins (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591814)

So 51% of the population has the right to deny 49% the right to engage in perfectly legitimate activities? I wouldn't approve of this even if 90% of the population voted for it.

Heh (2, Insightful)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590512)

Given that the 'sex' search term is searched more in India than in any other country... Based on population, I can only assume that India, at number 2 aspires to overtake China.

Clearly, if you have to google "sex", you already know what it is.

Re:Heh (2)

mattventura (1408229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590560)

Won't this just cause Bing and Yahoo to lose marketshare in India? I haven't RTFA'd very carefully, so correct me if I'm completely off the mark.

Re:Heh (5, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590608)

Heh. I doubt it's entirely true that Indians search for sex more than everybody else, just that others are just more specific.

Hypothetical example: for every Indian who looks up "sex", there are four Americans who each look up "fisting", "creampies", "MILFs", and "jailbait" :)

Re:Heh (1)

PachmanP (881352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590648)

Hypothetical example: for every Indian who looks up "sex", there are four Americans who each look up "fisting", "creampies", "MILFs", and "jailbait" :)

What about the guy who's searching for "MILFs fisting jailbait creampies"? or "MILF"+"fisting"+"jailbait"+"creampies"? Or "jailbait fisting MILFs"? Or any of the previous with +"midget"?

I mean if you just search for "sex" you get stuff like wikipedia and psychology today...

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30590672)

Mod parent up.

Re:Heh (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591494)

Interesting you chose the number 4, since their are almost exactly 4 times as many people living in India compared to America.

There are way more people both searching for sex on the internet and having sex IRL in India than in America, based on nothing more than population numbers.

Re:Heh (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590708)

Clearly, if you have to google "sex", you already know what it is.

Or, more succinctly, sex != porn.

Re:Heh (5, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590732)

Clearly, if you have to google "sex", you already know what it is.

"Sex" you say? Let's just give that a try.....open Google and.....OH MY GOD WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO ANOTHER PERSON???

Gone downhill... (4, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590526)

Remember when the Internet was all porn (1994)? Yeah, it's really gone downhill since then...

Well (4, Insightful)

robvangelder (472838) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590554)

Didn't the Kama Sutra come out of India?

Re:Well (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590870)

Didn't the Kama Sutra come out of India?

Have you ever tried reading it? It's about as exciting as the Bible (or any other ancient text), though at least it's more relevant.

Re:Well (1)

dsoltesz (563978) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591252)

Dude, you're doing it wrong: it's a hands-on tutorial, not a reference manual... you're supposed to work through the exercises, not just read them.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591546)

Dude, you're doing it wrong: it's a hands-on tutorial, not a reference manual... you're supposed to work through the exercises, not just read them.

Well, I've just followed your advice, and I must say, it's really quite difficult to type when you are unable to untie yourself after having tried position #18.

Morevover, as a human pretzel I am now experiencing severe problems getting an appointment with the orthopedic department - partly because it is the holiday season so there is a staffing problem, but also partly because my ears and the phone in my hand appear to currently form a topological counter-example to the Poincaré conjecture.

This is the last time I'm taking advice from a slashdot post.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591720)

Well, you may be joking, but if you are serious here is what you should have done: Never try any posture which is uncomfortable. To quote Richard Burton(from Anangaranga): "The reader will bear in mind that the exceeding pliability of the Hindu's limbs enables him to assume attitudes absolutely impossible to the European, and his chief object in congress is to avoid tension of the muscles, which would shorten the period of enjoyment".

This is the principle for practicing postures in Yoga too. If you are trying too hard, you are going down soon. Good luck with your orthopedic appointment. What's more, you will find the same concept in Zen stories too.

Re:Well (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591560)

In the original, you're correct (and it's just one of a series that cover various aspects of leading a spiritual life). The most popular versions for the last few hundred years, however, have been very carefully and artistically illustrated. These are the ones that most people talk about. You'll also find larger copies of the illustrations in various temples and palaces.

Re:Well (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591216)

It is difficult to understand India, unless you have visited and lived for some time. There is a great level of hypocrisy in India about everything including sex.

Sex is not new to India, and also it is not kept as hidden as we think. Kama Sutra is one example, Khajuraho temples in India showing different positions of intercourse is another example...and according to many experts, Shivalinga [wikipedia.org] worshipped almost everywhere in India is a symbol of sex. Of course, the worshipping represents respectful recognition of its importance and its discussion or public demonstration is not highly appreciated.

A kiss by Aishwarya Rai in film could invite huge protest. Where as many other actors and actresses have kissed on screen and many actresses have exposed their breasts.

In spite of being touchy about this issue, people like Rathod, who was a cop, can get away molesting a minor girl and evade law for 19 years and get away with very simple punishment. It is difficult for a normal Indian to understand that sexually frustrated cops like Rathod and loopholes in their system is more dangerous than a search engine submitting web pages what they are looking for.

I have tough time to understand a normal Indian but probably it seems, they live in some kind of imaginary world and do not want to believe in practicality.

Re:Well (1)

t0p (1154575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591930)

It is difficult to understand India, unless you have visited and lived for some time. There is a great level of hypocrisy in India about everything including sex.

Same as everywhere else. Hypocrisy is part of the human condition.

maybe makes bussiness sense (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590558)

If I were a search engine desperately trying to gain market share in an environment dominated by a competitor, I might look for the largest growing open market, in this case India. I might accommodate some vagaries in hopes that a positive official recommendation might help my market share. If no school allows access to google, not even colleges, if no major corporate office allows access to google, if no government office allows access to google, then one can imagine that in a generation Google will be gone as a viable entity in India. And then there is the issue of Google having offices in India(I think they do), which means that Google will not be in compliance with the law.

In this case, I don't see this as a 'Bing and Yahoo are bad' issue. If Google does not comply, that is business decision, just like Bing and Yahoo.

Re:maybe makes bussiness sense (2, Interesting)

mattventura (1408229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590584)

Didn't Google do the same thing with China? Censor themselves or be completely blocked? Possibly, if Google was blocked, it would piss enough people off to lower the people's opinion of the government and possibly effect change. I don't know though, I don't live in India, so I don't know if a few million people being pissed about something like this would effect any changes from the government.

Re:maybe makes bussiness sense (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590622)

They did. Search for Tienanmen Square on images.google.cn. Then search on any other flavor of google. Quite the difference!

They do give the wikipedia pages, but it seems to be picking up on my locale, but I do distinctly remember searching google on a tor exit node from china and being surprised at how censored the great wall really is.

Re:maybe makes bussiness sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591414)

searching google on a tor exit node from china

You've probably helped put that guy in the government's watchlist.

Re:maybe makes bussiness sense (1)

dhavleak (912889) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590946)

Try over a billion people :) -- almost three billion if you combine India and China.

I don't have first-hand knowledge, but it seems to me that in China it doesn't matter if people get pissed. Events damaging to the govt. seem to literally disappear from their history, like Tiananmen sq., events in Tibet, and much more. I guess it's a chicken-and-egg thing when it comes to censorship -- you can't get mad about stuff you don't know about. Perhaps people in China just think the 'net has a lot less porn than we know it to have? I mean, you'd just have to censor articles about censoring porn, and after a while the event will disappear from social consciousness.

In India, I guess the redeeming factor is that they are a democracy. Sure there must be tons of people that are pissed about this, but at least they know it's happening to them. At least they can talk about being pissed. The discussion can continue until such time that social attitudes change, and if/when that happens, they can change the law.

So I guess the difference is that in China, the people aren't prudes but the govt. is. In India, the govt will do whatever, but the people are prudes. Or something like that.. :P

Re:maybe makes bussiness sense (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591574)

Possibly, if Google was blocked, it would piss enough people off to lower the people's opinion of the government and possibly effect change.

OK, let me get this straight, just so I understand. You're saying that if the Chinese government blocked Google, the Chinese people would be enraged? Sufficiently enraged to rise up and overthrow the government? Are you deranged, man? Or are you just totally unaware there's a world outside of Google, Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter? Honestly, where did this attitude come from?

PS: Chinese people use baidu.com anyway!
PPS: the word you're looking for is "affect".

Re:maybe makes bussiness sense (1)

t0p (1154575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591958)

PPS: the word you're looking for is "affect".

Actually, no. One of the meanings of "effect" is as a transitive verb: to bring about; to produce as a result; to cause. Eg. to effect a compromise. Or indeed, to effect change. See http://www.yourdictionary.com/effect [yourdictionary.com] This is different to "to affect change", which means "to have an effect on change".

Re:maybe makes bussiness sense (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591766)

Possibly, if Google was blocked, it would piss enough people off to lower the people's opinion of the government and possibly effect change.

Actually what happens is that half of the government points to t3h ebil corporashuns and screams "See? They're trying to strong-arm us! They threaten us! Down with corporashuns! And multinationals while we're at it." and half of the population supports them when they enact idiotic laws (statalization, regulation, etc)

Re:maybe makes bussiness sense (1)

dhavleak (912889) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590910)

Not really. People will search for porn whether you server up the right results or not. The search engine that serves up the best porn results will win the search wars (in India, in the world, anywhere). It's bad for business (for Bing's business) as long as competitors (Google) don't do the same. It is respectful of local laws however. India is a democratic country -- if social attitudes are such that they choose to censor themselves, they are within their rights to do that. They can change the relevant laws in the future if social attitudes change. Until then, as pointless as it is to try to prevent people from viewing porn, search engines should do their best to comply.

Re:maybe makes bussiness sense (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590990)

Exactly; businesses make business decisions. This may be a poor business decision (although I agree with you that it also may be a very shrewd one) but nobody should be heaping blame on Bing and Yahoo for censorship. That blame should be directed squarely at the Indian government. Bing and Yahoo (and yes, Google too) are concerned only with revenue streams. You will disappointed if you feel otherwise.

Governments should be accountable for upholding human rights, like free speech, by creating sensible, correct laws. Corporations should be accountable for protecting profits while still acting within the laws. If the two goals become confused there will be conflicts of interest which will undermine human rights. Free speech is the government's responsibility, not that of Bing or Yahoo or Google. People need to be disappointed in the right people (elected officials) in order for change to occur.

P.S. Props for the sig. Le Petit Prince is excellent.

So are you redirected to wholesome Bollywood? (3, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590580)

We all know that there is no sex in Bollywood. It is a chaste and pure place where the pixies and fairies cavort in peace, love and mung beans.

Re:So are you redirected to wholesome Bollywood? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591540)

And lots of swinging boobies!

Why do you think we watch bollywood movies anyway?

Re:So are you redirected to wholesome Bollywood? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591860)

Ever wondered what they do with those mung beans?

Wait a minute (2, Interesting)

francisstp (1137345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590582)

It can always plausibly deny control of its results and claim that filtering porn is infeasible.

Well it's obviously feasible if they're actually doing it.

Re:Wait a minute (2, Insightful)

mattventura (1408229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590592)

You're implying that they somehow block every single search term related to porn. Guess what? Not only are there tons of slang terms for various things they haven't heard of, but even whole genres of porn that they can't block because they've never heard of. Sure, they can block most mainstream porn, but a lot of genre-specific porn would also apply to mainstream.

Re:Wait a minute (1)

francisstp (1137345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590696)

What? TFS is about Yahoo actually censoring adult search results. The question of how successful they are is not especially relevant. They're able to filter at least some results; anyone who has had to deal with the safe search filters at Yahoo of Google can agree that they do work a great majority of the time. So like I said, they can't "claim that filtering porn is infeasible".

Re:Wait a minute (2, Interesting)

mattventura (1408229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590798)

Safe search is far form effective. It will filter out common search terms, yes, but it's not hard to find one it doesn't filter. Ironically, the auto-completer will show what is filtered, so you don't even have to check, so it's easier to find porn. For example, start typing something obvious like "creampie" into Google with safesearch on full, and it won't try to autocomplete it for you. Then, type "rule 34" into Google and look at all the suggestions it has for you. Searching for "rule 34" itself yields basically no pornographic results, no matter what the safesearch state is. However, pick something more specific from the list of choices the auto-completer has so nicely given you, and you get porn, even with safesearch on. All it does is filter it from people that don't actually know how to get around that kind of thing.

Until google or someone figures out an algorithm to detect all boobs, genitals, etc in images, including cartoons and hand-drawn things, no automatic filtering will be truly effective.

Re:Wait a minute (5, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590760)

You're implying that they somehow block every single search term related to porn. Guess what? Not only are there tons of slang terms for various things they haven't heard of, but even whole genres of porn that they can't block because they've never heard of. Sure, they can block most mainstream porn, but a lot of genre-specific porn would also apply to mainstream.

2 snakes 1 charmer?

Re:Wait a minute (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590918)

Just wait till they try to ban slashfic ...

Says who? (2, Interesting)

do_kev (1086225) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590596)

Since Yahoo! already has a low search market share in India, this will drive it even lower.

I suspect the executives at Yahoo! don't share your opinion. It's not like they did this because of their personal moral codes; this is probably a calculated risk, based upon the societies public values, intended to increase market share by appearing to be more family-oriented and appropriate. The goal is to spawn conversations such as: "Oh, you're using Google? Haven't you heard about the immoral content it tries to force upon users?"

I don't know if it will work, but it's not like it's downright stupid. Some people will consider this feature desirable. Others will consider the fact that people think they like this feature to be desirable. It's all a psychology game.

Tired of this crap (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30590618)

When is America going to stop selling out to India?? This is absolutely freakin ridiculous. As an American IT person I've completely had it with India and Indians dictating how to implement technology. F@#k'em!!!!

Re:Tired of this crap (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590642)

When is America going to stop selling out to India?? This is absolutely freakin ridiculous. As an American IT person I've completely had it with India and Indians dictating how to implement technology. F@#k'em!!!!

Well said. Now may I introduce you to Rajish. He will be sharing your office with you for the next 30 days on a training basis. Don't look so worried, I'm sure the unemployment line isn't too long. And remember, you do have your company shares to tide you over, or at least give you a few days supply of toilet paper, wherever it is you end up squatting.

Re:Tired of this crap (1)

mattventura (1408229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590644)

Not to mention outsourcing support to India. Had a phone call from hell once. Person in India had *no way at all* of telling me if a particular office was opened or closed, and could not connect me to anyone within the company that would know. Off topic as this may be, the US does need to stop relying so heavily on other countries, and stop basing decisions based on other countries' actions.

Re:Tired of this crap (2, Insightful)

0ld_d0g (923931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590698)

person I've completely had it with India and Indians dictating how to implement technology. F@#k'em!!!!

A large percentage of the Indian population are poor illiterate farmers/village-folk. A very tiny percentage of their population (my guess is single digits) is online and most Indians I know would never support such policies. Most likely this is just their internal politics (similar to the abortion and LGBT posturing we have here) to appeal to the conservative populace. Heck they tell me some morons even tried to ban Valentines day as it imposes liberal "western" values ! (It didn't work)

Mod abuse.. (1)

0ld_d0g (923931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591754)

Troll? Seriously?

citation needed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30590636)

Can you define "accurate results" please.

Siding with the ISPs (1)

bguiz (1627491) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590640)

If I were in the Indian govt, I'd take the advice of the ISP, censoring the internet is an infeasible task, at least for the technologically savvy:

0) People are getting their pr0n via search engines
1) Censor yahoo, or any other search engine
2) People unable to get their pr0n via search engines, they turn to torrents or any other p2p
3) Censor p2p traffic
4) People unable to get their pr0n via p2p, they route their traffic through proxies or any other virtual tunnels
5) ...

Lather, rinse, repeat

A similar sequence of events is (about to) play out here in Australia, should the govt pass [slashdot.org] its internet censorship bill. [slashdot.org]

Re:Siding with the ISPs (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591370)

A similar sequence of events is (about to) play out here in Australia,

A press conference in a dystopian future.

Darth Conroy: With the failure of the National Broadband Filter to protect the children we've decided to block VPN.
Emporor BHP: No, you wont be doing that now will we.
Darth Rudd: yes, my master.

If nothing else, you can count on the government bending over to the corporations that the Australian economy depends on (the resources sector). After all a few offended puritans are noting compared to the power of the mining giants.

However I'm still betting on this thing never passing parliament. It's an election this year this year after all.

The Geek As Psychic (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590646)

no complaint was ever launched (and never will be), and glorious Google still continues to return accurate and unbiased results

Never say never.

Money, politics, law and religion make a volitile mix in any culture. You cannot predict the outcome.

Apple Censors Dalai Lama IPhone Apps in China [pcworld.com] [Dec 29]

Google's China Blues [forbes.com] [Dec 21]

 

go west young man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30590650)

You thought there are a lot of Indians in this country now.

hold the phone (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590690)

Wait, wait... there's porn on flickr?

Re:hold the phone (1)

jocabergs (1688456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590716)

yeah that's what got my attention. People will always make porn, people will always buy porn, others will try to censor it, but for god sakes let me know where the good free stuff is. (High def preferably).

Re:hold the phone (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590728)

Yeah, there's some. It's more "artsy nakedness" than simply "porn" though there was that octopus on women gallery....

I think it was Flickr anyway.

(It was on BoingBoing.net and only Tubgirl and the like are the bounds of my curiosity. The Daily Cervix was pushing it though.)

Uh, no... (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590694)

It can always plausibly deny control of its results and claim that filtering porn is infeasible.

Well, clearly since Bing is doing it, yahoo can't claim that they can't. They've just shown that they can make at least a minimally successful attempt. Your "plausible deniability" isn't looking so plausible.

LK

Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30590726)

First H1B hating and then sexual desperation all in one day! Slashdot (hearts) India.

mod do3n (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30590736)

do, or indeed what FreeBSD continues paper tOwels, development models BSD culminated in File was opened subscribers. Please Disgust, or been the resources that hand...don't

Who is bhagwad? (2, Insightful)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590766)

Is bhagwad someone famous, or someone with particular insight into the Indian ISP situation, or someone who has some other qualification that would make it worth having most of the submission be his blithering speculation on the subject?

It would be really nice of Slashdot were to hire some editors to actually edit the submissions.

Re:Who is bhagwad? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591408)

Slashdot "editors" have an explicit policy on not doing any... editing [slashdot.org] . That's just how they roll. In other news, I have decided that despite being employed as a coder, all I'll be doing from now on it copying and pasting random hits from Google Code. Compiling and debugging it is my customers job. That's just how I roll.

Re:Who is bhagwad? (1)

t0p (1154575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591964)

Is bhagwad someone famous, or someone with particular insight into the Indian ISP situation, or someone who has some other qualification that would make it worth having most of the submission be his blithering speculation on the subject?

It would be really nice of Slashdot were to hire some editors to actually edit the submissions.

So being famous is qualification to pontificate on search engine censorship? Celebrity culture is truly wonderful. Next, Paris Hilton on advances in fusion research...

Not a good decision. Ignorant politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30590806)

Humans are Humans any where, whether India or the US. Oppressing the inner feelings of a person isn't called culture. India adopted many major technologies and 70% Indians in the cities live in nuclear families, but still they talk about "Family values" and "One family". With the technological changes viewing porn is just a transitional state of a society where there would be some uproars for some time. At a later point of time, porn would become just another regular matter in life. When women started wearing jeans and short skirts in India, there was an uproar. When there was Miss World Competition held, there was an uproar... now everyone just feels casual about it. Parents should take care of their children to be on right track. There are adults who are deprived of Sex. What is the alternative for them? Are they recommending prostitution? Internet offers vicarious satisfaction for such men/women. I am not happy with such ignorance. God help Indian people.

Just like with TV networks... (3, Insightful)

Phroggy (441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590892)

isn't it the duty of Yahoo! to provide accurate results to its customers?

You make the mistake of assuming that the users are the customers, rather than the product being sold.

Re:Just like with TV networks... (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591342)

You make the mistake of assuming that the users are the customers, rather than the product being sold.

Oh no! How creepy and dystopian. It's like I'm in the Matrix, and I'm being used as a human battery! Thank you, Phroggy, for opening my eyes to that which I have been so ignorant of all my life! It's like you have amazing powers to see the real truth.

Re:Just like with TV networks... (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591732)

Sorry, but this is a truth well established within web portal corporations.

Customer = advertiser
Product = ad impressions
Essential components of the Product are:
- ad itself (usually outsourced to advert/gfx agency)
- content within which the ad is displayed (whatever is used to attract the user)
- medium (platform to run it on, servers, network infrastructure to serve the ad and so on)
- users - audience to view the ads.

The customer is only interested in user receiving the message of the ad. This is what the whole game is about. The rest are just means to reach it: create a catchy ad, display it in a place frequented by target audience, create such a place and attract said audience. The larger the audience the better of course, and getting it may require loyalty, genuine quality, respect, ethics, balance between ads and content and so on, but all in all, the ultimate goal is to show ad to the user.

In the portal company I worked for, the registered user of the portal was acronymed to ZUO, which was acronym in my language: "registered user of [portal name], but was also a funny misspelling of EVIL. And the running joke was that our work would be much easier, faster, smoother and better without them, but the pesky customers demand we don't just embed ads in content of all kinds, they also want we display it to the users and so the users are a necessary evil.

Re:Just like with TV networks... (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30592144)

Well yes, the purpose of the advertising company is to drive people to the advertiser's services. What I was making fun of was the over-the-top way it was presented as "you are the product!!111oneone11one!" It reminds me a bit of Soyent Green. The self-righteous tone it was delivered with did not help - as if this was something that we did not know, and had to be revealed to lesser beings by the superior intelligence of Phroggy.

It's true that the role of advertising is to get people to visit the advertiser's site and hopefully buy the products being sold. It's hardly as sinister Phroggy makes it out to be, though. The users aren't literally being packaged up and sold on store shelves. They are simply being directed to the advertiser's site.

Yahoo stopped porn searches over a year ago (1)

zaivala (887815) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590898)

This is really not a story -- Yahoo has been censoring porn in India for well over a year. I have a Yahoo! India email account, and occasionally do searches on Yahoo! India... while most of my searches have been finding pictures of Hindu gods and goddesses, I have looked at human goddesses as well... and always have to go to another Yahoo or other Search engine, despite my having my preferences set to no filtering. In fact, for a long time, I could click the button to stop filtering -- but there was no button to save that preference, so it never 'took'.

The obvious reason (1)

Corbets (169101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30590928)

Well, after reading this article, I can see why porn films might be a sensitive issue in India... ;-)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6161691.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Google filters porn (1)

ggpauly (263626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591038)

I mean this in the poetic sense, with dual meaning.

a) I've been using Google and Ixquick lately. Ixquick gives a fair number of porn site results to my searches, while Google rarely does. The difference? I'm not searching for porn and Google is giving better targeted results. (OTOH sometimes Ixquick comes up with a somewhat deep-web reference that Google misses, and it has other benefits as well).

b) Google has optional "SafeSearch Filtering" which I think works quite well, although I generally leave it off. It is not "infeasible" to filter porn, contrary to the OP statement. If you can provide search results for something it is trivial to suppress those same results. In other words, it's Google's core business to be able to filter porn.

Porn is not neutral (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591078)

the unleashing of Porn on all of the Internet is taken for granted by many - but in a critical analysis, its not neutral and does have repercussions. There is nothing to say that the West in general has things right in any long term.. We may become unstable in some unforeseen ways, claiming rights all the way... As a corollary I don't think its to be taken for granted that India is making a mistake..

removing suggestions google india (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591478)

Just for laughs, type "removing" in google inda [google.co.in] and , and compare the google typing suggestions. [google.com]

It will never work (2, Insightful)

bradbury (33372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591640)

If one has a cultural framework in which on values males over females (in spite of the fact that India, at least from my reading of PBS programs, has a high respect for females). If you check the CIA World Factbook, regarding the "People" ratios it becomes fairly obvious. Sex selection is occurring in India taking place either by implicit or explicit actions (the most explicit actions being the clandestine abortion of female fetuses). If one has a sex selection process going on (and one could argue the same thing is taking place in China) then there is obviously going to be a demand for online "sex" information, esp. if one has rations involving 10's of millions of males with respect to females. And if you happen to think that constraining search engine results (presumably what the governments or the puritanical U.S. search engine providers might think) is going to constrain access then you fail to understand what outside of the box thinking of millions of individuals can accomplish. You cannot correct the problem by constraining internet access, you can can only correct it by changing the culture (a slow and difficult process, but one which the "west" has been through) or by changing the fundamental nature of human beings (clamping down on the natural desires to mate, etc.) which probably requires genetic engineering beyond our current capabilities.

Thus complaining about this (at least from a "West"ern perspective) is pretty much of a no-op / noise). Complaining about this from an "East"ern perspective (India/China) (combined population 2+ billion people or 30+% of the world's population) simply gives the creative individuals information required to do what they do best (i.e. work around the "system"). I could within a few hours easily work up a Perl script which figures out which keywords are blocked and which are not and the best way around such systems. Until government officials learn that attempting to "censor" the thought paths of their populations is relatively pointless exercise in an internet world, then conversations like this one (at least in the "West"ern world are relatively pointless). The paths to change (where females and males are valued as equal) have to come from within the individual cultures.

Indians will find their way into sex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591660)

I'm from India and I just change bing preferences and say that my country of residence is (insert your favorite English speaking 'developed nation' here) whenever I am interested in browsing pr0n.

For example, I tell bing I'm from Denmark. Bing shows me stuff. I'm happy.

Indians on the net will mostly know how to search for what they want within a day or two.

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