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Google Censors Abu Ghraib Images [updated]

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the smell-the-scent-of-karl-rove dept.

Censorship 731

Mihg writes "Try searching Google Images for abu ghraib, lynndie england, or Lynndie's boyfriend charles graner and note how you don't get any pictures of US soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners of war. Now try it with some of their competitors, like AltaVista, Lycos, or Yahoo!. Google used to be able to find them, as is discussed in this AnandTech forum thread." I'm guessing that this is another case of our administration confusing "National Security" with "Politically Undesirable". Update: 11/07 20:18 GMT by P : Google has a reasonable explanation.

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731 comments

You're guessing? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746607)

If that were the case, why would they show up in other American search engines? Ever consider that Google is a business and has the right to choose what they want to include themselves?

Re:You're guessing? (4, Insightful)

Izago909 (637084) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746616)

If google now relies on self censorship to promote their company image, then they can kiss their #1 ranked ass goodbye.

Re:You're guessing? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746635)

They've always edited their index and they say it all over the place. The have the right to choose what they want and what they don't want showing up in their search engine. That's why people that sue them over being exluded or ranked poorly don't have a case.

And guess what... sometimes Google's index gets screwed up! One time, Google excluded THEMSELVES from their index!

Re:You're guessing? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746749)

The have the right to choose what they want and what they don't want showing up in their search engine.
Yes, but if they start getting a reputation for filtering certain subjects, some people are going to start switching to other search engines. I don't think anyone said they don't have a right, only that its not a good idea.

Re:You're guessing? (2, Interesting)

SiliconJesus (1407) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746654)

They generally rely on google rankings (their proprietary code) in order to do this effectively.

If someone googlebombed them (google search for "Litigious Bastards" [google.com] ), I would assume it is possible to unrank images just as it is possible to unrank webpages.

Re:You're guessing? (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746745)

I haven't heard of any method of making a page disappear from the rankings completely, only of methods of giving pages artificaially high rankings. I doubt that this is due to any form of 'googlebomb'. However I am surprised that Google would do this.

Perhaps they wanted to make a statement about the issue and instead of writing a strongly worded letter to the governement, decided to censor the pages, which creates a lot of commotion and brings more people to talk about it. It made us start talking about it. It certainly is not going to directly increase their profit (unless they were bribed?).

I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now.

Re:You're guessing? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746763)

Google tries to remove some sites that make use of certain spamming techniques. In theory, it might be possible to make it look like you're spamming for someone else's site and thus get them removed.

Disagree with an editor = Troll (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746620)

Yup, that's the new Slashdot. It's legitimate question. CmdrTaco inserted his political beliefs into the story without any basis in fact (you know, how "journalists" are supposed to behave.) If he has something to back this up, present it, otherwise his theory is as valid as any other. Mine? I think the Martians did it.

Re:You're guessing? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746643)

You're guessing?
No, he's guesing. Read the story. Sheesh. :)

Re:You're guessing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746649)

You do realize that your statement implies that free speech and accurate reporting have no place in a capitalist society.

You do understand the implications of what you are saying right?

Re:You're guessing? (4, Insightful)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746651)

I'd say things are a bit closer to what the article says than you think, but you're on the right track - google gives in to almost any pressure in a heartbeat. Google's always been perfectly willing to throw up the "This search has items removed which may be in violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act" things in results. I've been getting them more and more often on various things. If you get creative with your search terms, you can come up with a lot of different messages about why some results were omitted from a search. I've never seen any of that on other search engines.

Google has only two choices with the DMCA (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746665)

They either follow the take down notice (which they do, and often point you to it where there are links to the material taken down) or fight a huge lawsuit. Yes, we might want them to fight a large court battle, but I doubt their investors/stock holders would want them to.

Re:You're guessing? (2, Interesting)

SiliconJesus (1407) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746672)

Google is playing the game safer than most of the internet (/. included), which is probably a smarter move that just claiming "I have no control over the content" when in reality they do (as proven by /.'s removal of posts in the past due to litigation from Microsoft).

A consumer may choose. (5, Insightful)

rastakid (648791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746663)

Ever consider that Google is a business and has the right to choose what they want to include themselves?

Jup, that's right. But keep in mind that the consumer has also a right: the right to choose. So, if Google does censor its spider index, the consumer has the right to know that and based on that information may choose to continue using Google, or may start using another search engine.
Remember that Google has only admitted censoring its index in the past after someone said 'Hey, I can't find page "blabla" using Google'. It would be better if they announced censoring on the forehand.

Your Imagination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746668)

The American government would not specifically censor only Google. If the images are available at Yahoo!, then there must be another explanation for the inaccessibility of said images at Google. Allow me to take a stab at the explanation.

Unlike Yahoo! and other fine American companies, Google engages in self-censorship for some political reason. For example, Google censors many types of information when Chinese users in China (including Taiwan province and Hong Kong) query for it.

Google is probably trying to compensate for the fact that it tends to favor foreigners in its hiring practices. Estimates indicate that more than 30% of its workforce are former or current H-1Bs. So, in order to try to look more "American", Google has censored the Abu Ghraib pictures.

-1, Idiotic. (5, Insightful)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746697)

Hello? Google is an information provider. What they're doing, if they're doing it, is knowingly and willfully blocking access to information, simply because that information happens to be controversial.

Would you like it if your doctor only told you what was right with your body?

Idiot.

- A.P.

Re:-1, Idiotic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746712)

I guess you're pretty upset that've removed people spamming from the index. Your analogy is so flawed, I don't even know where to start.

Re:-1, Idiotic. (0, Redundant)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746730)

And you're officially the worst troll ever.

God, what happened to GNAA? The page full of barely-topical links with hidden redirects to goatse?

This place has really gone downhill. You know I'm right, and you're not even a good troll. Just go back to sleep, little boy.

- A.P.

Re:-1, Idiotic. (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746736)

Way to miss the point buddy. He was saying it's likely to be Googles fault, not the US Governments in this case. He further points out that other search engines still show the pictures.

As yet, we don't know *why* they aren't shown by google. Perhaps even the families of those involved asked they be removed?

Re:You're guessing? (4, Insightful)

dogfart (601976) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746728)

And as a business they are still subject to political pressure. What the government can't block overtly, they can get their surrogates in the private sector to block with a little "persuasion". Thus the government can make it very difficult for the public to find images (or other information) that is unfavorable to the government. The net result is the same, without all the nastiness associated with direct government censorship.

Yes, I know that the average Slashdot reader can find these images elsewhere. The average just-barely-computer-literate AOL user doesn't know this, doesn't want to make the effort, or just assumes if Google doesn't have it then there is something wrong with having these images available.

Lynndie England, naked and petrified! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746610)

Hell yeah! That'd be AWESOME! She's much hotter than Natalie Portman. I love how she poured hot grits down the pants of those prisoners in order to obtain information from them about upcoming terrorist attacks.

Tried it and it's true. (4, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746611)


Well, I've just tried this with each of the listed search engines and it does appear to be correct for the first five pages that Google returns.

That's not good. I don't want a search engine deciding what I have access to. And know doubt this thread will turn into a troll-fest about the American invasion of Iraq and whether people are better off or not under US rule rather than Saddam, but surely neither side of the argument thinks we'll benefit from hiding the truth. That can only benefit those in the US administration.

And you can be sure that this will be picked up by the Arab world and will look bad on the US and Western Europe.

Re:Tried it and it's true. (1)

aacool (700143) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746671)

Google has slackened at its game. Even the text ads are not remotely relevant in many places. For example, my blog has ads for salad & low-carb meals on the front page for no obvious reason.

I find the yahoo search engine delivers more accurate results nowadays. Strange, if they use google.

IMO, it's not that the images are not there, but that Google's spider is sleeping on the job. Damn! Shelob would have a field day!

Metafilter [metafilter.com] is having a similar discussion (slashdot - where news gets old fast).

Google just sucks (5, Informative)

blamanj (253811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746705)

Sorry, conspiricy theorists. There's a simpler answer, and that's that Google isn't the right tool for the job. Use Yahoo [yahoo.com] or Picsearch [picsearch.com] .

To verify this, try the following search "Obama convention". You'll get hits on Yahoo and Picsearch, but not Google. Goolge image search simply isn't timely. Their image index cycle appears to be about six months, and the Abu Ghraib pictures in (I think) around June.

If Google were truly censoring, they'd censor the text search too, and you can easily find the pictures using the text search.

And Yet.. (4, Funny)

Rosyna (80334) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746612)

... if I do a google image search for "goatse" I get all kinds of nasty results. Certainly those should be blocked as well. They are clearly a threat to national security.

And Yet..Invasion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746684)

"... if I do a google image search for "goatse" I get all kinds of nasty results. Certainly those should be blocked as well. They are clearly a threat to national security."

Who wants to invade there?

I'm certainly a tinfoil hat wearer but... (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746613)

I'm guesing that this is another case of our administration confusing "National Security" with "Politically Undesirable".

Then why do the other search engines still carry it? It seems like Google has something confused and not the government.

Re:I'm certainly a tinfoil hat wearer but... (2, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746625)

because google is a *bend over* and has demonstrated that it's easy for it to switch content retrieved based on where you are...

Re:I'm certainly a tinfoil hat wearer but... (2, Funny)

More Trouble (211162) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746647)

Then why do the other search engines still carry it? It seems like Google has something confused and not the government.

If past performance is any indication, I'd suggest "incompetence."

:w

Your Imagination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746683)

The American government would not specifically censor only Google. If the images are available at Yahoo!, then there must be another explanation for the inaccessibility of said images at Google. Allow me to take a first stab at the explanation.

Unlike Yahoo! and other fine American companies, Google engages in self-censorship for some political reason. For example, Google censors many types of information when Chinese users in China (including Taiwan province and Hong Kong) query for it.

Google is probably trying to compensate for the fact that it tends to favor foreigners in its hiring practices. Estimates indicate that more than 30% of its workforce are former or current H-1Bs. So, in order to try to look more "American", Google has censored the Abu Ghraib pictures.

Re:I'm certainly a tinfoil hat wearer but... (2, Insightful)

Pros_n_Cons (535669) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746720)

Then why do the other search engines still carry it? It seems like Google has something confused and not the government

Amazing isn't it. So desperate to bash the president they can pluck something out of thin air and blame Bush for it.

Probable answer (3, Insightful)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746741)

Most likely, Google was trying to make the Abu Gharib images recognized by their "SafeSearch" feature. Which is to say, if you have SafeSearch turned on, those somewhat explicit images wouldn't display (as I'm sure they did before, as none of the normal keywords would have applied).

But somebody screwed up, and now they're blocked even if you have SafeSearch turned off. I'd expect this to be fixed soon.

Where's The Evidence??!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746756)

Other than the fact that google isn't showing those images, what evidence does CmdrTaco have to conclude that this is the work of Karl Rove or the Bush Administration? Did he do some investigative journalism that isn't shown by thie article? Seems like someone is still bitter that the candidate didn't win.

I think FUD is the nicest way to put this article. At worst, I would say Taco is a liar to assign blame without facts.

Double Standard (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746618)

Can you imagine if China did this?

You would all be talking about the evil commies and evil chinamens who care not for freedom!

The Abu Ghraib Coloring Book (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746623)

http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/11504468/ [deviantart.com]

A small coloring book of images from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

What do you know about Abu Ghraib? What do you know about coloring books? What do you know about teaching conformity? About desensitization? About media and artist exploitation of suffering for financial gain. This swell coloring book wraps all that and more into nine pages that you can color yourself!

Freedom (3, Insightful)

Lao-Tzu (12740) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746629)

You know, freedom goes both ways - you have the right to see these images, but Google has the right to censor their own content.

"It's good to know that I should use Google's competitors to search for this type of thing, in case Google is holding back relevant results." - That statement makes this seem like a bad business decision.

Re:Freedom (3, Insightful)

DeltaBlaster (300386) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746692)

You know, freedom goes both ways - you have the right to see these images, but Google has the right to censor their own content.

Sure they have the right to, but is it a good idea? Of course not. We have the right.ability to just use another search engine if they are seceretly restricting information. Either way, it's still a pretty crappy thing to do.

Re:Freedom (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746710)

You know, freedom goes both ways - you have the right to see these images, but Google has the right to censor their own content.

And I have the right to bitch and moan and stop using Google.

Re:Freedom (5, Interesting)

vrimj (750402) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746713)

Of course Google can censor what they like, but it is approprate to find such instances and call them on it. Censorship calls in to question Googles reliablity as an information provider and thus need to be reported on and highlighted.

I do not think anyone is saying they can't do this, they are only pointing out that as customers of Googles service they find it disturbing

Re:Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746746)

My issue is that some people, like CmdrTaco, immediately jump to "It must be the government!!! I HATE BUSH!!!" rather than actually investigating. Google's image index is seperate from the main index, and often has issues.

Is this the work of Bush? (5, Insightful)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746630)

I'm guesing that this is another case of our administration confusing "National Security" with "Politically Undesirable".

Last time I checked, Google was a private company. It's very easy to fling accusations of censorship in a free society, but don't you think you need something more than "a private company wouldn't provide me the information"?

Bye

Re:Is this the work of Bush? (5, Insightful)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746703)

Google is publically traded and in a position of trust. They're free to edit their results, but such editing should be done in an environment of full disclosure. Instead, they're acting as 1984's Ministry of Truth, making information disappear for a large segment of the population that isn't savvy enough to look for it elsewhere.

Re:Is this the work of Bush? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746726)

Did anyone actually contact Google? Did CmdrTaco send them an email asking for comment? No... didn't think so. A couple months ago, Google wasn't listed in Google's index. Yup, the mighty Google had a flaw in their code. It happens. It wasn't some Anti-Google conspiracy within Google trying to remove it from the index.

Re:Is this the work of Bush? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746716)

Last time I checked, Google was a private company.

Last time I checked, Google was a public [yahoo.com] company. As such they are subject to their shareholders.

Ads (5, Funny)

mckniglj (233845) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746632)

I love slashdot. Under 'related links', there's a link for 'Best deals: Censorship' through PriceGrabber.

Sorry, it made me laugh.

Your Imagination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746638)

The American government would not specifically censor only Google. If the images are available at Yahoo!, then there must be another explanation for the inaccessibility of said images at Google.

Allow me to take a stab at the explanation.

Unlike Yahoo! and other fine American companies, Google engages in self-censorship for some political reason. For example, Google censors many types of information when Chinese users in China (including Taiwan province and Hong Kong) query for it.

Google is probably trying to compensate for the fact that it tends to favor foreigners in its hiring practices. Estimates indicate that more than 30% of its workforce are former or current H-1Bs. So, in order to try to look more "American", Google has censored the Abu Ghraib pictures.

Not even a disclaimer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746639)

They don't even have a little disclaimer at the bottom, like the Kazaa lite pages that they blocked because of the DMCA request.... I'm starting to think it's time to find a new search engine.

The OP makes a bad suggestion (-1, Troll)

sjwaste (780063) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746641)

I'm guesing that this is another case of our administration confusing "National Security" with "Politically Undesirable".

Such that this is the US administration's doing. I highly doubt our government has any hand in censoring google's results, especially when the other search engines are returning these images.

It seems anti-Americanism is so popular these days that people like the OP will pick and choose anything and blame it on our government. You accuse our country of being irrational, when you yourself have made a highly dubious claim.

I'm fucking proud to be an American. I'm glad my parents chose to come over here some 35 years ago. Of course, its now unpopular to be a proud American. Flame me all you want.

Not the OP, the EDITOR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746691)

Yes, those are CmdrTaco's words. The original poster's words are in italics.

Re:The OP makes a bad suggestion (2, Informative)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746734)

It's not the individual American that's the problem. It's the way that when Americans get into a group they generally become a set of self-centred idiots known as "Congress", "The Senate", or "The US Administration". Recent events have also shown "The US Electoral Roll" to be a part of this group.

Individuals are fine, but the group mind grinds against something in the rest of the world.

Re:The OP makes a bad suggestion (1)

vjzuylen (91983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746743)

The OP didn't make the suggestion, CmdrTaco did. Even so the OP could criticize the current administration and still not be anti-American, just anti-current-administration. So there goes your rant...

Lost for respect (1)

Janitha (817744) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746644)

I held my upmost respect for Google and being a very loyal Googler. This, if in fact was a self sensorship, my respect for that is going to go down very much, I would feel backstabbed by google. If its the govt, I wouldnt really have anything agaist Google.

This begs the question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746645)

Is Google affiliated with the Theo-Cons in some way?

Another spin.. (2, Insightful)

nuclear305 (674185) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746646)

"I'm guesing that this is another case of our administration confusing "National Security" with "Politically Undesirable"."

I'm going to play devil's advocate here...if you were those prisoners would you want humiliating images of you readily available to the world? I can't imagine anyone saying "Yea, that would be great! Now the world can see what happened to me!"

I can't speak as to why Google is censoring the images, IF they really are...but I can think of several reasons to do so that have nothing to do with Big Brother conspiracies.

Re:Another spin.. (3, Informative)

vjzuylen (91983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746657)

There were plenty of pictures where the prisoners were not identifyable. Also, your theory doesn't account for the absence of Lynndie's pictures.

Re:Another spin.. (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746682)

I'm going to take the bait...

Because if the humiliating pictures of you weren't available to the world, then the US marines would still be breaking all kinds of conventions with regards to human rights, since nobody would know they were doing it.

THAT's why they should be available.

Re:Another spin.. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746766)

****

I'm going to play devil's advocate here...if you were those prisoners would you want humiliating images of you readily available to the world? I can't imagine anyone saying "Yea, that would be great! Now the world can see what happened to me!"

****

yeah, I _WOULD_ like those pics to be spread, to show the world wtf was going on.

If there's anything, I'd be glad they were so fucking stupid as to photograph themselfs doing that shit.

It's their own doing. (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746648)

They Censored my friend's website for being hate speech against gays. Even though there is no mention of anything about gays. It's googles choice and if you don't like it leave them. They are a company and can do what they want. So take off your liberal tin foil hat.

This is what happens when companies go public. (4, Insightful)

palutke (58340) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746653)

I'm guesing that this is another case of our administration confusing "National Security" with "Politically Undesirable".

No, somebody in Google's 'risk management' department probably decided that it would be a prudent step to avoid bad publicity or offending shareholders. The minute Google went public, their primary responsibility became looking after the best interests of their shareholders, not being an impartial index of internet sites.

Re:This is what happens when companies go public. (2, Insightful)

Malc (1751) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746742)

And you think a search engine with a reputation for unreliability is going to be popular enough to generate maximum revenues for those shareholders?

Re:This is what happens when companies go public. (1)

palutke (58340) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746760)

Personally? No, I don't. However, the folks at Google didn't ask for my input on this particular decision.

Google's just trying to keep perspective (2, Insightful)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746655)

There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of acts of racist sexual sadism [hrw.org] in US prisons every year and you don't see expose pictures of those on any search engine anywhere.

The sexual sadism of Abu Ghraib is insignificant by comparison and may even be seen as a symptom of the US penal system's standards.

Google is merely trying to keep things in perspective.

Re:Google's just trying to keep perspective (0, Flamebait)

vjzuylen (91983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746681)

Did it ever occur to you that this goes beyond the US or its penal system? Non-US Google users couldn't care less about the racist sexual sadism in US prisons, so why would Google be "trying to keep things in perspective" for them as well?

Continuing This Devil's Dictionary Discussion ... (0, Troll)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746727)

Yes of course this goes beyond the US or its penal system. That's why sexual sadism was standard practice at Abu Ghraib.

But if people don't see how much the governments of the US depend on sexual sadism to maintain compliance from their populace the Abu Ghraib immages may mislead them into believing that the locus of the problem is the US military or foreign policy.

Pathological US behavior around the world is merely a symptom of the sexually sadistic way US governments compell compliance US citizens.

Re:Google's just trying to keep perspective (1)

vondo (303621) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746722)

Is google a news organization now?

No, it's a search engine.

No idea why they might have done this, but I don't want google making judgements on what it thinks I should see.

mod nuts? (2, Insightful)

incom (570967) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746755)

The situation isn't remotely comparable. Torture by american soldiers in an occupied country, vs. tolerance for rape in US prisons are not in the same ballpark, although they are both bad things.

No Matter (1)

niko9 (315647) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746658)

Some people here will still praise Google as if it were Jesus no matter what they do.

Re:No Matter (1)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746732)

I call it the "Apple phenomenon." Apple gets a pass for makiing DMCA threats, suing skinners, crippling their software, using DRM, and stuff that Bill Gates would be tarred and feathered for in this forum. Apparently, it only takes fancy design or a few freebies to buy off the Slashdot "community."

Flamebait (1)

DanielMarkham (765899) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746660)

Can we moderate the whole article to flamebait?

While things may or may not appear in a google search, how the heck does that have anything to do with the current administration or national security?

People got a right to run companies the way they want to. If I wrote a search engine, perhaps I wouldn't want anything to do with French fries to appear, or pedophilia, or digestional disorders. The more intersting question is: How do we inform the public what is crossed out?

How did the author determine this? Is there some kind of automated search engine tester? Now THAT would be an intersting slashdot story.

Re:Flamebait (2, Insightful)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746673)

Google has no right to an implied claim of impartiality if they are censoring results. If they censor results for political or other reasons, that fact should be prominently posted. But it isn't, because they want to have their cake and eat it, too.

Flamebait-Pageranking. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746744)

"Google has no right to an implied claim of impartiality if they are censoring results. "

Were do they make that claim? One could even argue that Pageranking removes any claims of impartiality.

Re:Flamebait-Pageranking. (1)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746759)

They don't have to make an explicit claim to make an "implied" claim. Hence the use of the word "implied." Now if they advertised that they manipulate search results, they would be in the clear--but since there's overwhelming evidence that they do manipulate them (China, for example) and they don't prominently so state, they're being disingenuous about the whole thing.

Re:Flamebait (2, Insightful)

Kamel Jockey (409856) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746686)

While things may or may not appear in a google search, how the heck does that have anything to do with the current administration or national security?

Agreed. If you google for "Miserable Failure" you still get linked to President Bush's official White House page. If there was any sort of political influence on Google that would have been changed.

Images Index Old (5, Insightful)

christowang (590054) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746661)

I've found the Google Image Index to be quite old. For instance if you type in 'world series', you get images of 2002 and before. The Red Sox are stilled cursed.

I think it's possible that no images have been indexed of the prisoners over the sensoring theory.

Type in 'abu ghraib images' in the Web search and the first page that comes up is detailed images of the abuse.

Re:Images Index Old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746715)

http://images.google.dk/imgres?imgurl=http://gwbus h04.com/boot/i/foxdecidesbush1.jpg&imgrefurl=http: //www.gwbush04.com/archives/000182.php&h=185&w=276 &sz=44&tbnid=popzrfRxTpAJ:&tbnh=73&tbnw=108&start= 5&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dpresidential%2Belection%26hl% 3Dda%26lr%3D

Maybe slow, but definitly not old.

that's right, you're guessing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746675)

I'm guesing that this is another case of our administration confusing "National Security" with "Politically Undesirable"

that's right, you're guessing. how about we find out who is respossible for removing the images and then ask them.

Xfree86 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746676)

remember that?

I'll never use google again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746679)

Google's good but frankly it ain't so fantastic that I can't use a competitor.

Isnt this evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746687)

Censorship is evil.

Didnt we get a "dont be evil" promise? :(

-sigh-

Welcome... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746688)

...to the fourth reich.

And if you think that's too extreme, do some research into what fascism really means, particularly the level of corporate/gov't ties.

www.ogrish.com (2, Insightful)

dummkopf (538393) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746693)

if you want completely uncensored pictures and movies from the atrocities happenening due to poor policymaking of a certain world power you should look at www.ogrish.com [ogrish.com] . while i have to admit that the framework is rather tasteless, if you really want to get an idea of what atrocoties are (besides the fact of the existence of such webpages) you should definitely have a look. and if you intend to vote for another shrub in the future, you should have a look and think twice...

Useful links there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746698)

Did you mean: lyndie england
Your search - lynndie england - did not match any documents.

*click*

Your search - lyndie england - did not match any documents.

Taco, You're A Nitwit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746701)

Yea...I'm sure Karl Rove just so happened to goto google and not any other search engine and got them to remove those images. Are dirty political tricks or other black-helicopter conspiracy theories the first thing to come in your mind?

Seriously, Taco you may be a great coder, but your childish and inane politics is stupid. Why don't you pick up a book and really learn what "your rights" really means?

Never trust a single source (4, Insightful)

Teun (17872) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746702)

However good Google might be, this is just a proof of why not to trust a single source.

Because we've started to see Google as The Best, this is The Best proof of why not to trust a single source.

We all know that Google has a sort of Moral Conduct Policy (like no gun advertising) but maybe they should make it optional like with is the SafeSearch option to limit the exposure to, of all thing, people in their natural state.

At least their wish for Moral Conduct should make them set up an easily accessible list of things they have 'banned', be it on request or following their own standards.

Nothing to do with the government? (1)

glowimperial (705397) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746709)

This article gives me no reason to believe that this has anything to do with the government, or the current administration. Maybe image search has some "issues" or maybe Google is just looking out for their market share and shareholder value.

Re:Nothing to do with the government? (1)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746717)

Or Google's trying to proactively avoid pissing off the administration that they'll likely be lobbying soon.

Devil's Advocate (1)

fussili (720463) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746718)

Ok for my own part I think the fact that other US search engines still allow access to the images should cross any conspiratorial actions on behalf of the US government of the list of likely explanations and relegate it to 'possible'.

What I think is likely to have happened is that Google has taken action akin to what many Bloggers had to do after they started hosting Daniel Pearl's execution video. We found that our massive traffic spikes were almost entirely from islamic extremists in various Middle Eastern states getting their jollies from snuff pr0n.

It was not for us to censor the news but many decided they wouldn't play any part in the dissemination of snuff videos to militants so they stopped hosting the video.

The photos from Abu Graib are a stain on America's honour and I am thankful that the barbarous sub-humans who carried out the acts are dealt with by the full rigours of the US justice system.

However those who show continue to show a gruesome interest in the photos 10 months on from the 2 days in which the horrible events took place are more than likely intending to use them for propagnda purposes to present a highly skewed image of American activities overseas. Why they should be provided succor by us is beyond me.

I think it's likely that Google took a look at their service listings and saw where the most requests were coming from and took a decision based on conscience as to the further likely use of those images. Whether they made the right decision is up to you but I'm just presenting a possible stream of reasoning for their actions.

International law (2, Interesting)

panxerox (575545) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746724)

I beleive that there are international laws against displaying photos of prisoners of war (laws against what was done to them as well of course) so it might have been legal pressure from various non US sources.

Time to start hating google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746731)

Ahem..., Is it time for us to start hating google? Just let me know when you guys are ready...

"America! Fock Yeah!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10746737)

The movie is pretty funny and very offensive. Isn't great we can say anything. Freedom is great.

Google News (2, Interesting)

FiReaNGeL (312636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746738)

If this is true, it makes me think about using Google News as my #1 information source. I realize that other news network DO filter information, too, but it my mind, Google wasn't in this kind of stuff (at least, outside China).

Their news service already report a link to this thread under the title "Google Censors Abu Ghraib Images" [google.ca] . Now let's see if it'll remain there...

it's working ... here (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746750)

I Googled for the mentioned topics, and I've found photos on the matter. I'm not in the US though.

It is about time! (4, Interesting)

mat catastrophe (105256) | more than 9 years ago | (#10746762)

I tried to submit this as an AskSlashdot feature on where to turn when Google's policies censor searches you want weeks ago. Thanks for finally running something on this.

I think it is high time that people woke up to what google is doing out there. We can talk a big game about google "being a privately held company" and "freedom to do what they want" and whatnot, but it is seriously frightening to me exactly what it is that they want to do to the internet, especially when they are not too terribly forthcoming about what they want.

Do any of you all use an alternate search engine? If so, post it and let us all get away from google. We claim that decentralized data is what we love the internet for, yet we all clamor to a single search engine for that data. It's incongruous and seemingly dissonant to do this.

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