Google Reveals 70% Increase In Requests For Content Removal; Including Law Enforcement Wanting To Hide Police Brutality

from the censorship-by-any-other-name dept

Google has released its latest "transparency report" which seeks to reveal aggregate data on requests for user information and content takedowns from around the world. Much of the press coverage focuses on the fact that requests on user info was up 29% from January 1, 2011 to June 30, 2011, compared to the previous segment of data (July 1 through December 31, 2010). But even more interesting is the fact that the number of "content removal requests" jumped up by 70%. It appears lots of folks would like to censor Google. And, some of those attempts seem really questionable:
We received a request from a local law enforcement agency to remove YouTube videos of police brutality, which we did not remove. Separately, we received requests from a different local law enforcement agency for removal of videos allegedly defaming law enforcement officials. We did not comply with those requests, which we have categorized in this Report as defamation requests.
It's good to see that Google did not roll over for such requests, though it really feels like when law enforcement seeks to censor content that is embarrassing to them, that kind of info should be made public explicitly. Otherwise, there's no incentive for law enforcement officials to stop asking.


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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:01am

    Google can go fuck themselves and all die in a fire.

    Here is exactly how Google makes money from piracy:

    http://digitalmusicnews.com/stories/102411adwords#6YxitLX4zUEaSBW-o_NwXw

    Do no evil?

    Yeah, hide your real behavior behind a meme that Goebbels would be proud of.

    Who has some matches?

     

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  2.  
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    Chris, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:14am

    Re:

    What does that have to do with anything mentioned in the article?

     

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  3.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:15am

    Re:

    1. Way to rant off topic.
    2. It's "Don't be evil", not "do no evil"

     

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  4.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:18am

    Re:

    Yep, I'm sure the RIAA is absolutely livid that Google sells addwords to FileHippo.

    Go look at some of those sites, you'll be surprised what you don't find.

     

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  5.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:18am

    Little known fact.

    The most effective way to stop videos of police brutality getting online is for the police to not brutalize people.

    They should try that first.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:20am

    Re: Re:

    What does an article here about Google have to do with Google being slimy, shady disingenuous profiteers?

    On this blog? Everything.

     

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  7.  
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    abc gum, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:21am

    Re:

    It has become more than obvious to even the casual observer that the campaign against piracy is about censorship and not about saving the artists or even your precious content industry. So give it up already. The sickening diatribe does you a disservice.

    The mindset which attempts censorship is quite amazing. For some reason these people think it is ok to abuse the general public if only no one were to find out about it. They must have some idea that what they do is wrong, otherwise why try to cover it up? This is an area ripe for psychoanalytical research. Also, what are they afraid of? They can just have the police beat the crap out of anyone who objects.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:21am

    Re:

    In addition to what others already said, I'd like to add: 'nice' Goodwin moment. And in the first post too.

     

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  9.  
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    freak (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:24am

    Re: Re:

    Apparently, google is evil for selling/buying adspace, through their automated system, from grooveshark and wikihow.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:27am

    Re: Re:

    hahahaha. Nice try, Freetardo.

     

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  11.  
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    Paddy Duke (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:27am

    I predict a Streisand

    Just wait. One of those local law enforcement agencies will be dumb enough to sue Google over this, outing themselves in the process.

     

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  12.  
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    Ninja (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:28am

    Reminds me of the takedown notices against all Justin Bieber content a while back. They aren't that careful when it comes to copyright but at least they aren't removing the police misconduct thing heh.

    I think I should send more takedown notices again't Bieber stuff *mumbles*

     

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  13.  
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    AJ (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:36am

    Re:

    We all know your an idiot. There really is no need for you to confirm this on EVERY single story.

    Just because Google does business with someone, doesn't mean they support that someones position.

    Using your logic....

    Google sells ad-words that include the term Nazi, therefor, Google makes money from the persecution of Jews!

    /sarc

     

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  14.  
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    PaulT (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:37am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Kindergarten's out for the day again, I see.

     

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    abc gum, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Thank you - thank you ... I'll be here all week.

     

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  16.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Don't you yell at us for blindly following what TechDirt says? Try looking at some of the sites that you claim are pirate sites.

    Here, I'll make it easy. None of the sites on that list are illegal (OK maybe ISOhunt.us and BGtorrents.net for being click scams). Most aren't even tools can can be used for illegal actions.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:44am

    If it's legal to do so....

    ...then Google should publish the names of the police departments that requested the removal of videos.

    Or maybe they could have a special channel on video of video that police departments don't want anyone to see.

    I'm sure it's probably not legal but it would be fitting.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:51am

    Google still removed a lot it seems

    I'm looking at the content removal requests spreadsheet and for the US in the six months ending June 2011 there were 92 requests. Google fully or partially complied with 66% of those requests. That seems like a very high percentage.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:00am

    Critical reading skills required to avoid falling into a trap here.

    Removal requests are up 70%.

    They received " a request from a local law enforcement agency" - suggests a single request.

    "we received requests from a different local law enforcement agency " - this suggests multiple requests from a single law enforcement agency.

    other than that, it seems that all the other requests were reasonable. It seems a bit misleading to focus on a couple of very isolated cases, and ignore the reality that copyright holders (and others) are speaking up.

    It should also be noted that Google improved their online tools to request removals, making it easier to file such a request. It would probably be much more interesting to look at the volume of requests received by source, to see if this is the reason there is a sudden spike.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:01am

    Re:

    Ohh... shill troll is shilling!

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:02am

    Re: Little known fact.

    They'd rather arrest the people talking the videos for wiretapping. It helps the police meet their quotas.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:02am

    Re: I predict a Streisand

    Naw, they'll get a gag order.

     

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  23.  
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    AJ (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:07am

    Re:

    "It should also be noted that Google improved their online tools to request removals, making it easier to file such a request. It would probably be much more interesting to look at the volume of requests received by source, to see if this is the reason there is a sudden spike."

    It would also be interesting to watch the rate of abuse in conjunction with making it easier to file a removal request.

    One would imagine, you would see more of this....

    http://www.justinbieberzone.com/2011/08/all-justin-bieber-music-videos-removed-and-delet ed-from-youtube/

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:08am

    Re: Google still removed a lot it seems

    Also if you take a look at the data, the number of requests were higher for the periods ending December 2009 (123) and June 2010 (128) and then went down for the period ending December 2010 (54). So in some ways Mike should be reporting how the number of requests are going down.

     

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  25.  
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    PaulT (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Heh... I didn't even bother clicking on that link originally, assuming it was idiocy. So, I took a quick scan:

    Looks to be a collection of legal sites and programs with some vague relation to the idea that they *could* be used to pirate, although several of them only supply information on how to use P2P programs and don't host any files themselves.

    At least 2 of the links don't work despite the article having been posted less than 72 hours ago. At least 2 are collating information about other sites, while another (p2p.com) spends more time discussing p2p lending than anything remotely pirate related (though admittedly it does look like an ad farm).

    Two links are file lockers that states explicitly in their T&Cs that they shouldn't be used to share copyrighted files. One site (uploadmusic.org) looks to be an ad wrapped skin for Google itself (i.e. all it does is search Google). One is a beginner's guide on how to torrent that states explicitly to be careful about copyrights.

    So, yeah, the usual idiocy. This is really the best they've got?

     

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  26.  
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    abc gum, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:16am

    Re:

    Oh, it only happened once.
    Well, that's ok then.

     

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  27.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:18am

    Re: Re:

    GM sells cars to bank robbers...I guess GM are money pirates. (So many examples)

     

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  28.  
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    PaulT (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:19am

    Re: Re: Google still removed a lot it seems

    A direct quote from Google's site:

    "The number of content removal requests we received increased by 70% compared to the previous reporting period."

    So, there was a dip, then it went up again.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:28am

    Re: Re:

    It isn't a question of okay or not okay, it is just applying context. Mike is playing the game of "requests are up 70%" and putting it right next to a couple of exceptional cases, hoping that people get outraged thinking the increase is specifically in these cases.

    It is misleading, don't you think?

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Google still removed a lot it seems

    But still for a rolling 12 month period the number of requests are down. It's all in how you look at it. Do you care about 6 months, 12 months, 24 months, etc. God damn stats!

     

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  31.  
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    PaulT (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So, what's the reason in your opinion then? Or, are you just playing the game of "pretend Mike is trying to mislead everyone while not providing any evidence to support my own theory"?

     

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  32.  
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    freak (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:45am

    Re: Re: Little known fact.

    Didn't you hear? Following the outbreak of these 'occupy' protests, the quota was removed.

    Now the police can arrest as many innocent people as they like!

     

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  33.  
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    abc gum, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Possibly it is the "I found an inconsistency therefore the entire post is irrelevant" claim.

     

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  34.  
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    The eejit (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:49am

    Re:

    Oh, it's you again. Hi there. Apparently, Digital Music News only cares when it's the RIAA-style music industry that may get hit. I would argue that DMN is about as truthful and balanced as Fox news and about half as sensitive.

     

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  35.  
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    The eejit (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You missed the word "Including" in the title. Which means that the cases fo law enforcement trying to hide seeming police brutality is within the content takedown requests.

     

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  36.  
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    Coughing Monkey (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:55am

    "What we have here is failure to communicate"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fuDDqU6n4o&feature=colike

     

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  37.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 7:00am

    Re: Re: @"abc gum": "The mindset which attempts censorship is quite amazing."

    Yes, it is, often hiding behind a facade of doing good -- or at least "don't be evil".

    Here's a take on "Google muzzles political dissidents with YouTube ID tweaks":
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/07/14/google_profiles_youtube_verification_id/

    Of course, we've ONLY Google's statements for how often these requests occur, or how deeply they're involved in state surveillance. I hope you're not such a sap as to just simply trust Google based on the image it fosters, when its capability to harm free society is so large. -- Suspect cahootery everywhere these days, and you'll seldom be wrong.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 7:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What "theory"? I am only pointing out that Mike headlined a 70% increase, and then using small exceptional cases as the examples. It would seem that the two are not directly related, and rather the examples are put out there to create the impression that there has been a 70% increase caused by police requests for takedowns, which is just not true.

    I don't have a "theory", I am only commenting on the post.

     

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  39.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 7:10am

    Where's evidence that Google is telling the truth?

    Just this week, wasn't it, Mike had a piece that gov't is going to LIE on FOIA requests. Show me ANY bit of pressure (as in laws that might result in a punishment) on Google that would even tend to force it to be honest. If there's no such pressure, then it's at best random as to what Google sees as in its interest to put out.

    You're all falling for the TRICK of assuming that "Google did not roll over for such requests", when you've NO evidence this isn't just PR. There's NO independent audit of Google that justifies your faith in them.

    But hey, I ran across this site that's at least skeptical:
    http://insidegoogle.com/

     

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  40.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 7:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Err, I didn't assume that the bulk of the 70% increase was law enforcement agencies because that's not what the article said. Did you?

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 7:28am

    Re: Where's evidence that Google is telling the truth?

    So the question is, who do you think is more trustworthy: Google or the US government?

     

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  42.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 7:29am

    Re: If it's legal to do so....

    What a great idea for a uTorrent App ... the DMCAtakeDownChannel app ;)

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 7:47am

    That's not good enough. Law enforcement should be legally penalized for making these requests. They have no right to request such things on behalf of the paying public.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 7:55am

    Re: Where's evidence that Google is telling the truth?

    "Show me ANY bit of pressure (as in laws that might result in a punishment) on Google that would even tend to force it to be honest."

    We already have anti-fraud laws that corporations must follow, so what are you crying about? Google must follow the same laws that just about every other company needs to follow. If you have a problem with those laws, then that problem isn't with Google, it's with the laws that apply to everyone.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 8:04am

    Re: Where's evidence that Google is telling the truth?

    "You're all falling for the TRICK of assuming that "Google did not roll over for such requests""

    It's very possible that Google may have secretly rolled over for some requests. But that misses some important points.

    A: They ought to be commended to the extent that they didn't roll over to requests. Google does have footage of law enforcement brutality, so at least that is consistent with (though perhaps doesn't absolutely prove) the idea that they did not roll over to (all) requests.

    B: Law enforcement (at least allegedly) did make requests and they should be criticized for that, and Google did not roll over to all of their requests. Thought it might be nice if Google would disclose exactly who made these requests and what videos were requests to be removed, but our broken legal system could potentially get them in trouble. Unfortunately, the DOJ and the FBI and all of the other federal agencies won't be trying to subpoena this information from Google in order to investigate these police departments, they're too busy doing more important things, like going after those blasted content pirates.

    C: If Google did take down such videos, chances are they will shortly be found on some other website and the poster will proclaim that Goolge removed the video. It would then likely make it on Techdirt and on every other blog that Google is censoring such videos at the request of law enforcement.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re: Where's evidence that Google is telling the truth?

    were requested to be removed *

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 8:07am

    Re: Where's evidence that Google is telling the truth?

    and why do you have such a vendetta against Google. Why can you never give them the benefit of the doubt, despite the fact that they have a history of being honest, yet you almost always give IP maximists the benefit of the doubt, despite their insanely dishonest and selfish history?

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: Where's evidence that Google is telling the truth?

    (now I'm not saying Google is perfect, but their history is far better than very many corporations).

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Re: @"abc gum": "The mindset which attempts censorship is quite amazing."

    "Suspect cahootery everywhere these days, and you'll seldom be wrong."

    Unless it's Universal, or the RIAA, or the MPAA, or the newspaper guild, or some patent troll, or some other IP maximists. Then their efforts ought to be defended, right?

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: @"abc gum": "The mindset which attempts censorship is quite amazing."

    (and they ought to be given the benefit of the doubt whenever possible).

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Re: @"abc gum": "The mindset which attempts censorship is quite amazing."

    OH no a company being evil...
    ...
    ...
    The point is being upset with our government being evil. Companies are expected to be evil.
    Governments are expected to protect us and do their best to let culture and quality of life to flourish.

    We have an example above of Google showing how they fight back in some small way to protect us... SOMETHING THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE DOING. Not a benevolent corporation that cares more about bottom lines and profits!

    Mike gives us a story of man bites dog,
    you all give us dog bites man.

    In case you were somehow so mentally deficient to not understand why everyone on here thinks you people are idiots!

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Little known fact.

    Cop: Well what do we have here? Seems you're wiretapping me with your phone.
    "Citizen": No I'm not! You just took my phone and you're taking videos of yourself!
    Cop: That's resisting arrest!
    "Cititen": *starts hitting self with police baton (accord to police report)*

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "and rather the examples are put out there to create the impression that there has been a 70% increase caused by police requests for takedowns"

    That's not how I read it. If you read it that way, that's your own reading comprehension failure.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Stop pretending that you're somehow doing us a favor by telling us how to do something that we already know. We already know how to read. You're not adding anything meaningful, new, or insightful to this discussion, so don't think you are.

     

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  55.  
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    Jay (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 10:02am

    A bet

    I'm sure the numbers will go up in a few months as the Occupy Wall Street protest footage is put up.

    Oakland, New York... The places that have a high number of police incidents might just decide to begin arresting the public based off the footage they collect. I wonder what will happen as the judicial branch begins to hear all of these cases.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    wow. you're a dick!

     

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  57.  
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    hmm (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah but what is TRULY amazing is sometimes they even sucker those who should be interested in KEEPING censorship at bay into supporting it......

    It's fascinating how some people will suck up to "those in power" wherever they can. I wonder if they expect favors in return or something?

     

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  58.  
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    hmm (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    RIAA enjoys beating people to death with rolled up lawyer briefs that doesn't mean that they support...oh wait nm...

     

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  59.  
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    hmm (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Little known fact.

    Actually the most effective way to stop videos of police brutality going on line is for the police to brutalize EVERYONE with a camera (or a website) (or a blog) (or a brain with greater than a 60second recall).

     

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  60.  
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    hmm (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Little known fact.

    You said most effective...not the easiest / most sensible btw..

     

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  61.  
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    hmm (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    What SHOULD be done

    Everytime someone posts a takedown for content that google DOESN'T take down, google should post a direct link to it on the far right of every single search page.

    That way if you try to cover up even a relatively minor offense you draw the eyes of hundreds of millions of people straight to it.

     

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  62.  
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    Thomas (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 3:15pm

    Interesting way..

    for cops to hid police brutality - take down the content. The feeling seems to be that they can avoid another Rodney King incident by simply arresting anyone videotaping them.

    It's funny that cops say "if you don't have anything to hide you shouldn't worry", but when it is the other way around...

    Wouldn't it be more to the point of responsible policing to make sure the police don't use excessive force? Even on "Cops" we see people being taken down with way excessive force.

    Americans are in far more danger from the police here than they are in danger from all the terrorists in the world.

     

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  63.  
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    The Skeptical Cynic, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:28pm

    Requests for content removal AND MORE

    @Thomas:

    "...Americans are in far more danger from the police here than they are in danger from all the terrorists in the world..."

    How right you are! I can't imagine any parent telling her/his offspring,
    "The policeman is your friend."
    As a child(long,long ago)I was warned,
    "If you misbehave, the boogieman is gonna getcha."

    Today's parents warn their offspring,
    "You be careful out there, if you misbehave the cops are going to beat your head, legs,and torso
    making you look look one mega ecchimosis, blind you with pepper spray,
    and "taze" you into incoherency and incontinencey."
    That's if you're white!
    If you're a Black or Brown parent, its
    "Just be careful out there, some mo'fo cop gona cap yo' ass, an' that just be fo' nuthin.
    Be doin' somethin' he doan like an' 5 to 10 cops gonna fill yo'all so full o'lead, you could sink through iron.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:53pm

    Re: Re:

    Isn't it a Godwin Moment? Sure seems like an attempt to derail the conversation. Must be a brutal cop.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 10:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Only because the commenter I'm responding to is being a jerk by falsely accusing Mike of

    "playing the game of "requests are up 70%" and putting it right next to a couple of exceptional cases, hoping that people get outraged thinking the increase is specifically in these cases. "

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 29th, 2011 @ 4:47pm

    Re: Re: Little known fact.

    That couldn't be 100% effective. Joe is correct, not brutalizing people is most effective.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 29th, 2011 @ 7:13pm

    Re: Re: Where's evidence that Google is telling the truth?

    To be fair, I don't think blue has ever said much of anything positive about the IP industries, or tended toward giving them the benefit of the doubt. He seems to lump them, Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc. all in as big corporations that always lie and are out to get us all. Which characterization has some element of truth to it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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