RIAA: Google Isn't Trying Hard Enough To Make Piracy Disappear From The Internet

from the but-of-course dept

When Google first caved in to the legacy entertainment industry’s demands to start modifying search results to downrank sites that received a lot of DMCA notices, we quickly warned that the RIAA and MPAA would never think that it was enough, and would continue to whine and complain. Yesterday, we pointed out that the RIAA was bitching and complaining about how many DMCA notices they could submit (which turned out to be a case of the RIAA failing to RTFM). But that was just the prelude for today, when the RIAA would release a “report card” on how Google’s new filtering was going. Guess what? They’re not happy, and apparently they won’t be happy until Google magically makes all infringement disappear (poof).

Six months later, we have found no evidence that Google’s policy has had a demonstrable impact on demoting sites with large amounts of piracy. These sites consistently appear at the top of Google’s search results for popular songs or artists.

For everyone else in the world, if they’re not satisfied with how the sites they favor rank in Google, they learn a little something about search engine optimization. But, noooooooo, not the RIAA. They think that it is a requirement that Google be tailored to them directly.

Well-known, authorized download sites, such as iTunes, Amazon and eMusic, only appeared in the top ten results for a little more than half of the searches. This means that a site for which Google has received thousands of copyright removal requests was almost 8 times more likely to show up in a search result than an authorized music download site. In other words, whatever Google has done to its search algorithms to change the ranking of infringing sites, it doesn’t appear to be working.

Well, that’s one interpretation. Another one (the right one) is that whatever the industry itself has done to raise the rankings of those sites by effectively competing in the marketplace “doesn’t appear to be working.” iTunes, in particular, is locked up in its own little walled garden with few people “linking in” (a big part of how Google determines relevance). Do people still use eMusic any more? The problem seems to be that those other sites just aren’t where people look for stuff when they’re searching Google for the music. That’s not Google’s fault.

Of course, what all this continues to demonstrate, beyond the fact that the RIAA will never, ever be satisfied until Google wipes out all infringement with the magic “piracyBgone” button, is that the RIAA still just doesn’t understand search. The methodology here is suspect:

For this analysis we performed searches for [artist] [track] mp3 and [artist] [track] download over a period of several weeks starting December 3, 2012

First big mistake: the RIAA simply does not seem to know that Google does not deliver the same results to everyone. That change a while back. They try to tailor specific responses to specific users, based on what those users are searching for. So, if the RIAA is seeing those sites ranked higher, perhaps it says something about where the RIAA is commonly looking for stuff…

Also, here’s the thing that the RIAA just doesn’t seem to get. Google’s entire business and algorithm are built, ground up, around the idea of understanding what people are looking for when they search, and then taking them to that place. The RIAA might not like it, but the simple fact is that when people are searching for [artist] [track] mp3 and [artist] [track] download, chances are they’re not looking to buy, but to download for free. So that’s what Google is showing them. That’s not Google’s fault. That’s what the person is searching for. Even if Google magically did show them Apple, Amazon and Emusic as the top results for every [artist] [track] mp3 and [artist] [track] download, the people doing those searches wouldn’t go there, because they’re not looking to buy. If they did a search on “[artist] [track] buy” perhaps there would be different results.

If you actually compare apples to apples, and look at the kinds of sites that people are probably looking for, the RIAA’s own “data” seems to suggest that Google is, in fact, demoting sites that receive a lot of takedowns.

Note that in those last two categories, sites that have received more than 10,000 DMCA notices appear less frequently than those with closer to 1,000 DMCA notices. The other three categories are red herrings, because those aren’t where people are looking for when they do searches on either [artist] [track] mp3 or [artist] [track] download.

Basically, this just reinforces two (completely unsurprising points):

  1. The RIAA will never, ever be satisfied, no matter what Google does. Which again, reinforces the idea that it was probably a bad idea to even cave in in the first place.
  2. The RIAA still doesn’t understand how search works, nor does it seem to have any interest in learning. It doesn’t understand that every single other website in the world has to work hard to lift themselves up in Google’s search rankings. They don’t get to specifically call out sites they don’t like and automatically force Google to lower their rankings. The RIAA gets a massive headstart on every other site in the world… and they still haven’t figured out how to take advantage of this.

Of course, it’s not just the RIAA. Musically points out that the RIAA’s complaints are only the latest in a long line. The MPAA and BPI have already made similar complaints. And they’ll continue to complain, because it gives them an excuse for not doing what they should be doing, which is helping the companies they represent adapt to the internet era. It’s much easier to just blame a third party — especially when doing so without understanding the very fundamentals of how a search engine works.

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Companies: google, riaa

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Comments on “RIAA: Google Isn't Trying Hard Enough To Make Piracy Disappear From The Internet”

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Ninja (profile) says:

They should complain to usb stick manufacturers too. They are doing very little in stopping people from sharing tv series, movies, music and more via those magical devices. (favorite flawed car analogy) And maybe the Government should also complain to Ford, GM and Chrysler while we are at that for allowing their vehicles to be used by drivers to run above the speeds allowed and/or transporting illegal stuff.(/favorite flawed car analogy)

fogbugzd (profile) says:

For once I have something in common with the MPAA and RIAA. I don’t like what Google is doing, either. I don’t like Google tweaking its optimal searches. I don’t like Google putting pressure on payment processors to try to enforce nanny-state rules. I don’t like it using Content-ID to remove items from YouTube that are not copyright violations.

Of course Google does have to enforce laws that have already passed. However, lately it seems intent on trying to enforce laws that the MPAA dreams about passing.

It is sad that the entertainment industry has so many politicians in its pocket that it can effectively use the threat of new laws and government witch hunts to force companies to do its bidding without the bother of going through the legal system.

MoonChild02 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Has politicians in its pocket? I think you mean on their boards of directors. Politicians and lawyers are the ones who actually say what gets made, who gets to record, how the recording gets done, who artists get to collaborate with, who & what gets air time, who gets to have every move they make unknowingly sabotaged, etc. Artists don’t have a say in their craft anymore.
The RIAA is not working for the artists, it’s working for the politicians and lawyers that own the artists and their works (yes, the artists themselves and every bit of creativity that comes out of them).

Check out the documentaries Strong Enough to Break (posted by its makers for free on YouTube) and Before the Music Dies. (posted for free by its makers on Hulu). Those films are eye-openers into the modern world of music! Those films are why I outright refuse to listen to any non-independent artists.

Zakida Paul says:

“The RIAA still doesn’t understand how search works”

The RIAA still does not understand how the Internet works which, considering how long it has been around, is quite a statement.

They are dinosaurs longing for a return to the days when they had a nice, profitable monopoly on music. Those days are gone and they are not coming back. If they do not accept that and join the rest of the world, they will soon become extinct.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

That said…
In a hypothetical situation in which Google had the means to and complied with removing all traces of Piracy on the internet (not just linking to, but actually eradicating all forms of piracy), RIAA would find something else to complain about.
Google is displaying ads on music searches and making money that RIAA deserves a chunk of.
Google isn’t doing enough to drive traffic to music purchasing sites.
Google isn’t doing enough to make people want to buy music.
Google isn’t giving RIAA free advertisement.
Google isn’t returning music purchasing results first in unrelated search terms.
Google isn’t doing enough to support RIAA’s lobbying efforts.

out_of_the_blue says:

Deja vu all over again: "Yesterday, we pointed out that..."

BUT since you’ve no ideas of your own to put forward, you’ll just hammer away at the RIAA’s objections, which you tacitly admit are well based.

“First big mistake: the RIAA simply does not seem to know that Google does not deliver the same results to everyone. That change [sic] a while back. They try to tailor specific responses to specific users, based on what those users are searching for. … Google’s entire business and algorithm are built, ground up, around the idea of understanding what people are looking for when they search, and then taking them to that place.” — Google is based on SPYING, then.

Your implicit assertion is flat wrong: “Google’s entire business [is targeted advertising]”. — That’d be bad enough, but first, it’s trivially untrue as Google is into more than can reasonably list here, and second much worse it blithely understates by orders of magnitude just how much data on everyone Google is collating, and neglects entirely the uses of that data. No other entity has ever gathered so much information on people, and that’s one of the many bad aspects of “teh internets” that you always ignore.

Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up at same place!
Ya say ya can’t compete with free, Binky? — It’s easy! Just forget about “sunk (or fixed) costs”!!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Deja vu all over again: "Yesterday, we pointed out that..."

And analyzing data isn’t spying, its… analyzing data.

Stores regularly track customers buying habits (walmart, eg) and send them mail based on recent purchases with discounts on probable future purchases (Ie, you buy baby food, you might get marketing sent to you with discounts on diapers) this happens, today.

That’s spying?

Get out of the 1st world, lady.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Deja vu all over again: "Yesterday, we pointed out that..."

Actually, I consider all of that spying and actively try to evade it as much as possible. These companies are gathering information (as in data that has been analyzed) about me without my consent or knowledge, often without me even using their services at all. In my book, that’s spying. Or, at the very least, stalking.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Deja vu all over again: "Yesterday, we pointed out that..."

These companies are gathering information (as in data that has been analyzed) about me without my consent or knowledge

If you don’t know they’re doing it, you’re not paying attention. It’s not spying anymore than me walking up to you and saying “Hey, I’m going to spy on you.”

Worst spying ever.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Deja vu all over again: "Yesterday, we pointed out that..."

Knowing in general that I’m being spied on doesn’t mean that the activity is no longer spying. If you tell me you’re spying on me, you’re still spying on me.

By “without my knowledge” I don’t mean knowledge that the spying is happening — everyone knows that. I mean that I am not informed of exactly what data is being gathered, what information has been determined through subsequent analysis, and what specifically is being done with the data.

In my mind, “spying” is the gathering of information without the informed consent of the people the information is about.

Franklin G Ryzzo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Deja vu all over again: "Yesterday, we pointed out that..."


I rarely agree with our resident special olympics winner, but OOTB is on point with the spying allegation, albeit with an additional dose of zealotry. I also do what I can to minimize the information that Google can collect about me, because I have no idea who they are selling it to, and what those 3rd parties are doing with it. I think it’s a shame that the average computer user has no idea that a lot of this data collecting is even happening much less the extent of how personal the information actually is.

Ophelia Millais says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Deja vu all over again: "Yesterday, we pointed out that..."

There are many reasons to hate and fear Big Search (not just Google), but that’s not relevant. out_of_the_blue’s strategy here is distraction and ad hominem. As usual, he’s hoping that we’ll think of Google as evil and not worth defending, Techdirt as a self-serving echo chamber, and Masnick as a shill and a fool.

Saying “he does make a good point there” about anything just encourages more of these fallacies of argument from the trolls. Now the conversation is about the ways in which Google is evil, rather than the topic of the article, which was… I forget.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Deja vu all over again: "Yesterday, we pointed out that..."

Well, he does have a point – but not simply about Google. Everything he said can be applied to any large corporation – Facebook, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, Apple… They all have data on what you do and who you are if you use their services, and occasionally even if you don’t.

So, admitting that this is correct isn’t a bad thing. Any large corporation needs to be treated with caution, and you probably can’t trust any of them completely with your personal data. However, this will fly directly over the heads of the resident morons here who pretend that Google is the be all and end all, and the only camps that exist are Google shills and whatever they consider to be “their side”.

The best thing to really do is to discuss the intelligent nuanced stuff between ourselves in between the troll posts. These fools have already shown that they’re not interested in real conversation – if an article doesn’t provide them with an easy way to attack Google or Mike, they’ll just try to derail an unrelated thread anyway…

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Deja vu all over again: "Yesterday, we pointed out that..."

Oh, so I’m not the only one that’s thinking he took all that out of his poophole? He usually makes sense in his trolling (as in you can see his point and it’s completely wrong) but now it reads as something that came straight from some maniac in the asylum…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Deja vu all over again: "Yesterday, we pointed out that..."

He.h The ideas are there, and even a retarded chimp on acid can see that the RIAA isn’t working up to its responsibilities as a “trade organization”. Thus, in any rational business, it would be disbanded and the losses eaten by the contributing companies.

But hey, rationality doesn’t compute for certain elements of the “Perceptional Property” industries.

Anonymous Coward says:

“The other three categories are red herrings, because those aren’t where people are looking for when they do searches on either [artist] [track] mp3 or [artist] [track] download. “
For what it’s worth, the youtube result isn’t necessarily a red herring. A lot of stuff I listen to (VG covers/remixes, vocaloid) will have the download link in the youtube video; I can’t speak for what other types of music have similar setups, but I doubt it’s unique. If “[artist] [track] download” returns a youtube result, it’s almost guaranteed to be what I’m looking for.

Anonymous Coward says:

this is nothing less than Google deserves and nothing less than they should have expected. the biggest problems are that, even if the RIAA etc knew what to do and how to use Google correctly, getting the results it wanted, it would be back after Google in the very near future. the other problem is that,as per usual, the ordinary users are going to be the ones that suffer because there will definitely be collateral damage which the industries wont give a flying fuck about!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Google is based on SPYING

Linguistics, context, phraseology, weighting based on popularity…. yes, spies depend on these concepts too.

I’m beginning to suspect OOtB may not be Rhodes Scholar material…

Not to say I’m satisfied with Google’s current product… the results keep getting looped up on ads and popular searches… its become a less useful tool for pure research IMO.

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The thing is, they totally could, but I think they would sincerely prefer to not do that. As far as I can tell, Google doesn’t want to be in the entertainment business at all, it just wants to be in the search & delivery business. In the long run, everyone including Google stands to benefit a lot more if the entertainment industry remains separate but can be convinced to cooperate and start being realistic about technology.

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Well, there have long been (fairly certain) rumours that google has made cash offers for blanket licenses on all the content from the labels… that makes sense, but buying the labels wouldn’t.

Think about it: buying the labels would mean taking over all their contracts with artists—a sprawling byzantine labyrinth of varying legal clauses dating back to the 60s and earlier, all obliquely written and regulating different forms of distribution and overseas royalties and all sorts of other obsolete details. Then it would be up to Google to figure out how distribute all that content while living up to all those agreements. They don’t want to deal with that, nor does anyone else. They’d much rather wait for the labels to get either desperate or sensible enough that they will start sorting out their own mess in exchange for a chunk of cash.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

It would still create an archaic process in favor of Google in stead of the artists. Do not forget the entire reason they bought Motorola Mobility…to try to gain leverage over Microsoft for using H.264 video compression standards on the XBox360 and various wireless technologies therein pertaining to the wireless controllers of the console itself.

Also, Google would likely start stifling iTunes music stores because of the control of the artist contracts they would acquire from the RIAA….that is anti-competitive behavior beyonf “copying rounded corners and interfaces” that Google is quite capable of. The only real evidence that I could cite for my speculation is the simple fact that Google acquired Motorola Mobility for the same exact reason….to stifle the competition from Microsoft’s developers.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: It's just a search engine

If they did, the very first thing that would happen is that they’d notice people are using it to search for infringing torrents, they’d freak out, fire off a million DMCA notices (to themselves of course, not realizing they don’t need to) and then, just to make sure, they’ll hit the self-destruct button and make their data centre explode, killing hundreds.

Anonymous Coward says:

The answer is simple...

The RIAA isn’t getting the results they want in terms of the order of search terms because they aren’t using Google enough. If they keep doing their searches and keep clicking the links they want to see then Google’s algorithm will learn what they want to see and order it for them correctly just like it does for everyone else. They just need to be patient, search more, and click more of the links they like, and Google will happily do what they want.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The answer is simple(r)...

Dr. Obvious concludes that Google should be required to adjust their algorithms such that (using Mr. Masnick’s examples) searches of the form [artist] [track] mp3, [artist] [track] download, or similar, silently and invisibly include the term “buy”. Thus, by the power of The Google, would freeloaders be magically transformed into buyers, piracy would be halted in its tracks, and the recording industry would be saved from its own (seemingly) willful ignorance and hidebound stupidity. Or perhaps not…

Anonymous Coward says:

I just don’t get it… Google is in the search results business. Or as Mike pointed out “Google’s entire business and algorithm are built, ground up, around the idea of understanding what people are looking for when they search, and then taking them to that place.”

That’s not illegal. Even if they direct people to webpages that do illegal stuff, it’s still not illegal. It may be morally questionable, but how many businesses these days are morally questionable?

It’s the RIAA’s job to make as much money as possible “for the artists”. If they determine that means stoping piracy, then it’s their job to stop piracy, not Google, the government or the artist. All these stupid MAFIAA rants are is them saying how bad they are at what they do.

John (user link) says:

What amazes me about copyright is it is a crude attempt to make copies into a commodity, so it fits capitalism better. This may not be a bad thing in principle.

However, they then want to maintain tight control over who can sell that commodity rather than just set a wholesale price and let third parties buy and sell it.

If they just gave up control and set a wholesale price, there would be plenty of sites out there giving good search results and options for consumers to do it the ‘legal’ way.

You would get sites specialising and curating certain genres for certain tastes etc. As taste is so important with any art form, that would be great for consumers – companies that understand their fans in detail.

I can buy and sell baked beans or toys, so why not music?

Any commodity that isn’t actually dangerous should be available for resale.

Copyright can’t make up it’s mind if it is about money or control. It needs to make a choice.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Those artists you call “sellouts” are consistently going deeper into debt. The only exception is Lars Ulrich of Metalica…who was the single person that started the “you’re stealing from the artists” campaign while simultaneously not making a dime on the Black Album due to the “Studio production fees” he “racked up”.

PaulT (profile) says:

Erm, why would people wanting to use iTunes, Amazon or eMusic be searching Google rather than searching those sites/programs in the first place? If people are looking to buy legally, they usually go to their preferred supplier unless they’re comparing prices, and even then they’ll tend to compare the sites they know and trust.

What were the other sites that came up? Did they just ignore anything that wasn’t one of those three (leaving out many more minor legal sources), or did they consider those too? I find it hard to believe that the ones listed were the only legal sources returned. What about searches that just included the track & artist without the mp3/download section? If they didn’t try those, do they have evidence that people searching for downloads tend to use those words in searches, or was that just a handy way to game the results? “Well known” could mean anything – and why should a lesser known legal source who have managed to create excellent SEO be excluded from the listings?

“Do people still use eMusic any more?”

I certainly don’t. When Sony came in, the subscription price raised beyond the point where it was useful/economical, destroying the main reason I used the site in the first place (discovering new music, which was incentivised by the low prices the subscription allowed). Instead of paying a guaranteed bargain price (with the condition that I still paid the money whether or not I used my credits), I was being asked to pay more than the iTunes prices per album in many cases. As a bonus, while the prices were raised across the board at Sony’s behest, non-US subscribers weren’t allowed to buy the Sony catalogue. So, I stopped paying.

Needless to say, I buy a lot less music now than I did with my subscription – yet another example of how the RIAA’s action have *reduced* sales. Not that they’d care, since it was independent music I was originally buying, but I can’t afford the same level of purchase at full retail prices no matter how much i want to. Oh well, my listening has shifted more to podcasts now anyway, although I do pay for Spotify for when I’m in a music mood. Less money for everyone, but they literally did ask for that in my case.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Erm, why would people wanting to use iTunes, Amazon or eMusic be searching Google rather than searching those sites/programs in the first place?

Some people have not grasped the idea behing bookmarks, aand so Google is the Net. They can either search Google for the site they want, and then search that site, or simply search Google.

Wally (profile) says:

The first statement in the article by the RIAA is clear evidence that they have even less a grasp on reality than the MPAA.

“Six months later, we have found no evidence that Google?s policy has had a demonstrable impact on demoting sites with large amounts of piracy. These sites consistently appear at the top of Google?s search results for popular songs or artists.’

Demoting sites…oh they finally caught on to the fact they cannot delete the links at all.

As for Google’s efforts…the evidence of their efforts to make the process more efficient is the test run they already have implimented Google Image Search….you only get specific links when it is specifically asked for. Currently, that system is only in place on the image search pertaining to porn (which if I recall, porn was the most searched for thing on Google Image search since its inception as a part of Google’s Search engine….no surprise there).

As an example….you type in Google search say “Batman Begins full movie”…you don’t get much in the way of torrents:


So when I type in “Batman Begins Movie ISO”…..I now get maybe a few emulator websites for the PS2 Game.

This all being said the RIAA has not one reason to complain……wait that was the MPAA

Well interestingly enough….you ask for “torrent” on the end of your search….a few torrent sites pop up…because that is what you asked Google to look for……………..

In conclusion, the RIAA seems to fail to grasp the basic concepts of a search engine.

For one, they tend to think Google is actively pirating music for people for providing links. The gap in this logic seems to stem from the fact that Google’s search engine’s parser is simply searching for what people specifically ask it to search for.

Two: They see the word BitTorrent and automatically think it an evil thing when in reality it is a simple peer2peer network distribution system.

Anonymous Coward says:

They will never be satisfied

The RIAA & friends show will never be satisfied with Google’s response. They will continue to bombard Google with legal threats, a veritable DDOS attack of DMCA takedowns, and other unreasonable requests. Google needs to get real and push back against these bullies, tell them NO, and be willing to stand up for themselves in court.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: They will never be satisfied

Or Google could simply delist sites that are dedicated to infringement, which we all know exist. No need to pretend they don’t.

Google has already admitted that 97% of the DMCA notices it processes are legit. If they want to ease their workload, they should just delist the sites they keep getting thousands of violations for. Otherwise they can expect to hire more people to deal with processing notices because the plan is to try and double the amount being sent.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: They will never be satisfied

Better yet, the RIAA or their affiliates could take those dedicated sites to court and prove that they are infringing. That would require the RIAA (or associates in other countries) spending money on investigation, and they would rather pass the cost of real enforcement onto somebody else.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: They will never be satisfied

Google has already admitted that 97% of the DMCA notices it processes are legit.

By “legit,” though, Google means “properly filed” and possibly “no counternotice was filed”. They have never stated what percentage of DMCA notices actually represent copyright infringement. Which makes sense, because they have no way of knowing.

special interesting says:

I see nothing wrong with Google’s current policy except that they might add a fee to each one. Make a profit off the the ‘copyright dogs’ like RIAA and their ilk. It would be nice (and important) to drain their funds to cripple their incredibly unjustifiable influence for things that do no one any good and downright harmful if not damaging.

I support making a fee for each and every take-down claim $5 from individuals and $25 for firms.

I support the lowering of the max limit from 10k to 100.

I support that a time limit of 100 per day

These steps would be a good way to reduce the staff manpower wasted on censoring, corruption and copyright nonsense. It is likely that every person employed in copyright can be considered a drain on the economy and the fines and jail terms are outright insanity. Every person who had his life ruined by bad legislation becomes a drain on society in so many way although I hope these good people can recover anyway.

Ahhh. The chance for another rant. This is such a fun site.

I don’t buy the possibility that RIAA is clueless on this one (or any of the others). It is more likely they know how weak and nonsensical their argument is and that this is the ‘best they can come up with’ at the moment. These guys are being paid to do this and (its the classic) if they don’t do something then their bosses will stop funding them.

Since I believe the RIAA knows they are doing is wrong in ?Google Isn’t Trying Hard Enough To Make Piracy Disappear From The Internet? and that they know that what they are purporting is not going to help anyone but themselves. Its another ‘cigarette argument’ (someone trying to convince you to buy something they know is bad for you).

more eloquent explanation for a ‘cigarette argument’:

Sensible people would laugh at this but money has its own stench and this time it smells bad. From my viewpoint the RIAA uses the ‘organized crime’ business model. To be honest, as a voter this whole copyright thing is just pissing me off and even if it meant striking down the entire amendment regardless of any collateral damage wold be best. What I mean is that if the organizations that it has fostered seem indistinguishable from criminal organizations its too much for me to handle in any form.

I don’t like it when Google or anyone tampers with search. Raw data untouched by anyone or any algorithm is best. Its dangerous to censor as it provides only a colored view of the world or the particular search you made. This color may be you own special tint as measured by your own data they collected but it is a colored lens nonetheless. Censoring is a slippery slope topic and how do we measure how far Google has slipped or been forced? Its good they publish their algorithm and lends some sort of transparency safeguard.

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