Chinese Professor Suing Google And Yahoo For Making Him Disappear From Chinese Search

from the dissident-seo dept

We've seen plenty of lawsuits over the years from people who were upset over how Google ranked them in search results, but here's an interesting twist on that idea. Guo Quan, a professor in China who lost his job after founding a democracy group and pushing for a more democratic China, is going to sue Google and Yahoo for removing all results with his name in China. Google and Yahoo, of course, have agreed to play by local rules in China, upsetting many. Legally, it would seem like this suit has little chance of success -- but I doubt that he cares about the legal result. What this actually does is to call attention to his plight -- and on that front, it's clearly a successful strategy.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: censorship, china, democracy, search engines
Companies: google, yahoo


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), 8 Feb 2008 @ 8:03am

    A solution

    Sue China, they are the ones censoring him. That is, of course, a death sentence. But he may have already gotten one.

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

  • icon
    Jeffry Houser (profile), 8 Feb 2008 @ 8:08am

    Someone who understand the Streisand Effect?

    It sounds like someone might be using the Streisand Effect intentionally. Novel concept

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

  • identicon
    Koala MeatPie, 8 Feb 2008 @ 9:22am

    Sueing Google because he Disappeared from The Net...

    10$ says he,ll just plain disappear next.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Feb 2008 @ 10:29am

    Good luck to him...

    Pushing for reform is China is a scary thing; he must be a brave man. I hope he gets what he's working for.



    Does the presence of his name mean that you can't find this techdirt article if you're searching in China?



    Guo Quan Guo Quan Guo Quan Guo Quan Guo Quan

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

  • identicon
    Fernando, 8 Feb 2008 @ 12:35pm

    Headline is wrong. He's not "suing." He issued a press release saying he plans to sue. He can't do so in China, so first has to come to the U.S. and raise some money. Not too likely.

    But hey, the bogus headline got you onto Slashdot.

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

  • identicon
    Lee Phillips, 8 Feb 2008 @ 1:06pm

    Muslim Censorship of YouTube

    YouTube is owned by Google, which has been famously cooperative with the Chinese government. Perhaps those experiences have taught them that they can bow to demands for political censorship without risking their market share nor the embrace of the techno-literati.

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

  • identicon
    Elfed Dowler-Jones, 9 Feb 2008 @ 1:00am

    Chinese Professor Suing Google And Yahoo For Makin

    A brave man indeed! What can we learn from this?

    .....we are compliant in China's dictatorship.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Feb 2008 @ 8:21am

    acting not just talking

    every person and company should add some Chinese banned keywords in their pages possibly adding as meta tags.

    this would eventually causing all content to
    disappear when searched in China and naturally makes also political point against Google, Yahoo, or any other company for their actions in China.

    //arl

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

    • identicon
      4-80-sicks, 11 Feb 2008 @ 9:47am

      Re: acting not just talking

      That's a nice idea, but it doesn't really work unless you get a significant majority of websites in the world to participate. I'm all for grass roots, but good luck with that, especially when it comes to corporations.

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

  • identicon
    Always looking for better, 12 Feb 2008 @ 5:03am

    Google voted for it

    As the Google board voted to offer no resistance to such tactics I have already started working hard to ensure I use them as little as I can.

    I find it unfortunate that Yahoo has seems to have lost no sleep over the issue.

    Guess I'll have to find another search engine and cancel my email address.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2008 @ 2:24pm

    I guess he really must love Guns and Roses...

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Sponsored Promotion
Public Money, Public Code - Sign The Open Letter at publiccode.eu
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.