Overhype

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
censorship, china, search engines

Companies:
google



Dear China: It's Not Google That Is Producing Or Hosting Porn

from the understanding-how-the-internet-works-is-useful dept

We've noted in the past that the Great Firewall of China basically works via a threat model. Basically, the government tells ISPs that if they fail to block "undesirable" content, then they'll get in trouble. Then, they may get notes about what type of content is "undesirable" but for the most part it's left up to them to figure it out, but if any "bad stuff" gets through, they know they can get in trouble, so they tend to overblock. Earlier this year, China warned various search engines that they too needed to comply with such rules, and that it was upset that people could find "bad stuff" via those search engines.

Apparently Google didn't pay enough attention, because the Chinese gov't has "disabled" parts of Google in China because (they claim) people can still access pornographic content (and other "undesirable" content, one imagines). However, what's interesting is the assumption that links on Google represent content Google has control over. As one of our readers, Ben, points out, it appears that the Chinese gov't regularly implies that Google "owns" the content that it links to:
The China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center, had criticized the search engine for its erotic content and threatened punishment from the government. The group had said that Google had already been warned twice, in January and April, about its content.
And there you have the problem. The content isn't Google's and it makes no sense to claim that it is or to punish Google's spiders for finding and indexing it.

Reader Comments

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2009 @ 4:36pm

    China is so stupid.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2009 @ 4:40pm

    Dear Mike,

    there is plenty of porn directly on google - see google groups, example or on google videos (search for porn... dirty cartoon from playboy is first on the list).

    Google also caches all the pages - so they have plenty of porn on hand.

    Just as importantly, and this is where this matches up with things like torrent sites, Google makes it easy for people to find porn who otherwise wouldn't know where to look. They could type random domain names and hope, or they can go to google and type "hardcore porn" and get what they are looking for.

    No, google doesn't have that much porn directly on their site, but they are a great way to find it. Remove that, and porn is already that much more scarce.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2009 @ 5:50pm

    "On Friday evening, the associative-word feature of the Web site appeared to have been disabled. That is the function that displays a drop-down menu of words related to a search word that is typed into the search engine. The previous evening, reporters on China Central Television, the state television network, showed how typing in the Chinese word for son, erzi, could pull up associated terms that have lewd connotations."

    See, now if you guys actually would read... *sigh*

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

  • identicon
    Steven, 19 Jun 2009 @ 7:07pm

    Child porn sites

    I decided to look for child porn on Google. *gasp* why? you might ask. I just wanted to see what Google did with content that was illegal in the USA. On the main search page, I read about people who were being persecuted for it, punished, and the victims of it. When I went to images, and videos, I found more videos and more images of the same. I *could not find any* child pornography.

    Surely, if they can do that with child porn to satisfy the American sense of sensibility and law of the land, they could find a way to deal with pornography in general which would satisfy the sensibilities and law of the land that the Chinese government has.

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

    • icon
      Headbhang (profile), 20 Jun 2009 @ 2:07am

      Re: Child porn sites

      Bah! Don't be silly.

      While I do think that Google probably has some mechanism of dealing with child porn, I wouldn't attribute the complete lack of it on Google hits to this filtering at all. There are ways of preventing your stuff from appearing on Google, and I guarantee you that child pornographers DO NOT want to be found so easily.

      Run-of-mill porn, however, is a LOT more plentiful and it has no qualms about being found (at least not by adults). Filtering that deluge is a lot more difficult.

      By the way, the anti-porn sensibilities are clearly not those of the Chinese. Just those of their repressive, controlling, totalitarian government.

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

      • identicon
        KKK, 1 Jul 2009 @ 3:36pm

        Re: Re: Child porn sites

        "the anti-porn sensibilities are clearly not those of the Chinese" ??
        Do you think Chinese has less morality than your decent American citizens?

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

    • identicon
      BW, 25 Jun 2009 @ 1:19pm

      Re: Child porn sites

      I am being prosecuted for doing what you did in the United Kingdom. I'd be interested in why you did what you did and what you saw. I had excatly the same motives as you and saw nothing illegal, but the police don't believe me but my findings were exactly the same as yours.

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

  • identicon
    L.D. Dong, 19 Jun 2009 @ 8:10pm

    This is the same country that owns Baidu which lists MP3 sites that can only be accessed through Baidu and yet Baidu claims to be cracking down on copyright infringement.
    They probably assume Google operates on the same "back room" principle that they do (and maybe Google does). Baidu has 75% of the Chinese market and Google is likely to write a few filters to make sure they can stay in the game.
    Somebody short Baidu stock so I can live vicariously through you and rejoice when it plummets (its inevitable).

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

  • identicon
    synjin, 20 Jun 2009 @ 8:53am

    Censorship

    "Danger Wil Robinson Danger"
    Porn, Hate Speach, Comontary, Family Photos, from anyones point of view anything can become offensive.. China is just attempting once again to control freedom in the country by being so over the top protective they are breeding fear globaly.. anyone who wants something bad enough can get it it will be the majority of people who are not going to be aloud to enjoy there freedoms and will pay for China's fears... If you don't like it and don't want it filter your self, make the choice your self, don't let other tell you what you can do or not because then you will just end up with nothing.. no freedom, no choice, no life,

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

  • identicon
    Maishado, 20 Jun 2009 @ 6:56pm

    It's interesting that china is very anti porn however if you go almost anywhere in china, you will find prostitution runs rapid and available to everyone. Though I have a feeling just like in America the politicians frequent them the most and then sign these laws in with the hyprocritical hand.

    I wonder how much porn is made by the results of human trafficing (enslaved women) vs prostitution?

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

  • identicon
    Vijay Agarwal, 20 Jun 2009 @ 10:42pm

    Search engines should be held responsible for content.

    The point to be noted here is that neither Google nor any search engine for that matter has any control over what the people are searching. If somebody wants to find porn he will find it somehow. To ban search engines is artificial. Google just presents you what you search for and that is the raison d'etre of a search engine.

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

  • identicon
    Vijay Agarwal, 20 Jun 2009 @ 10:46pm

    Search engines should be held responsible for content.

    But yes, there should be powerful filters in search engines. True, Google, Bing and all others have the filters but sometimes adult content just bypasses the filters. Search engines should be responsible to the extent of technologically preventing the porn to come up if it is not intended.

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

  • identicon
    Jose, 21 Jun 2009 @ 12:36am

    China should be held responsible for suppressing freedom.

    China has a long history in suppressing all dimensions of freedom and liberty. And there seem to be no signs that they'll change their foolish ways any time soon. Quite simply, anything they disagree with is subject to censorship.

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

  • identicon
    China Web Design, 21 Jun 2009 @ 10:03pm

    Why Baidu doesn't need to face the same scrutiny as Google? Tells me someone is using its relations to make it more difficult for Google...

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

  • icon
    William (profile), 23 Jun 2009 @ 12:11am

    Facebook Developers

    Google really concern about its privacy and security. Thats really interesting news. Thanks for sharing

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

  • identicon
    Bernard, 12 Jul 2009 @ 10:37am

    Porn is made in china

    i don't get it, what the chinese gov is doing is making me crazy.the people of china know good and bad. they act porn in china and there are prostitute and all sort of bad hobbies is going on here. Facebook is blocked why?www.bootytalk.com is working in china and i have chinese friends who download porn from chinese porn site. so the gov should not try to be mr nice guy. everybody in china knows what sex is and what fucking is all about and they love it.so gov should close their minds even people from the gov watch it for plesure.

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

  • identicon
    Facebook Applications, 5 Nov 2009 @ 12:52am

    Well it depends on the user what user wanna search. You can set your search engine in safe search mode.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:19am

    In any society, there are many douchebags.

    In China, there are even more, except they call them biao ge.

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

  • identicon
    Fan Man, 30 Mar 2010 @ 7:27am

    China

    No government should be censoring the internet any way, the truth is that they start with the stuff that people will accept, but then they block legit stuff out, the filter news and hide their lies, China is perhaps one of the most corrupt nations for this kind of stuff. DOWN with ignorance and Down with Censorship, people have the right to decide what they want to find. And dirr china, fools, google is only a search engine they don't own the results dummies!

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


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