Subreddit Dedicated to Outing Google “Censorship”

I admit it–I am an avid redditor… so when upon receipt of an email about a subreddit founded on the idea that Google practices censorship in its search engine results, I immediately investigated. As of today, the subreddit has 155 subscribers. All of the submissions on the “hot” page were by a redditor called skepticofskeptics, who is also the creator of the subreddit. From the sidebar:

Google covertly censors web pages.
You know it’s happening. It is obvious and blatant. Your friends know it is happening.
You can make it stop.
Talk. Organize. Petition your congressman, senator and other lawmakers.
Bring an end to the lies and deception.

I reserve judgment on the question of whether Google actually manipulates its search engine results for political or social reasons. I know for a fact that it does so for financial reasons. I think it would be difficult for even a sophisticated person to distinguish the two. Furthermore, I am not convinced that it would be improper for the company to manipulate or “censor” its search engine results for political reasons. After all, it is not as if the company is a government actor or owes the public a relevant legal duty one way or the other.

There are currently one response

  1. skepticofskeptics

    I am going to have to make a post about why censorship on search engines is a bad thing which should be regulated by governments even if they are a private company. I will try my best in that post and in this comment to argue why that is not censorship.

    I am not sure what you mean when you say that you know that Google manipulates their search engine results for financial purposes. I would like to read what you have to say about that for sure. That is also an important issue and I include it generally when I say that Google censors for corporate content although direct financial influence is only part of what I mean when I speak of Google censoring for corporate content.

    For one thing people look to Google as a reality engine. There is an academic study on that very phenomenon. A group of Austrian researcher wrote a paper about the mistaken tendency of users to see Google as a “reality interface.”

    So the power which search engines have to mold our political and social reality is not insignificant at all.

    For another thing I believe that when Google or any other search engine claims that their search engine results are neutral and not hand picked or that their isn’t censorship when in fact they do all those things it is a form of fraud which already violates existing laws.

    April 21st, 2012 | 7:40 pm