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Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments

June 18 2012 at 4:08 PM
E7  (Login E7)

 
Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments

Search engine company has said there has been a troubling increase in requests to remove political content from the internet



There has been an alarming rise in the number of times governments attempted to censor the internet in last six months, according to a report from Google.

Since the search engine last published its bi-annual transparency report, it said it had seen a troubling increase in requests to remove political content. Many of these requests came from western democracies not typically associated with censorship.

It said Spanish regulators asked Google to remove 270 links to blogs and newspaper articles critical of public figures. It did not comply. In Poland, it was asked to remove an article critical of the Polish agency for enterprise development and eight other results that linked to the article. Again, the company did not comply.

Google was asked by Canadian officials to remove a YouTube video of a citizen urinating on his passport and flushing it down the toilet. It refused.

Thai authorities asked Google to remove 149 YouTube videos for allegedly insulting the monarchy, a violation of Thailand's lèse-majesté law. The company complied with 70% of the requests.

Pakistan asked Google to remove six YouTube videos that satirised its army and senior politicians. Google refused.

UK police asked the company to remove five YouTube accounts for allegedly promoting terrorism. Google agreed. In the US most requests related to alleged harassment of people on YouTube. The authorities asked for 187 pieces to be removed. Google complied with 42% of them.

In a blog post, Dorothy Chou, Google's senior policy analyst, wrote: "Unfortunately, what we've seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different. When we started releasing this data, in 2010, we noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it's not.

"This is the fifth data set that we've released. Just like every other time, we've been asked to take down political speech. It's alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect – western democracies not typically associated with censorship."

Over the six months covered by the latest report, Google complied with an average of 65% of court orders, as opposed to 47% of more informal requests.

Last month Google announced it was receiving more than one million requests a month from copyright owners seeking to pull their content from the company's search results.

Fred von Lohmann, Google's senior copyright counsel, said copyright infringement was the main reason Google had removed links from search terms.

He said the company had received a total of 3.3m requests for removals on copyright grounds last year, and was on course to quadruple that number this year. The company complied with 97% of requests.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jun/18/google-reports-alarming-rise-censorship

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E7
(Login E7)

...

June 18 2012, 4:10 PM 

I remember when Alex Jones had his own documentaries on YouTube taken down citing "copyright infringement"..

Not only was it his own work, but anyone who listens to him knows he ENCOURAGES people to rip his documentaries and upload them anywhere they want..

It took a threat of a lawsuit for Youtube to decide he had the right to upload his own content.. wink.gif

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Coalde
(Login cwc.mgmt)
Forum Owner

Re: Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments

June 25 2012, 11:36 AM 

Not that I am legitimizing or even commenting on the Alex Jones case, but Mr. Jones documentaries could have contained copyrighted material and the owners of that material could have requested that the material be removed. This leads into the "Fair Use" debate...which are somewhat more robust here in Canada then they are in the USA.


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E7
(Login E7)

...

June 25 2012, 2:16 PM 

Nope. Only after he threatened YouTube with a lawsuit did they finally restore his documentaries.

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Coalde
(Login cwc.mgmt)
Forum Owner

Re: Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments

June 27 2012, 4:20 PM 

Nope. Only after he threatened YouTube with a lawsuit did they finally restore his documentaries.

Can you provide a link to some further discussion surrounding the Alex Jones material in question?


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E7
(no login)

...

June 27 2012, 4:30 PM 

I don't know of any links. There's probably archives of his radio show somewhere where he talked about it, as well as archived posts on his forums.

It started around 3 years ago when his YouTube channel was shut down. Someone had apparently reported his documentaries as copyright so YouTube shut the channel down.

He had a back and forth with YouTube stating that the documentaries were his, and he owned the copyright to them. After a few generic replies he threatened to file a lawsuit against them (again, according to him), and a few days later his channel, and all content, was restored.

He talked about it for days on his radio show. Basically YouTube shut down his channel without first verifying who the actual owner was, citing that the documentaries were copyright material belonging to Alex Jones (which is ridiculous considering during many of said documentaries, he advocates the distribution of his films), and after contacting them stating HE was Alex Jones, he was met with generic copy/paste replies from YouTube, and he claims to have threatened them with lawsuit (could just be sensationalism, who knows), but after he said that, the channel was restored a couple of days later.

 
 

Coalde
(Login cwc.mgmt)
Forum Owner

Re: Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments

June 30 2012, 2:14 PM 

By the way for those of you interested, the entire Google Transparency Report can be found here...

http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/


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E7
(Login E7)

Re: Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments

June 30 2012, 2:33 PM 

The funny thing about YouTube is, you can't just flag a video or channel for copyright infringement... you need to prove you're the owner of the content, etc.. as per their message when trying to report an infringement..

"We can only process copyright complaints submitted by authorized parties in accordance with processes defined in law. There may be significant legal penalties for false notices. Please refer to our Copyright Center for more information and the complete instructions."

So we need to believe either YouTube was being very lax in their verification of who owned the content, and were subject to a fraudulent claim of ownership, or there was a higher power involved, intent on censoring his material, thinking he would roll over and take it, instead of fighting it..

That's all for todays conspiracy theories.. driving up to the cottage later for Canada Day... booze, friends and thick steaks on the BBQ.. wink.gif

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Coalde
(Login cwc.mgmt)
Forum Owner

Re: Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments

June 30 2012, 2:41 PM 

"So we need to believe either YouTube was being very lax in their verification of who owned the content, and were subject to a fraudulent claim of ownership, or there was a higher power involved, intent on censoring his material, thinking he would roll over and take it, instead of fighting it.."

...or alternately Alex Jones took down his own material and claimed it was removed from YouTube to create publicity for himself... wink.gif


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E7
(Login E7)

Re: Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments

June 30 2012, 2:45 PM 

Nope, when YouTube content is removed on copyright grounds, the message displayed says that it was taken down due to copyright infringement, which was the message everyone was getting when trying to access his documentaries. If it was taken down by the user, it says the content was removed by the user.



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E7
(Login E7)

Re: Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments

June 30 2012, 2:47 PM 

The image people were getting was similar to this (Replace "LEGO" with "Alex Jones Productions" and "GCN Radio" IIRC:

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This message has been edited by E7 on Jun 30, 2012 2:49 PM


 
 

Coalde
(Login cwc.mgmt)
Forum Owner

Re: Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments

June 30 2012, 3:09 PM 

...actually the only mention that I can find with respect to Alex Jones videos being removed from YouTube is regarding YouTube's decision to remove his videos for violating "Community Guidelines".

http://www.infowars.com/google-you-tube-ban-alex-jones/

If you have some links to the removal of Alex Jones videos due to copyright infringement I would really appreciate it if you could post some links, as copyright law is something of a hobby of mine...and yes I really am that boring. wink.gif


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E7
(Login E7)

Re: Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments

June 30 2012, 3:14 PM 

That was another time. There was multiple times. Even one more recently IIRC with the "ChangeDaChannel" Alex Jones documentary being removed as well, having all its hits (and depending on how many hits your video has on YouTube, that determines its standing when searching for it) reset as well (which actually made it more popular when it was re-uploaded)..

Here's the video from his radio show on it..



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This message has been edited by E7 on Jun 30, 2012 3:15 PM


 
 

Coalde
(Login cwc.mgmt)
Forum Owner

Re: Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments

June 30 2012, 3:32 PM 

Yawn...read the verifiable facts bit...it appears there was no copyright violation message...just an unsubstantiated accusation that the "ChangeDaChannel" account was hacked...no doubt by the CIA on Obama's express personal orders...

http://voices.yahoo.com/was-obama-deception-censored-just-part-guerrilla-6425216.html

...you really should read about guerrilla marketing...and trust me if you are cynical now about what the media portrays, in the immortal words of BTO "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet!" (which you should throw on during your BBQ today...great song). wink.gif


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E7
(Login E7)

Re: Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments

June 30 2012, 3:35 PM 

Point being, it's another time he claims his videos were removed (there's more than one time you found), and as I said, there were many. I noticed your story was from 2010, and I remembered it, and remember the copyright reason to be quite some time before that (damn, is it 2012 already?).. I guess search a little further back.. not sure what to tell you.

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This message has been edited by E7 on Jun 30, 2012 3:36 PM


 
 

Coalde
(Login cwc.mgmt)
Forum Owner

Re: Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments

June 30 2012, 3:47 PM 

"Point being, it's another time he claims his videos were removed (there's more than one time you found), and as I said, there were many. I noticed your story was from 2010, and I remembered it, and remember the copyright reason to be quite some time before that (damn, is it 2012 already?).. I guess search a little further back.. not sure what to tell you. "

I could spend a beautiful and sunny Saturday researching back several years on infowars.com...or I could make an intelligent guess based upon verifiable facts that Mr. Jones is a shameless self-promoter (certainly the ads on his site lead one to believe that) completely capable of using deception in the promotion of his media properties and to further that image he has created the myth that Google (and main-stream media) is out to silence him.

...and if I choose the later I get to sit in my lovely little side yard all afternoon and drink beer and listen to various Canadian artists...the tough decisions I face in life! wink.gif


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E7
(Login E7)

,,,

June 30 2012, 3:53 PM 

Enjoy your side yard, as it's almost 11am here and it's getting close to when I plan on leaving for the cottage, as for self promoting, name me one person in independent media who isn't.. wink.gif

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Coalde
(Login cwc.mgmt)
Forum Owner

Re: Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments

June 30 2012, 4:15 PM 

...as for self promoting, name me one person in independent media who isn't...

Never said there is anything wrong with self-promotion (as long as the individual is being honest in their promotion)...but one should always keep in mind the reason why people say things and perhaps independently verify the claims of others. That holds true whether we are discussing Alex Jones and Infowars.com or myself and CyberWar Central...although the only diet I endorse is the "eat what you enjoy eating...but don't become morbidly obese fat slob" diet. wink.gif

...enjoy the friends, booze and steaks dude. happy.gif


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This message has been edited by cwc.mgmt on Jun 30, 2012 4:22 PM


 
 

CT
(Login charlieTurk)

Re: Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments

July 3 2012, 1:16 AM 


 
 
E7
(Login E7)

Re: Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments

July 3 2012, 7:32 PM 

Ya I remember hearing about one of those. The real funny one was that 3rd party company claiming copyright ownership to Alex Jones' documentaries because they were uploaded to YouTube.. some clause in the EULA IIRC.. I don't even remember the outcome of that one. He just stopped talking about it.

The other one with his stuff getting shut down because he had a news paper article on a video I hadn't even heard about.

This has gone on for some time now with YouTube finding new and interesting ways to shut his content down.. wink.gif

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