Saturday, 24 January 2009

Google's Censors: The Cat is Out of the Bag

At this point, we were sure that "someone" had asked google to carry out a total censorship on uruknet: the few pages still indexed by google.com are an obvious trick used in order to disguise censorship and not making it immediately evident to any user.

Anyhow, we needed a proof, and we achieved it easily: we arranged two new websites, one in Italian and the other in English, respectively Notizie dal Medio Oriente and News from Middle East, that are in fact perfect mirrorings of uruknet, with a few graphic changes, and we put them directly on the same server where uruknet is located.

After that we requested google.news to index them and after they analysed both websites, we obtained it without the least problem. Of course when the google.news guys will read this article, they will stop indexing Notizie dal Medio Oriente and News from Middle East, but we have saved a copy of google news pages: News from Middle East on google.news and Notizie dal Medio Oriente on news.google.it .

So, it was so clear since the very first moment, all the despicable excuses pleaded by google.news for having removed uruknet were lies google came up with in order to account for the censorship obviously pressed for by someone who didn't like our website. All we needed was to change the name of the website leaving untouched form and substance and every problem was gone.

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=50602

It seems like the reviewers at Google were fine about the Uruknet content (under any other name the content was acceptable), yet it appears someone with influence, for reasons yet to be established, wanted the contents of Uruknet taken down.

Perhaps this is because the website claims to come from "occupied Iraq" and frequently posts damning, and well researched, stories dealing with torture, civilian casualties in the Middle East, the horrific effects of Depleted Uranium contamination etc etc.

Google needs to show some balance here and treat all websites fairly. This is not asking very much ! To the Google reviewers: Don't listen to those advocating censorship of Uruknet. Tell them to take a hike.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, January 24th, 2009.]

2 comments:

steven andresen said...

spook,

I appreciate the news about Uruknet.

Can you speculate why Google would make a special effort to treat some website differently than others? It seems that they would be wary of getting any reputation for censorship. Is there any decent alternative to Google? If there was, wouldn't Google be making those alternatives more attractive especially if there was some guarantee that Google's competitors did not censor.

I have to admit, I rely on Google completely.

SpookyPunkos said...

Steve,

I have to admit I rely on Google almost completely too.

I don't know what's going on, but I suspect there have been complaints by the pro-war lobby. You can guess who these people might be.

Google being a large corporation has been influenced. It might depend on who is doing the influencing too. ie. strong influence from online trolls or powerful individuals.

I think the thing about Uruknet is that it's very well known and used as a source for many alternative news sites. This has given the site "undue" attention- unlike this blog !

Because it is in the spotlight the censorship agents from the prowar crowd will want to target it. They are trying to limit its expansion.

I totally agree with your questions about Google censoring. It's dangerous for them. They have to be careful. However, from the story posted here, it looks like they have been very naughty- and got caught !