All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘censorship’
The problem with open societies, free speech, and Web 2.0 is that any ol’ jerk can believe and say anything they want. That you’d rather they didn’t is kind of your problem. But it’s a bigger problem for larger entities like YouTube and Google who provide the platform, or, since Microsoft’s not using it, the soapbox for the jerks to stand upon.
When a "live" webcast of grunge band legend Pearl Jam’s Lollapalooza performance didn’t make it to the audience in tact, the band immediately pointed a finger at AT&T, who sponsored and monitored the event, accusing the telecommunications giant of censorship.
Google has often had PR problems with its Maps and Earth services; the search giant has also had trouble gaining market share in South Korea. Now a problem that involves both of these issues may be resolved, although the exact solution (assuming there is one) remains unknown.
Yahoo’s Flickr is the latest target of criticism after restricting access to erotic art photos in Hong Kong. Though Internet companies self-censoring in certain countries is not a new dilemma, this incident coincides with a blogger that faces fines for just linking to offending material.
The last development in this story took place over a month ago, so here’s a little refresher: several videos on YouTube insulted the king of Thailand, and that country’s government responded by blocking the site. It also threatened to sue, but that plan was abandoned, and the ban has now been lifted, as well.
There’s something about this topic that is unsettling – the deal seems nearly devilish, beneficial and somewhat horrifying at the same time. Google’s latest plea to the US and EU governments to help fight censorship centers on the economics, not the political morality, of censorship.
In recent weeks and months, I’ve noticed that the Internet seems to have its own c-word: censorship. I’ve also noticed that, like most companies, Yahoo wants nothing to do with this word. So it wasn’t a huge surprise when Yahoo’s photo-sharing service, Flickr, relaxed its filters in Germany.
Would it surprise you to know that Google has dedicated less and less attention to “search” over the years? Conversely, the company’s talking more about “revenue.” These, anyway, are the conclusions that one might draw using Philipp Lenssen’s Google Press Release Analyzer.
Google’s had some success in South Korea, yet the search engine giant has also had to make a number of adjustments and compromises. Now its tenacity may be paying off; reports indicate that South Korea’s biggest mobile phone operator may employ Google’s search-based advertising throughout its network.
Over two months ago, authorities in Turkey found a video on YouTube that implied Ataturk, the country’s founder, was gay. Turkey banned YouTube, YouTube removed the clip, and the Turkish government got way too cocky – it’s now reserved the legal right to block any website with content it finds offensive to Ataturk’s memory.
Segregating your traffic by geographical location is a useful thing and is known in the search engine marketing circles as “geotracking”, but you could go one step further and target specific traffic based on geographical location using the cryptic practise known as “geotargeting”. But what happens when it’s used to block access to users based on their geography?
A talented photographer posted her photos on Flickr, and when another company stole and sold the pictures, she wrote a post about it. After almost 450 people had voiced their support, Flickr deleted the artist’s post, and cries of “Censorship!” ensued. But now Flickr’s co-founder, Stewart Butterfield, has stepped up and apologized.
During the Vietnam War, an American major said, “It became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it.” Well, in a slight twist on that, Google’s shareholders have decided that they must continue censoring Google China in order to keep it alive.
If you use the right euphemisms, it’s almost enough to give you warm fuzzies: the Chinese government, according the country’s president, is developing plans to "actively and creatively nurture a healthy online culture."
Unfortunately, China’s state television forgot to dress up the language, and instead disclosed the less comforting thought that "development and administration of Internet culture must stick to the direction of socialist advanced culture, [and] adhere to correct propaganda guidance."
Much has been made of the ways in which Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft have accommodated the Chinese government – and rightly so – but Baidu, with its home field advantage, appeared to be in the clear. Now, however, Baidu is running into some censorship problems of its own.
Voice Of America reports that American congressmen took to the floor today, blasting internet companies for being partners in censorship efforts, during a briefing earlier today.
Reuters is reporting that, responding to criticism over how it pulled the blog of a critic of the Chinese government, has pledged to create rules governing how it will deal with such situations in the future.
Three out of the four companies invited to tomorrow’s congressional briefing on American companies enforcing Chinese censorship have flat out refused to attend.
Representative Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) takes aim at Internet companies doing business and China. He plans to hold hearings as chairman of the House Subcommittee on human rights next month based on reports U.S. Internet companies, including Yahoo and Microsoft, help China to suppress free speech.
The many conversations in recent weeks about blog censorship in China won’t lead to any meaningful conclusions, I reckon.
In what Brett Tabke calls “the China Syndrome” Google and Yahoo! are being accused of censorship. French-based international press freedom group Reporters sans Frontires (RSF), also known as Reporters without Borders, claims both search engines gave into the Chinese government’s demands of controlling search results.