October 24, 2002

Reason note for "Localized Google search result exclusions" report

In a fascinating report:
"Localized Google search result exclusions - Statement of issues and call for data"
authors Jonathan Zittrain and Benjamin Edelman examine sites excluded by Google from localized country-specific searching. In discussing the data, they state:

Many such sites seem to offer Neo-Nazi, white supremacy, or other content objectionable or illegal in France and Germany, though other affected sites are more difficult to cleanly categorize.

The purpose of this note is to point out that one reason for certain sites being affected, is that they were formerly in such an objectionable category. Even though the domain has changed owners since then, they apparently remained blacklisted. For example, from http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/filtering/google/results1.html
consider the site:

1488.com - "Chinese Legal Consultation Network"

However, years ago, this domain was apparently a Neo-Nazi site:

Look at the upper-left-hand corner, "The Swastika Homepage"

Then the domain went up for sale:
"This Domain - for sale"

Then it became the current Chinese site:

Similarly www.14words.com was once a White-supremacist site:

But it is now just an empty domain. That's why it comes up with nothing but a homepage for a hosting company.

The implications here are that the blacklist is not re-examined or updated with any particular care, if at all.

Update: See also my explanation "Google Censorship - How It Works".

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in censorware , google | on October 24, 2002 07:51 AM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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