Democracy “Magnified”



The “magnify” component of the Search Monitor project attempts to match the top ten results from Google/Yahoo with the top ten results form the China-specific versions of Google/Yahoo in order to note the similarities and differences in terms of censored, returned (the website is in the top ten of the both the .com and .cn versions of the search engine) and indexed (the website is in the top ten of the .com version, but not in the top ten of the .cn version, but is not censored). It also compares the results based on whether or not each website is hosted in China or ends in a .cn. This is taken as a measurement of “authorized” content that is unlikely to present information that China would block.

But, is this a worthwhile measurement?

Nine out of the top ten results for a search for 民主 in google.com and google.cn are the same. The only difference is that http://asiademo.org/ which appears as number two in google.com is censored in google.cn and, as a result, http://theory.people.com.cn/GB/49150/49152/5224247.html rounds out the top ten in google.cn.

But despite only having one censored site 7 of the top ten results for 民主 are either hosted in China or end in a .cn domain suffix. This number increases to 80% in google.cn

There is no overlap between yahoo.com and yahoo.cn, drastically different results are returned. Of the top ten results in yahoo.com 4 are censored in yahoo.cn.

All 10 of the results from yahoo.com are hosted outside of China and all 10 of the results from yahoo.cn are hosted inside China.

However, how does the content of the actual results match up? On this I require some help. Qualitatively, what content are users in China missing out on? How relevant are the censored sites?

Results for 民主 from google.com

http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%B0%91%E4%B8%BB
http://asiademo.org/
http://www.mzyfz-news.com.cn/
http://www.usembassy-china.org.cn/infousa/whatdm/GB/homepage.htm
http://www.mj.org.cn/
http://www.dphk.org/
http://www.dem-league.org.cn/
http://www.cndca.org.cn/
http://tag.blog.sohu.com/%C3%F1%D6%F7/
http://www.jfdaily.com.cn/epublish/gb/paper26/

Results for 民主 from google.cn

http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%B0%91%E4%B8%BB
http://www.usembassy-china.org.cn/infousa/whatdm/GB/homepage.htm
http://www.mzyfz-news.com.cn/
http://www.mj.org.cn/
http://www.dphk.org/
http://www.dem-league.org.cn/
http://theory.people.com.cn/GB/49150/49152/5224247.html
http://www.cndca.org.cn/
http://tag.blog.sohu.com/%C3%F1%D6%F7/
http://www.jfdaily.com.cn/epublish/gb/paper26/

Censored in google.cn:

asiademo.org

Results for 民主 from yahoo.com

http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%B0%91%E4%B8%BB
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy
http://www.asiademo.org/
http://www.dnc.org/
http://usinfo.state.gov/mgck/home/topics/democracy_human_rights/democracy.html
http://www.paulgraham.com/web20.html
http://www.dpj.or.jp/
http://home.computer.net/~pyd/clcb11.html
http://www.democracy.gov/dd/mgck_democracy_dialogues.html
http://www.cchere.net/tags/%C3%F1%D6%F7/

Results for 民主 from yahoo.cn

http://www.mzfz.gov.cn/
http://www.studa.net/minzhu/
http://npc.people.com.cn/GB/28320/41246/index.html
http://www.mzyfz.com/
http://www.taimeng.org.cn/
http://www.dem-league.org.cn/index.shtml
http://jb.mzfz.gov.cn/
http://cpc.people.com.cn/GB/104019/104098/6378610.html
http://www.civillaw.com.cn/Article/default.asp?id=35562
http://www.gongfa.com/minzhuzhuanti.htm

Censored in yahoo.cn:

www.dnc.org
usinfo.state.gov
www.asiademo.org
www.cchere.net

Does the hosted in China or ending in .cn measure make sense when the content itself is analyzed?

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