Search Monitor in the Press



China’s Overeager American Censors – Forbes

Practically every U.S.-owned search engine has caved to the Chinese government’s demands that they censor political Web sites in China. But none of them seem to agree on just what sites need censoring.

Google, at times, blocks Chinese users’ access to the BBC while Yahoo! permits it. Yahoo! sometimes filters out Voice of America–Google doesn’t. And Microsoft removes entries from the Chinese version of Wikipedia from its results while every other search engine includes them–even the dominant Chinese search engine Baidu.com.

Confused?

Search Engines’ Chinese Self-CensorshipTechnology Review and ABC

A report released last week by the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto found that different search engines are blocking fairly different content. “The low overlap means that companies are choosing the exact content to censor or, alternatively, to not censor,” says Nart Villeneuve, a senior research fellow at the Citizen Lab and the author of the report. “That doesn’t mean that they’re not getting guidance from the Chinese government in other ways,” he notes. But Villeneuve says that if search engines are interpreting Chinese policies to decide what to censor, that introduces the possibility that they may block more content than is strictly necessary.

Read more about the Search Monitor Project here and here.

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