Google Follows China Porn Removal Request

Jun 24, 2009

Google China logoAs reported last week, China told Google that they didn’t want their pornography. Google filters for pornography on their Chinese site weren’t living up to the standard of the China’s main watchdog, the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center, so they were asked to make improvements. In one of the few (maybe the only?) places where Google does not dominate the search landscape it was wondered if they would move quickly to meet the demands or just continue to “work on it.”

They worked on it and apparently have removed at least some of the issues that were of concern to the Chinese Internet overseer. According to PC Advisor

…… the search engine has put in place further measures to calm the Chinese government. This includes developing an automated system to remove pornographic links from search results, said Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president of search and the user experience.

So is all well along the Great Wall of the Internet? Since China is not exactly the poster child for free flowing speech and information its not likely. While making some changes to the Chinese home page

“Google has been working to remove pornography from our search results in China, in accordance with our operating license there,” Google said.

“This has been a major engineering effort, and we believe we have addressed many of the problems identified by the government.”

Google has not made any changes to the Gogle.com home page in China, however, so if there is someone who wants their porn bad enough Google will oblige. China, however, will continue its battle against the flesh with the censoring software, the Green Dam Youth Escort. This software will be installed on every computer sold in China starting in July. The software blocks pornographic and, oh would you look at this, politically sensitive material from getting to the masses.

One wonders which is more threatening to the Chinese government; pornography or political speech. If they had their choice, I suspect both would be eradicated but for how long?

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