Google As Censorship Repeat Offender : The Kashmir Hill Story

That Google is a censorship repeat offender surprises no one. Censorship is part and parcel of its toadyism to governments and its delusional war against “dangerous” ideas.

Kashmir Hill‘s story of Google censorship put a personal spin on censorship too massive to adequately appreciate.

Reporter: Google successfully pressured me to take down critical story by Timothy B. Lee.

From the post:

The recent furor over a Google-funded think tank firing an anti-Google scholar has inspired Gizmodo journalist Kashmir Hill to tell a story about the time Google used its power to squash a story that was embarrassing to the company.

The incident occurred in 2011. Hill was a cub reporter at Forbes, where she covered technology and privacy. At the time, Google was actively promoting Google Plus and was sending representatives to media organizations to encourage them to add “+1” buttons to their sites. Hill was pulled into one of these meetings, where the Google representative suggested that Forbes would be penalized in Google search results if it didn’t add +1 buttons to the site.

Hill thought that seemed like a big story, so she contacted Google’s PR shop for confirmation. Google essentially confirmed the story, and so Hill ran with it under the headline: “Stick Google Plus Buttons On Your Pages, Or Your Search Traffic Suffers.”

Hill described what happened next:

No government, practitioners of censorship themselves, will punish Google for this and its continuing acts of censorship.

Some things you can do:

  • Follow and support Kashmir Hill, who is likely to catch a lot of shit over this report.
  • Follow and support Ars Technica, anyone for boosting their search results?
  • Vote with your feet for other search services.
  • Place ads with other search services.
  • Hackers, well, do what you do best.

And to those who respond: “Well, that’s just good business.”

For some sense of “good business,” sure. But users are also free to make their own choices about “good business.”

If Google ad revenue takes a measurable hit between now and December 31, 2017, user choices may be heard.

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