Skip Nav
9 Signs of a Man Who Will Never Stop Loving You
This Stunning Photo Shoot Shows Disney Princesses and Grown-Up Queens
Game of Thrones
A "Sexy Jon Snow" Halloween Costume For Women Exists, Because of Course It Does

What's Missing From Your Internet? Google Deletes Content

What's Missing From Your Internet? Google Deletes Content

Google controls 63 percent of the world's Internet searches. It also owns YouTube, where 13 hours of content are uploaded every minute. It's the most influential company on the wild, wild Web, controlling more of what we view and how we view it than anyone else.

With this power come requests to remove content from around the world, but Google is not as interested in censoring as much it is in ensuring its presence worldwide. The one mandate? "Be everywhere, get arrested nowhere, and thrive in as many places as possible."

Flagged YouTube content goes straight to 20-something reviewers in its California office, but requests coming from governments quickly work their way up Google's chain of command. If content violates a country's law or YouTube terms of service, it's immediately removed; however, not all requests are so black and white.

So what's being removed? To find out,


  • Holocaust-denial sites from Google search engines in France and Germany. Why? Denying the Holocaust is illegal in both countries.
  • After protesters outside the Google India office demanded a group be removed from Orkut, a social networking site, Google half complied. It removed content that criticized religion — illegal in India — but left content critical of political parties.
  • In Thailand where it's illegal to criticize the king, videos were removed after government threats to block all Thai IP addresses. While videos attacking the king were removed, those that simply offended the government remained.
  • Think this doesn't happen in the US? Senator Joe Lieberman's requests to remove so-called jihadist videos were initially denied because the content did not violate US law. However the videos were later removed after YouTube edited its guidelines, prohibiting videos that "incite violence.” The angry followup after the initial denial to Google's CEO couldn't have hurt either!

Since most requests come complete with threats to block entire countries, I can't blame Google for wanting to work it out. Even Google agrees that self-censoring is not a long-term solution, but the best option for now. Considering Google is far more permissive of free speech than many strict countries, I can't say I disagree. But with such a conflict of interest, how long can Google be trusted?


Join The Conversation
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 8 years
interesting. i wonder how those mcveggie burgers taste!
Myst Myst 8 years
Google is a multinational company. Whenever company such as Google or say McDonald choose to operate in a new country, there are trade rules and regulations that it must agree to follow before that country agrees to allow that company in there. Like for instant in India, where it's illegal to eat beef, so McDonalds has offer veggie burgers instead.
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
why didn't they ever stop 2 girls one cup? :sick:
krae85 krae85 8 years
fine, yahoo, whatever.
simply-me simply-me 8 years
I'm a little torn on this one. I understand why Google is doing this but the line of what is getting censored or what isn't is blurred, especially depending upon what type of pressure the requester (to censor) puts on Google. I like Jessiebanana's point that if material is being censored, then we should know that certain information is being censored.
Meike Meike 8 years
dogpile uses both google, yahoo, msn, and ask to conduct its searches. You'd essentially be still supporting google, krae. :p
meringue meringue 8 years
and so it begins... I'll have to check out dogpile...
krae85 krae85 8 years
dogpile is better anyway, they donate to animals shelters!
krae85 krae85 8 years
right, Google is promoting the lack of free speech in thailand for personal profit and I think that's wrong.
kelliegonzo kelliegonzo 8 years
wowza. i don't know how my vote falls on this one.
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
Yeah but google.(whatever Thai's ending is) operates there. They get paid by Thai advertisers and operate, I presume, in the language. Just because a company isn't native doesn't mean it can come to a country and do whatever it wants. Let's just say in ABC country child pornography is legal, the company couldn't come here and sell it because it is illegal here. You have to respect the countries that you wish to profit from. If you morally disagree you have the choice not to do business with them.
krae85 krae85 8 years
Google isn't a Thai company so why are they worried about sites that illegally (in that country) criticize Thailand's king? This seems a bit silly. Of course violence should be censored, but criticism? that's like promoting the lack of free speech in that country. I don't think Google has any business playing political games.
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
I wish youtube would work on really looking at Queer vids that get flagged. I won't argue with explicit LWord and QAF HBO fanvids, but most of the video are harmless and very PG. A group shouldn't be allowed to take a video down just because they don't like it. At least not in the US. I don't understand why they even search. I don't waste my time searching for video I don't like or want to see on YouTube. Anyways to get back on subject. I understand where Google is coming from in other countries. In order to operate they have to play by the country's rules. The fact that it might happen here is a bit disturbing, mainly because we don't have laws, if we did have censorship laws then at least we would know what is being censored and why. Without any actual laws for censorship I feel like any censorship on the part of Google could slide easily into corruption in many different arenas, especially the political.
Google CEO's Letter to Little Girl Asking For a Job
Google to Launch Job Search Feature
Game of Thrones Braid Tutorials (Videos)
Peruvian Chef Franco Noriega's Naked Cooking Videos
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds