Google has reported an alarming trend in censorship: a lot of takedown requests submitted to the internet giant come from democracies, not authoritarian governments. So much so that US agencies asked Google to remove 6,192 items from its search engine.
The requests (in the US at least) largely stem from police departments requesting blogs or youtube videos to be taken down because of harassment and defamation. These requests have increased by 103% in the past six months. Google has complied with only 42% of the requests. And the US leads the world in censorship requests.
Dorothy Chou, Senior Policy Analyst at Google, said the trend is troubling. "Just like every other time before, we've been asked to take down political speech," she wrote in a statement. "We noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it's not."
The study, however, doesn't reflect censorship in China and Iran, both of which actively block content without notifying Google.
This interesting. It's also notable that the numbers of requests are far less important than why the requests were made. U Tube and Facebook are both under fire for being the avenues of choice for bullies. I totally agree that they should be allowed to act in this manner and their bullying videos and such should be taken down and I don't care what "free speech" nonsense you want to quote, there is no constitutional guarantee to free speech to defame another publicly. In fact there is supreme court precedent that says this kind of speech is allowed to be censored. I don't disagree with these kinds of requests where there is a clear criminal intent. I disagree with political censorship however when it comes to people having their say about our terrible corrupt both parties that rule this country. We can't threaten anyone and we can't ask others to hurt them so why should bullies be allowed to threaten and intimidate other just because they're physically stronger?
The first amendment states that all people have a right to not only free speech, but also freedom of expression. This includes bully videos, burning flags, burning Qurans, spouting hatred for religion(s), making jokes that not everyone finds funny, etc etc. Double standards do not work.
"Defamation" is a civil matter. The fact that these countries are targeting political speech shows governments can not be trusted to do this. If someone is being harassed over the internet they should file a civil injunction, including an order to the site to hand over the person's identity if the person is anonymous and then take them to court and sue them.
I was speaking directly to the type of bullying that goes on social networks all the time and the efforts of parents and society to get it stopped. I thought I made it clear that I don't support government censorship of information. I hardly believe that shutting down bullies constitutes censorship of information.
I agree. I wish they would. But ir0nw0lfe is right. It's not news anymore, it's 24hr political commentary. If you censor Fox, you'd have to censor CNN, MSNBC, Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Southpark, and even eventually once the snowball had rolled enough, Simpsons and Family Guy. Double standards do not work.