What Google censors

Summary:Worth reading: News.com digs into what Google censors on its Google.

Worth reading: News.com digs into what Google censors on its Google.cn site. Censorship is clearly not an exact science on the Internet--the Chinese government probably has dozens of people probing Google's search engine and sending along URLs for Google to block. Not even China can tame the Internet within its domain, which is a strong indication of how censoring the Internet will work the long term--it won't.

To test the effectiveness of search censorship in China, CNET News.com wrote a computer program to check 4,600 Internet host names compiled by the Open Net Initiative for use in earlier tests of Chinese filtering. Web sites that were indexed by Google.com and MSN.com but not their Chinese counterparts were identified. Only a subset was tested against Yahoo because its Chinese Web site was frequently nonresponsive, and the program tested only host names, not individual Web pages.

The results showed that Google blocked the most sites, filtering out about 13 percent of the host names tested compared with MSN's 10 percent. But while both MSN and Google deleted pornography and political sites from search listings, Google also singled out more humor sites and more sites related to homosexuality--and it was the only search engine to block information related to alcohol, dating and marijuana.

Also Rebecca MacKinnon's post on the 'eunuch' Google and how best Google can comport itself in China under the current rules. For example, she suggests that Google make its block list public as well the specific government regulations and procedures applied to the site.

Topics: Google

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.