A Look at Google Censorship

Philipp Lenssen of Google Blogoscoped has compiled the answers to several questions on Google's censorship activities. He's listed several reasons why Google may have removed results for reasons of politics or regulations, either to comply with local authorities or to enforce copyright laws. He also outlines how Google's policies are viewed by local users, the search industry, and others.

In deciding whether the practice is "evil," according to Google's "don't be evil" motto, Lenssen points to two schools of thought:

  1. Censoring may not be great but it's the lesser of two evils
  2. Censoring is evil so needs to be avoided at all circumstances

In either case, Lenssen argues that censorship matters: "Ideas have effects on lives, and removing access to the ideas (for you can't ever remove an idea itself), does have a very real effect on us."

About the author

Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.

Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.

With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.