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Google Censoring sites based on content

So google is consoring certain christian sites because it has determined that they are 'hate organizations'. For example this one here in particular:

http://www.str.org/

(take a look, it's just a standard evangelical christian site)

Google has determined that since this site is against gay marriage, that they are a hate organization.

Google also is censoring sites that promote an anti-abortion viewpoint, again claiming that sites containing anti-abortion content are 'hate sites'.

Interestingly, it is still possible to find the following content on google:

- child pornography
- beastiality
- neo-nazi sites
- antisemitic sites
- radical islamist sites

Google is Evil
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Source? if any?

RocketJeff
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

"To conform with some countries' laws, the leading search engine removes some anti-abortion, pro-Nazi, white supremacy and anti-semitic site listings"

http://news.zdnet.co.uk/internet/0,39020369,2124386,00.htm

Simply the cost of doing business on a global scale.

All deleted content based on regional laws (stupid nazi-crap banned from google.de will continue to show up on google.com)

Google has agreed to report all requests to censor their database to Chillingeffects.org.

Care to spread any more FUD??? Please. Stop. Now.

I have disclosed on this site before that I have not, will not buy/short any google stock.  It just sucks when clueless people fly off the handle and go all "sky is falling" and have a ripple effect even among more intelligent circles.

Please, please people do some very basic research of your own before you form your opinions.

thank you. i will dismount my soapbox now.

PopCulture
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

After re-reading OP, it really just looks like spam for his website and the views he holds. Nobody click that link, its got nothing to do with the topic.

this thread can go away and I think we'd all be a bit  smarter as a result....

PopCulture
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Not only that but a search on google for "stand to reason" comes up with this site as the first hit.

I guess they spam a lot of boards with this lie.  Seems very Christian.

muppet
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Well, I just googled "Stand to reason christian apologetics", and str.com came up #1.  So Google doesn't censor your site, so I guess you're just another nine-commandment Christian who thinks that the one about lying doesn't count when you're doing God's work.

Justin Johnson
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Nice article. 

Though I am an anti-abortion (positive spin: pro-life!) Jesus-loving Christian, I actually agree that Google can list and exclude whatever sites they want, for whatever reason they want.  Even if deemed An Evil Thing by some.  They're a company, not a public service.  It's Germany & France that have a problem.

I apologize for my fellow Christians.  We're all nuts, of course, but some more than others.

Embedded Ed
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I apologize for leaving out the link to the article that it got this information from:

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=39992

Just for the record for all you tin foil hat wearing conspiracy folks:

- It is not my site.
- I never saw or heard of the site before today.
- I don't agree with all the site says. However, it is clear to me it is *not* a neo-nazi site, nor is it a hate site. Censoring the site because it is a 'hate' site, as per google, is bogus. This is censored in the US and has nothing to do with German or other foreign censorship laws, which are none of my business.
- I do not own google stock.
- I do not plan to buy google stock.
- I have no financial or professional interest in google beyond using it to search for things.
- I am not aware of any people I personally know who are buying google stock.

My opinion is that because it is not a hate site but google is labelling it as such because it has certain traditional evangelical views, this indicates that google curently does and intends in the future to censor sites based on their content which google personally does not agree with.

Is google entitled to do as they please? Certainly? Does that mean that my discussing the facts of what they are up to should be censored or deleted? Only if you are a facist.

Google is Evil
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

errr.. I'm in the US, and the site comes right up.  Are you having trouble with reality today?

muppet
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

First, WorldNetDaily is a notoriously *unreliable* source of news.  It's fundamentalist glurge designed to stir up the passions of millenialists and other doomsayers.

Second, Google is not, according to the article, censoring the site; it's not allowing them to advertise through it's adwords advertising service.  Big difference.

Thirdly, it's a private company.  Stand to Reason has a right to espouse its views on the web.  Google has a right not to propogate those views.  That's the essence of freedom of speech.

Justin Johnson
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE

Google has banned a Christian organization's advertisements promoting its stance against homosexuality, saying the group promotes "hate."

They are not accepting their advertisements, not blocking search queries for them.

I am an Evangelical Christian who loves to use the F word when its appropriate.  And this certainly fits the bill. 

As a capitalist (of which all Evangelicals are and as we all know its prescribed in the Bible - don't aske where; Paul said it somewhere) I think Google should be allowed to do whatever the hell it wants when it comes to accepting advertising.

Because if I had a business, I would not want someone dictating terms to me regarding what business I had to accept.  However, since I'm and Evangelical Christian business, the government would dictate terms merely on principal.

hoser
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Well, it would be a clear form of censorship if they removed the church from its listings completely. (Maybe not legally, but defacto.) But I'm sure you can search for the church, and it will appear.

However, it is fairly clear that this church would censor homosexuality in its own information delivery. One would think, as an org which asks for deep respect and trust, it would offer all sides of the story to its followers. Ensure that they provided all the information needed to make an educated decision. But they have no intention to. Therefore they likely engage in censorship beyond Google's own.

Still, if I had an exclusive billboard in a prominent place, and I refused reasonable requests because it crossed my political affiliation, there would be some sort of problem. To my mind, this is a difficult enough issue that I don't yet have an opinion.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

"capitalism is prescribed in the Bible - Paul said it somewhere"

Actually it is Jesus not Paul who advocated capitalism:

"Sell all you have" -- Luke 18:22

"Render under Caesar that which is his" -- Matthew 22:17

Bible Expert
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

>Still, if I had an exclusive billboard in a prominent place, and I refused reasonable requests because it crossed my political affiliation, there would be some sort of problem. To my mind, this is a difficult enough issue that I don't yet have an opinion.<

To my mind, this is such a simple issue that it doesn't require an opinion. If it's my billboard, I decide what goes on it.

Data Miner
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

No you can't. Just try putting pornography on it.

Also, there may be certain messages which cause riots. Imagine in the deep South's slave-owning days putting up pictures of a married multiracial couple.

There are many things you can't do with your property. I'm not saying I like it, but in many countries you are in a situation where the opinions of others really do determine your property rights.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

>"Sell all you have" -- Luke 18:22

nice. ;)

the full verse reads:
"Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me."

capitalist indeed.

josheli
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Frankly google is a company, not a public organisation. They can exclude what they like for all I care. If you dont like it... don't use google

nakedCode
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

I agree, as company Google can have it own policy. Google is not public institution – NOT open for public comments.
If anyone disagree or expect otherwise stop using google...

Yuva
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Good.

I'm glad Google is putting morality above profit, by refusing the revenue from evil hate-mongering sites such as 'Stands to Reason' they are showing their great moral strength.

By continuing to list these sites on their search engine they show their commitment to freedom of speech, and information. Again, good for Google.

Mr Jack
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Some hundred years ago our most devoted religious people often went to America to escape intolerance. I think it sad that they now have turned as intolerant themselves.

Please understand that homosexuality is about love. I find it outrageous that some people wants to tell other people who they should or shouldn't love.

Swedish
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

So to summarise as best I can:
•Google obeys local laws (good)
•Google refuses to accept ads from people it doesn't agree with (fair enough)
• The biblical position on economic theory since the industrial revolution is open to debate. (funny that)

Actually if anyone does want to attempt pushing a "camel through the eye of a needle" I'd like to watch.  Purely for amusement value. 

a cynic writes...
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

>>Some hundred years ago our most devoted religious people often went to America to escape intolerance.

To escape intolerance of their own beliefs - yes.
To impose their own intolerance of other beliefs - yes.

Most of the religious groups that came here wern't tolerant - they believed their's was the one true answer and that everyone around them should follow their teachings exactly.

Look at the Pilgrims and their Plymouth settlement. They were basically kicked out of several countries in Europe for trying to impose their beliefs on others (hence, the countries were intolerant...) and when they sailed on the Mayflower they were very intolerant of the non-true believer craftsmen they took with them (they did not have all the skills necessary to start a colony in their own group).

The myth of 'Our Forfathers came to America for Religious Freedom' is false. They came here so they could practice their own religion - not to let other people practice theirs.

RocketJeff
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

I think you'll find that the religous tolerance bit emerged in the aftermath of the English Civil War(s) in the mid-seventeenth century more as a sort of a cease-fire than anything else. 

Both catholic & calvinist could support tolerance when the alternative was getting duffed up by the (Episcopalian) Church of England. 

a cynic writes...
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The Church of England is catholic.


Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Is that a joke, or are you really that ignorant?

Mr Jack
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

For the sake of peace and harmony (and because I really can't be arsed to argue this) you may replace the words catholic in my previous post with "Roman Catholic"  if you prefer. 

Our American cousins might be surprised to learn that being *Roman* catholic wasn't entirely legal in England until 1829 and even now a member of the Royal family cannot marry a *Roman* Catholic and remain in line for the throne.  So that's me out of the running then.

a cynic writes...
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The Bible has quite a lot to say on Capitalism.  I like this one:

James 4:13-16

    Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit."  Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.  Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that."  But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

Ged Byrne
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

I'm saddened that "Google is Evil" chose that particular phrase. 

Evil does exist, but calling people you disagree with, or even people who really ARE behaving un-ethically Evil, reduces the real meaning of the term.

It also damages your own argument -- and if your argument is proved incorrect -- as I think it was in this thread -- it seems to demonstrate that you are willing to stretch the truth to make your point.  Not something you want to do as a Christian, I hope.

AllanL5
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

I'm pretty extreme on the side of free speech when it comes to censorship. Google can do whatever they like with their content though, it is THEIR SITE and THEIR MONEY that keeps it going.

That being said, I am rabidly anti-anti. I am against anti-anything within so much reason as there would realistically be some sort of organization or movement titled anti-whatever. I'm throwing that in there for you smartasses that will undoubtedly want to know if I am anti-anti-torture or something.

I just think that fundamentally, the right to do surpasses anyone's right to tell anyone else not to do.

I am Jack's paradox
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

[QUOTE]
>"Sell all you have" -- Luke 18:22

nice. ;)

the full verse reads:
"Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me."

capitalist indeed.
[/QUOTE]

Sounds like Reagan's definition of capitalism... sort of.

I am Jack's trickle-down
Wednesday, August 18, 2004


Here's the trick about the eye of the needle: CONTEXT.

Jesus was answering the rich young ruler, who asked "What must I _DO_ to enter the kingdom of heaven."

So Jesus said "if you would be perfect ..."  and the rich young ruler couldn't do it.

Note that I haven't done it either.   

I don't claim to be perfect, nor to want to be perfect. 

Christian Doctrine is not about rules or a law - it's not about things you "do" to go to heaven.  It's about faith and grace - it's about the things Jesus allready _did_ for us.  Things we must simply accept and believe.

Here's a Good lecture on the teaching of the eye of the needle:

http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/index.php?pageid=272

It's much easier for a rich person to be complacent and not want help.  That makes it hard for the savior to reach them. But all things are possible through him that strengthens me.

I really don't think the whole needle analogy is that big a deal.  He fed 5,000 with a loaf of bread.  He raised lazurus from the dead.  He can take me through a needle.

I take it very much in the same spirit as when Jesus would say things like "A doctor comes not for the well, but for the sick ..."  Just like a 12-step program, the first step is to admit that you need help ...

Regards,

www.xndev.com (Matt H.)
Wednesday, August 18, 2004


I gotta re-think something I wrote above - that I "Never claimed to want to be perfect."

Why not?  I gotta re-think that.  Something about that comment was ... off.  hmm.

www.xndev.com (Matt H.)
Wednesday, August 18, 2004


I'm a Christian and I'd be offended if they were REQUIRED to run any particular ad.


In a free society, a company should be able to decide who they transact business with by any standard they deem relevant.  If an organization only deals with Christians (or Jews or Muslims or Hindus) or won't deal with those group, they should have that right.

"Freedom of association" is also the right of "disassociation."

KC
Wednesday, August 18, 2004


Oh, and if the services paid for were not performed, there should be a full refund.

KC
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

I would have thought the parable of the talents was the most explicit approval to capitalist activity given by Jesus.

Can't think of anything from Paul, though.

Ged Byrne
Thursday, August 19, 2004

Is it just me or is arguing over which industrial economic theory would be approved of by a resident (whatever his status as creator of the universe) of a particular iron age theocratic client state of a slave holding empire, roughly 2000 years after his death  just *might* be stretching things? 

Just me then?...ok I'll shut up.

a cynic writes...
Thursday, August 19, 2004

No, it's not just you.

Tom_
Thursday, August 19, 2004

+++whatever his status as creator of the universe+++

regardless of your opinion, this is an assinine thing to say.  Clearly if one believes that He IS in fact the creator of the universe, then what he had to say about just about ANYTHING is of particular interest, I would think.

muppet
Thursday, August 19, 2004

Why? Surely you've known programmers so bad they don't understand their own code? Judging by the universe I'd say anyone who made it was a sadistic and incompetent bastard.

Mr Jack
Friday, August 20, 2004

The "eye of the needle" probably referred to the narrow arches and passageways you got in crowded city streets. It would be possible for a camel to pass through, but it would certainly have to unload most of its excess baggage.

The question of Google being a private company, and not an institution is not as simple as it seems. When a private company gains quasi-monopoly position, then it must follow different rules. This is something that American law clearly recognizes.

Stephen Jones
Friday, August 20, 2004

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