Google is the main search engine in the world. It is so important that many consider it the gateway to the internet. Unfortunately, Google uses its dominant position to determine what we (and its employees) can see, say, do or publish.
Before going into detail, we need to understand that Google is not always acting on its own. Sometimes it’s just another puppet on the strings of a more powerful group that we call government.
10 Forces sites to edit or delete their content
Google AdSense is the largest ad network on the Internet. It is also one of the most censored. Google forces partner sites to censor their content to their liking. By censor, we mean that it forces you to edit or delete anything you don’t like.
Website owners have only one option and must comply, if they still want to remain on the AdSense network.
Google says it only instructs site owners to remove content that is not “family-oriented”. However, website owners have stressed that the meaning of “familiar” is at Google’s discretion.
Site owners only receive emails asking them to remove ads for certain content for violating Google’s “Terms and Conditions”. It is the best that a website owner will receive from Google. Requests for more information always hit a brick wall.
You should remember that Listverse recently published a list of articles that Google forced it to delete in the same way as described here. You can discover (and read) the lists that Google wanted us to remove here: Top 10 lists of lists that Google doesn’t want you to see.
9 Almost created a censored search engine for China
Google was an important force in the Chinese search engine market until it left the country in 2010. Google said it left because it was unable to deal with China’s censorship laws. It seems, however, that Google changed its mind a few years later.
In 2017, The Intercept revealed that Google was planning to return to China and was willing to obey the Chinese government this time. He was developing a search engine that censored results on democracy, human rights, religion and protests. Google called the search engine Dragonfly.
Google only canceled the project after a series of protests. It seems, however, that we have not yet heard the latter. While attending the US Senate, Karan Bhatia, vice president of public policy at Google, said he could not confirm that Google will not build another censored search engine for China.
8 He censors search results and YouTube videos for politicians and billionaires
Many governments, including those in the free world, generally direct Google to censor certain content on blogger, search and YouTube. Governments (and political parties and billionaires) ask Google to remove the content for several reasons. Defamation, privacy, hate speech, national security and copyright infringement are some of the well-founded reasons we know. Winning elections and influencing public opinion on political issues is another (which is definitely not well-founded).
There are many illogical reasons for a government to ask Google to remove something from the Internet. Governments can (and do) ask Google to remove anything they find offensive. You don’t have to break any laws. The government just needs to hate it.
Argentina had Google remove content that exposed a government official for sexual harassment. Brazil made Google remove blog posts and search results that criticized judges and exposed fraud.
Germany asked Google to exclude a review of Google Maps involving two government officials who worked with the child protection service. The officials allegedly sexually abused two children. However, the district administration transferred one of the affected officials in the region, instead of sending them to court.
There is much more and that is just a tip of the iceberg. Google says it doesn’t always respond to these requests, but we don’t know how true that is.
7 TGIF weekly meetings closed
In 2019, Google CEO Sundar Pichai canceled the weekly Thanks to God meetings on Friday (TGIF). In the future, the meeting will be held once a month and discussions will be restricted to Google’s business.
The weekly TGIF meeting was a Google tradition that dates back to 1999. Google was a small company at the time and the meetings were what you expect from a close-knit community.
The meetings were tense with the rise of Google. Discussions generally revolved around workplace issues. Employees complained about Google’s censorship, its close relationship with the U.S. government, sexual harassment and so on.
The meetings put pressure on the relationship between employees and management. Even Page and Brin stopped coming because they just couldn’t handle it. The meeting memos were also leaked to the press, which was embarrassing for Google.
6 Prevented the Swedish government from adding a word to its language
In 2012, the Swedish Language Council added a new word to the Swedish language. That word was “ogooglebar”, described as “[Something] you can’t find it on the web using a search engine. ”
Google took an interest in the word and asked the board to replace “a search engine” with “Google”. The council refused, saying the Swedes were already using it for anything they couldn’t find using any search engine. Google, however, insisted that it wanted the word to refer to anything that isn’t on Google.
The council refused and removed the word from its official list of Swedish words. A spokeswoman said the word was still Swedish, even if it was not official. Google may prevent the council from using the word, but it cannot prevent ordinary Swedes from using it in their daily conversations.
5 He removed hundreds of Donald Trump ads for no reason
In 2019, YouTube withdrew more than 300 Trump re-election ads for no reason. In fact, he said he withdrew the ads for violating “company policy”.
YouTube declined to provide more information about how the ads violated “company policy” or what company policy was. However, he denied removing the ads for political reasons. Its CEO, Susan Wojcicki, said the ads were not approved. This is true even though the ads have been running for a few days.
4 Punished officials for protesting sexual harassment
In November 2018, 20,000 employees and contractors left Google’s offices in 50 cities worldwide. They were protesting a number of problems, including workers’ rights, sexual harassment and the poor treatment of Google’s contractors.
The protest was a success. Google made some changes to appease the protesters and praised Claire Stapleton and six others for their role in the protest. That was just on the surface. Underground, he declared war on Stapleton and other protest leaders.
Stapleton left Google the following year. She said her career took a downward turn after the protest. Her supervisors avoided and put her under so much stress that she just had to resign.
They threatened to fire her and only turned back after she involved her lawyers. However, they became more hostile to her, gave other people the job and advised her to leave on sick leave.
3 Blacklisted, harmless instant search results
Until a few years ago, Google had an instant search feature where it showed search results in real time when you entered your search term in the search bar. Users soon noticed that the feature stopped working when they typed certain words. They later found that the feature was disabled because Google had censored those words.
While many of the words were vulgar, some were innocuous, with no sexual tone. This includes words like Latina, ectasia, amateur, kick the ball, asian babe, fantasies, fetal, girl with incest, licked, lovers, mature, submissive, teen and Google is bad.
A spokesman said the search giant had a problem with its algorithm. The algorithm censored a word if previous users used it as part of a sexual term. However, this has affected researchers looking for non-sexual results. The spokesman said Google was working to remove harmless words from its list of censored words.
2 Prohibited employees from discussing politics at work
Google has mailing lists and forums where employees debate, share information or just discuss random topics of interest. Everyone could discuss anything on the forums and mailing lists until 2019, when executives banned political discussions.
Executives also prohibit employees from making statements that “insulted, humiliated or humiliated” other employees or business partners of the company. The meaning of “business partner” is vague. However, judging by recent Google antics (including the resignation of two conservative programmers), your guess is as good as mine.
1 1 He blacklisted an entire subdomain
Google censors any site that it suspects to send spam to its users. However, he once took things to an extreme when he blocked all sites on the .co.cc subdomain.
The subdomain had more than 11 million sites, making it one of the largest domains in the world. It belonged to a South Korean company that allowed users to create free sites and up to 15,000 sites for just $ 1,000.
Google said it blocked the subdomain for hosting many spam sites. While this seems reasonable, it does not alter the fact that Google has taken things too far. This subdomain contained many legitimate websites.