Sunday, November 07, 2004

Google Censors Photos of Abu Ghraib

SLASHDOT - I'm guessing that this is another case of our administration confusing "National Security" with "Politically Undesirable."

MERKIN OF BAPHOMET, ANDANTECH - I was discussing Abu Ghraib with a friend this weekend. She mentioned that, in one of the photos, the word "rapist" was written on the backside of a prisoner. The thing is, it was misspelled r-a-p-e-i-s-t. She seemed to think it was pretty sad and one of those "icing on the cake" moments.

Having never noticed the spelling, I went to Google Images to search for it. "Abu Ghraib" brought up only photos of the outside of the prison. Not a single photo from the scandal. Next I searched for "Lynndie England", not a single picture. Next I decided to look for "Charles Graner" her boyfriend who was also prominently features in the pictures, nothing.

I tried many different spellings for each name, used quotes, didn't use quotes and checked to make sure SafeSearch was not enabled.

Needless to say, I was a little confused. Less than two weeks earlier, I had searched Google Images for Abu Ghraib photos with great success. Where did the Agu Ghraib photos go?

I have heard that Google cooperates with a few countries to filter search results, blocking some content in France and Germany. Is this happening in the US also? If so to what extent? I know some websites are permanently de-linked, but I thought they were primarily concerned with drug trade, terrorists, improvised weapons and illegal pornography pages. Am I being naive?

Isn't Google Images a bot? Wouldn't the pictures have to be removed by an actual flesh and blood person? I know Google Images often misses pictures, but there are none!

GOOGLE IMAGES

SEARCHING FOR LYNDIE ENGLAND

Your search - Lyndie England - did not match any documents.

[Tried this Sunday morning - the facts in the above posting were correct.]

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