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Google admits to censorship, then does it again

In a previous post, I wrote about Google getting caught resetting viewer numbers on a few videos on it’s Google Video website. Prisonplanet reports that they’ve admitted to it, saying it was an error, but then did it again:

Google Video has re-imposed a crass censorship policy to intentionally stifle the growth of Alex Jones’ Terror Storm documentary and prevent it from reaching tens of millions of people by covertly editing viewer statistics and blocking the film from entering its popular categories.

Last week we highlighted how Google had reset viewing totals for Terror Storm from hundreds of thousands of views on several different video versions back down to zero for each one.

Following a complaint Google admitted that the numbers had been reset by mistake, despite the fact that the error only seemed to apply to Terror Storm, and assured us that the problem would not re-occur.

A brief appraisal of the viewership figures for the multiple different versions of Terror Storm again shows that Google have deliberately reset the viewership stats to prevent the film getting a foothold in the Popular, Featured, or Movers and Shakers categories. It is only when a film enters these prominent categories that it really begins to spread like wildfire and enter a cycle of exponential multiplication.

Figures that were heading towards 500,000 views for different uploads of the film are now back in the low hundreds and tens of thousands. The number of viewer submitted comments remains the same but the viewership numbers have clearly been unfairly doctored.

Indeed it is quite strange that if this was a mistake, that it only affected the “Terror Storm” videos on the website. That cannot be a software error. And then after they said it would not happen again, it happened again. This is most likely deliberate policy, as noted in the article:

From past behavior and clear evidence of statistical manipulation, it is reasonable to conclude that an executive level decision has been made to artificially trim the numbers for Terror Storm and prevent it from becoming an underground blockbuster.

That’s probably the case. If you read my previous article, you’ll see that Google has been consistently targeting similar content for censorship in one way or the other. And like I said before, this will only get worse. They’re going to censor information increasingly in a more open way until it will be very obvious what they’re doing and why.

In a previous post, I detailed why such centralized online services like Google Video and YouTube are not in our best interest. We should be looking at alternative ways of distributing our content, preferably ways where it’s very difficult or impossible for people to censor information or to have centralized control over it.

Pingbacks

  1. Karel Donk » Archive » Google ‘in bed’ with CIA (01/11/2006)
  2. Karel Donk » Archive » Endgame, and other movies you should see ASAP (08/09/2007)

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