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Google afraid of Islamic-based terrorism?

I noticed this somewhat humorous, somewhat depressing post over at The Jawa Report. I think most of us are aware that, when using a modern browser, Google will give you the most common searches that start with the same letters of what you've typed so far. However, some people have noticed some peculiar behavior depending on your search terms. What happens if you start your search with "Christianity is"?

google_christianity.jpg
Now it is very important to understand that this isn't what Google thinks about Christianity. This is simply a list of the most common searchers that start with "Christianity is". This holds true for almost every religion. You can try "Judaism is" or "Hinduism is" and get a very similar list of results. But it gets interesting when you try "Islam is".
google_islam_is.jpg

It would seem Google is preventing the list of common searches from being displayed. One can only assume it is because they are afraid of repercussions from the text "Islam is bullshit" appearing below the Google icon.

FOXNews has picked up the story here. Now, in the past, Google has filtered out suggested searchers for somewhat obvious reasons.

The company also explains that "We try to filter out suggestions that include pornographic terms, dirty words, and hate and violence terms. If you encounter a term that should not be suggested, please let us know by posting in the Google Web Search Help Forum."
But this is different from filtering--the entire list has been suppressed. Is every popular search so offensive that all must be filtered? I sincerely doubt that. For now you can go to Google and test it yourself. But now that the news is out the behavior will likely change soon.
A Google spokesman explained that the weird absence of results is just a software problem: "This is in fact a bug and we're working to fix it as quickly as we can." But the company would not respond to requests for clarification.
I hardly think this is a credible explanation but I doubt we are going to more out of them at this point.

I'll also note that whoever was responsible wasn't very thorough. While "islam is" is censored, "Mohammad is" is not. So I can't say I understand the reasoning in the first place.


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Comments (17)

Does anybody really believe... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Does anybody really believe the spokesman from "Bend to Evil"?

There's a good solution to Google's anti American, anti freedom, anti Christian crap: Bing. It;s my default search simply because I want to be able to search for words like freedom and liberty no matter where I live.

Atheism gets a rave review ... (Below threshold)
bg:

Atheism gets a rave review on google compared to Christianity too.

"So I can't say I understan... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"So I can't say I understand the reasoning in the first place."

Because they don't want their corporate offices blown up by "THE Religion of Peace".

After reading this, I just ... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

After reading this, I just switched to bing.

Screw those google assholes in california and their quest to dominate the world.

HiSee my videos on... (Below threshold)

Hi

See my videos on youtube, it can't be a glitch because there are far too many results for the most popular terms like "is wrong" or "is not a religion".

"Islam is not a religion" gets 50 million hits but "Christianity is not a religion" gets only 28 million.

User: WillSKB88

It's not a sw glitch, they ... (Below threshold)
SillyPuddy:

It's not a sw glitch, they just want the story to go away.

Bucksnort, the Google guys ... (Below threshold)
glenn:

Bucksnort, the Google guys are scared of getting their throats cut, just like everybody who softpedals criticism of racist, sexist, fundamentalists in the Muslim world.

Yes, but caving in to bulli... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yes, but caving in to bullies just encourages them to bully you more. So Google, having shown that they will not stand up to the PRC and other thug regimes is clearly the push over. They will do whatever the thugs want, be they dictators or terrorists. Google is interested only in money and they will sacrifice the whole world's freedom and safety to get more.

Google figures that evil people are the one's with guns etc. They don't realize that evil comes from a the pacifist who is willing to surrender the lives of others to protect his own hide. That is exactly what Google does.

Maybe if You Google "terror... (Below threshold)
914:

Maybe if You Google "terrorism", "islam is", Will pop up front and center? Somehow I doubt it though.

www.bing.com... (Below threshold)
Yogurt:

www.bing.com

They will do whate... (Below threshold)
They will do whatever the thugs want, be they dictators or terrorists. Google is interested only in money and they will sacrifice the whole world's freedom and safety to get more.

Agreed Jim, but, if money is the motivating issue, it might be smart for google to also block their common searches for "Christianity is"

Here would be my argument to the folks that run google: If an American company wishes to continue their success and prosperity, AND with the knowledge that even today a strong majority of this nation's citizens are self-described Christians, wouldn't it be financially prudent to either unblock the common searches for "Islam is" OR block the common searches for "Christianity is" since the bulk of your company's prosperity originated from the very party you are currently insulting???

I no longer use GOOOOgle. ... (Below threshold)
poptoy:

I no longer use GOOOOgle. Maybe we should akk stop using Google.

I tried "Islamic," and got ... (Below threshold)
James H:

I tried "Islamic," and got a mix of stuff including "Islamic Terrorist Name Generator."

The real false relgions are... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

The real false relgions are the false new age religion of the enviromentalists wackos who worship GAIA

BING! BING! We have a winn... (Below threshold)
twolaneflash:

BING! BING! We have a winner!

What a bullshit answer from... (Below threshold)
Dimitri:

What a bullshit answer from google to say it's a bug, they are scared to post results, just type in "Islam is" in their keyword suggest tool and you'll see what kind of results they are filtering.

Google's auto suggestion. I... (Below threshold)

Google's auto suggestion. Is this a case of selective censorship or a bug in the software program? http://bit.ly/7BlL0h




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