Google has revealed in a blog post, that it has received more than 1000 censorship requests from governments to remove content from its search index and YouTube in the last six months. The list of removed items has been complied in its Global Transparency report. Also Read - Google stops botnet that used blockchain and impacted 1 million Windows devices
The search engine giant claims to have received 461 court orders for the removal of 6,989 items and has ended up complying to 68 percent of the orders. It has also received 546 informal requests, complying with 46 percent of those requests. Also Read - Google Stadia comes to LG Smart TVs: How to play games online
Disturbing as this is, the study does to take into account China and Iran, as both these countries remove or block content without Google’s knowledge. Also Read - Common marketing gimmicks that brands should avoid to exploit consumers
The problem is not that Google is not willing to remove offensive material, but governments have started demanding the search engine to remove content that they deem to offensive, while in actuality the content is critical of the governments.
For instance, Google notes the Polish demanded removal of an article that was critical of a developmental agency and there was a Spanish request for removal of 270 blogs and links to articles critical of the public figures.
YouTube was also not spared from this censorship and claimed that the Thai authorities has asked for the removal of 149 YouTube videos that allegedly insulted the monarchy, a violation of Thailand law.