censorship Stories July 10, 2015

Google fined $16k in Brazil over ‘morbid images’

Google and Facebook have each been slapped with a R$50,000 fine ($16k USD) in Brazil for not removing or blocking morbid images. The move comes after pictures of a Brazilian musician in a mortuary made their way online. Christian Araujo, the artist in question, died alongside his girlfriend in a car crash last month.

The Guardian reports that Judge Denise Gondim de Mendonca declared both companies had acted in “bad faith” after ignoring an earlier ruling. In response to today’s news, Google had the following statement prepared:

The Marco Cilvil of the Internet (local law which regulates removals) requires that any court order for content removal specify the URLs to be removed. In parallel, we have already taken down many of the videos which have been flagged by users due to YouTube’s policies regarding offensive content.

Facebook is yet to comment officially on the ruling, but Google has stated that it will be appealing the decision. In an age where it’s so easy to share any kinds of images online, it brings in to question how much of this can be blamed on Google and how much is down to those who took the photographs or shot the videos to begin with.

Not to be too crude or disrespectful, but I couldn’t think of much worse than someone pulling out their smartphone to snap a picture of my dead body lying in a morgue. The fact the picture is posted online afterwards is more of a side effect, surely?

That’s not to downgrade the severity of the companies supposedly not taking action. As huge corporations, they too have a responsibility to ensure these kinds of images aren’t seen by anyone. It certainly brings in to question where the line should be drawn.

censorship Stories March 27, 2014

Following the block of Twitter in Turkey by the nation’s prime minister earlier this month, Turkey’s telecommunications authority is now taking steps to block YouTube in the nation, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The move came just hours after a leaked recording published on YouTube purporting to show a conversation where Turkey’s foreign minister, spy chief and a top general appear to discuss scenarios which could lead to a Turkish attack against Jihadist militants in Syria.

This comes just days after Turkey requested that Google remove videos from YouTube that criticize the Turkish government. Google responded by refusing to accommodate the government of Turkey’s request.

Yesterday, a Turkish court ruled that the ban against Twitter should be lifted within 30 days while many users were already using DNS workarounds to access the service. expand full story

censorship Stories March 13, 2014

The Washington Post reports that Google has begun automatically encrypting web searches carried out in China to defeat government monitoring and censorship, and plans to continue rolling out the program globally to prevent monitoring by the NSA.

China’s Great Firewall, as its censorship system is known, has long intercepted searches for information it deemed politically sensitive. Google’s growing use of encryption there means that government monitors are unable to detect when users search for sensitive terms, such as “Dalai Lama” or “Tiananmen Square,” because the encryption makes them appear as indecipherable strings of numbers and letters …  expand full story

Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

censorship Stories December 16, 2011

Google’s Eric Schmidt gives exclusive look at NYC offices

Google’s Eric Schmidt was recently featured in an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett giving a rare behind-the-scenes look at Google’s second largest World offices in downtown Manhattan. While giving a tour and an exclusive interview, Schmidt explained that one of Google’s strengths is their “lack of direction.” Schmidt also described the building that holds about […]

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