back to article Google turns off Chinese censorship alert service

Google has ditched a much talked-about anti-censorship service in China just six months after launch, in what could be viewed as the web giant making key concessions over the protection of online freedoms. The Chocolate Factory announced the feature in a blog post at the end of May last year. Under the subtext of “improving …


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  1. Khaptain Silver badge

    Baidu for the expats

    Since Google is heavily restricted what do the expats use when in China? I tried Baidu this morning but it does not appear to have any non Chinese languages available.

    Can the Chinese use proxies to bypass the Great Firewall?

    1. LarsG

      Google will tow the line, it is after all one of the biggest markets in the world and Google is after all, ALL about money.

  2. solidsoup

    Wrong feature

    Google should have turned off a similar feature where it replaces your keywords with ones it likes.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Be evil.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      A giant corporation choosing that it doesn't need to follow local laws is the less evil option then? It is not evil for a company to follow the law.

      1. Silverburn

        It is not evil for a company to follow the law.

        But it's more evil to censor your citizens through those laws, surely?

      2. badmonkey


        It's just a pity that the Nazis were so far ahead of their time, I'm sure Google and its assembled mass of its users data would have been of great help to the lawful government in tracking down them dirty untermensch and packing them off to the gas chambers, per proper law and regulations.


    2. Adam 1

      Don't, be evil

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They can't lobby their way out of this one. I'm sure North Korea won't co-operate easily either.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Actually, you have a point here. Correlation is not causation, but the timing *is* interesting..

  5. JDX Gold badge

    A feature to warn users their searches might trigger censorship or other bad stuff is good. A feature which explicitly helps users re-word their searches in a special language to avoid detection is definitely outside Google's remit in my opinion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And that just gives the censor a useful oracle: take the list of bad words, pour it into Google, and add all of its suggestions to the banned list. Not that they need this: the "Great Wall" shows a degree of expertise & effort quite able to catch such light attempts at evasion. So probably all it does is show which users are "mostly harmless" (trying to peep over the fence but not very good at it) and so not demanding immediate "help" with "public morality education"

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This seems to have happened around the same time that Google started to censor its image search for US users. But nary a word on that in the mainstream it seems...

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      You haven't just turned on "Safe Search" accidentally, or had someone do it on your PC?

  7. Frank 2

    "embedding the censorship alert function in the HTML of its home page"

    Can anyone explain how they did this?

    1. Ben Holmes

      Re: "embedding the censorship alert function in the HTML of its home page"

      Cut 'n paste, probably.

    2. Adam 1

      Re: "embedding the censorship alert function in the HTML of its home page"

      OnSubmit="DoCheckForNaughtyWords()" ???

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