Monday, June 18, 2012

Which country leads the world in censorship?

That's a hard question to answer without specific data. As James likes to say, "always question your principles and be able to give good reasons for why you believe what you believe." There is one objective criteria we can use: the number of content removal requests to Google by a country. For the last 6 months, guess which country has the most requests? As you might suspect, citizens of this country will most likely not get the right answer.

Here is the answer:
The data, which was released Monday, shows that American authorities requested over 3,800 items via court order. That's more than twice as many as the next country, Germany. Google says it complied with 40 percent of the American requests. In addition, over 2,300 items were requested from law enforcement or other means that did not involve a court order.
It's funny some of the stuff governments censor. I'd say just go google it to get some good examples, but in this case, I guess, that won't work.

Note that there are some countries, such as Iran and China, which do their own censorship, so Google has no requests from them.


james said...

Gonna go with North Korea. They don't provide an internet to censor.

I wish this article provided some context about the nature of the removal requests. According to Google, it looks like a lot of them are related to accusations of defamation and harassment.

Big Myk said...

I also question the true significance of these numbers. Requests to remove content is not the same thing as shutting down Google for failing to remove or throwing people in jail.

James R said...

Yes, the post was mostly for humorous purposes only. It would be nice if we could see the nature of the removal requests. And the U.S. has twice as many requests for four times the population as Germany. That is not mentioned.

If there is a semi-serious side here, it's the notion, which I remember big Pete explaining, that citizens in a country have a skewed sense of their own nation's activities.