Google Quietly Escalates Manual Search Censorship

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Pool/AFP/Getty

Google has quietly escalated censorship of its market-dominating search engine, adding a range of new topics where human moderators are allowed to manually penalize websites, suppressing them in search results.

If a website is affected by one of these manual acts of censorship, “some or all of that site will not be shown in Google search results,” according to the tech giant.

The list, published in full on Google’s support website, includes the following:

  • Discover policy violation: Adult-themed content
  • News and Discover policy violation: Dangerous content
  • News and Discover policy violation: Harassing content
  • News and Discover policy violation: Hateful content
  • News and Discover policy violation: Manipulated media
  • News and Discover policy violation: Medical content
  • Discover policy violation: Misleading content
  • News and Discover policy violation: Sexually explicit content
  • News and Discover policy violation: Terrorist content
  • News policy violation: Transparency
  • News and Discover policy violation: Violence and gore content
  • News and Discover policy violation: Vulgar language and profanity

Publishers who have been hit with a manual action by Google will be able to appeal the decision by “fixing” whatever issue violated the policy and then submitting their website to Google for a review. Google states that it could take “several days or a week” for the tech giant to reach a final decision, leaving

Once upon a time, Google attempted to conceal its censorship of search. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai insisted, under oath before congress, that the company does not “manually intervene on any particular search result,” a statement that one of Google’s own former employees said was a lie.

Leaks like the “Good Censor” briefing and YouTube’s search blacklists, both published by Breitbart News, attracted viral attention because they revealed manual censorship of search results, in particular political search results, and contrary to Pichai’s statements, occurred regularly at Google.

But as Republicans failed to impose any consequences on Google or other tech companies for their growing political interference and erosion of Americans’ ability to exercise their First Amendment rights online, Google and other tech companies became less concerned about hiding their acts of censorship.

Analysis by Breitbart News also revealed that Google suppressed links to conservative news websites, including Breitbart, on searches for “Biden” and “Joe Biden” ahead of the 2020 election — but this was discovered in part by anaylzing data from Google’s own publisher console, a sign of how relaxed the tech giant has become about its political interference being discovered.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. His new book, #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election, which contains exclusive interviews with sources inside Google, Facebook, and other tech companies, is currently available for purchase.

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