Google Caught Censoring Charlie Sheen 9/11 Story
Update: Google has today started carrying Prison Planet.com as a news affiliate. Was their apparant censorship just a spidering error and are they are trying to make up for it? No one promotes Google more than us as they are clearly the best search engine company but their actions still call for us to be watchdogs.
Google is again embroiled in a censorship scandal after being caught blocking information about Charlie Sheen's 9/11 comments, despite the fact that every other major search engine had indexed the pages.
For days, major search engines like Yahoo and others contained tens of thousands of web pages relating to Sheen's comments first broadcast on the Alex Jones Show on Monday afternoon. Last night CNN aired a piece on the issue and by early this morning both the New York Post and the Boston Herald ran articles.
We first noticed that there were no search results related to the story on Google the day after we broke the Sheen story. At first we decided to be fair and wait another day for Google to index an article which was by now linked on thousands of other websites and blogs. By Thursday afternoon, and with the story receiving more traffic, Google still had not indexed any material relating to the Sheen interview, from Prison Planet.com or any other websites. This despite the fact that the Drudge Report had briefly directly linked to our article, sending it millions of visitors.
During a live radio discussion of this issue between Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson on Alex Jones' broadcast Thursday afternoon, Google, as if they had people listening to the show, immediately re-indexed the pages and a search for 'Charlie Sheen 9/11' now returns 111,000 results at time of writing.
Pictured below are screenshots we managed to cache shortly before Google re-indexed the pages with the search terms 'Charlie Sheen 9/11' and the entire headline "Actor Charlie Sheen Questions Official 9/11 Story". As you can see, the Boston Herald story is linked from Google News (Google do not censor their affiliates) but the main search engine below returned no results. To stress again, this is three days after we broke this massive story. The usual index time for a story of this size is 12-24 hours and at the same time that Google returned no results whatsoever, tens of thousands were being carried by other major search engines like Yahoo.
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To make it crystal clear, Google's web spidering process is automated and we have received high Google rankings in the past for nothing stories that get little traffic. The Sheen story was linked everywhere and to eliminate it from Google's search results would have required technicians to physically access the spidering control panel and exclude an enormous amount of varied search terms.
Google has a history of censoring websites it dislikes within the US. Google Inc. banned and removed a mainstream news website from all its worldwide search engines, seemingly due to the website's reports on China's geopolitical affairs and military technology.
Google has banned its users inside the US and the rest of the world from accessing the Space War website from its search engine. Space War speculated at the time that this was at the behest of the "boys from Beijing."
Space War is a reasonably tame mainstream website that focuses on geopolitical affairs and satellite and military technology advancements. It is based in Australia and carries articles from AFP and United Press International.
After a complaints campaign supported by this website, Google agreed to re-index the website.
Did our defense of Space War cause Google to impose a blackballing campaign on our major articles or is this just a response to the sheer magnitude and influence of the Charlie Sheen story?
To emphasize, Google is now carrying search results related to Charlie Sheen's 9/11 comments, but only after it was exposed live on nationally syndicated radio that they had stonewalled this issue for three clear days even as it raged around the rest of the Internet as a viral story and broke into the mainstream yesterday and early this morning.
The floodgates on the Sheen story have opened, with CNN airing a balanced piece on the controversy. Meanwhile mainstream publications like Human Events, the New York Post, CBS and the Boston Herald used Sheen's comments to attack him and demonize anybody who questions the official line on 9/11. A round-up article of today's reaction to Charlie Sheen's comments will follow later tonight.
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