By Mark Frauenfelder at 1:53 pm Thu, Jan 27, 2011
Google won't autocomplete searches for "bittorrent," but if you are interesting in learning how to kidnap someone, make meth, build a bomb, cheat on your taxes, or shoplift, they will happily autocomplete your search for you.
Google Censoring Torrent Search Suggestions: 7 Terrible Things They Don't Censor
Google should also censor “papyrus font download.”
Failure to autocomplete is censorship?
I have the same reaction: so what? This is about as uninteresting as the oddball things Microsoft Word suggests for spelling mistakes.
Once upon a time google instructed themselves “don’t be evil”, and they deserve to be called out when they are. They made this change in response to pressure from media companies.
Piracy is not google’s problem to fix, and they shouldn’t be picking sides when their stated goal is making information available.
I respectfully disagree. I believe piracy is everyone’s problem. It drives up costs, makes it more difficult for artists to be independent, leads companies to onerous DRM schemes, etc. And if Google wants to stop autocompleting the word BitTorrent, when we all know that the service is mostly used for piracy, that strikes me as a very mild thing to do and does not constitute “evil” behavior. Just because someone doesn’t do things the way I might do, or how I might wish them to do, doesn’t make them evil. Where I think they would cross the line is if they removed torrent services used for legitimate uses from their search results.
Granger, do you think Google should also stop autocompleting email, as it’s a service used mainly for selling fake Viagra?
Moreso than kidnapping, tax fraud, shoplifting, and terrorism are everyone’s problems?
Yeah, piracy isn’t a “problem” it’s an inevitability. Give all humans in the world the ability to transfer large amounts of data very quickly to any other humans combined with the technology to capture and digitize just about anything… people are going to use the tools available to them, and nothing is ever going to stop them without completely breaking the internet. The fight against piracy is pointless, what the industries affected by digital copying should do is figure out how to adapt. Making content harder to access with broken DRM schemes (and most of them ARE broken – when I can’t enjoy content I legally purchased because my DSL is out, that’s when I’m gonna pirate something, duh) isn’t fighting piracy. You’re just egging on the nerds out there who get their kicks out of making big corps who just spent huge money on encryption software feel like idiots. Engage with the downloading community. Figure out how to use them for publicity, sell to them, provide them with files containing brief advertising messages… why isn’t anyone trying this stuff? Instead, they’re suing single moms, people without computers, dead people. They turn themselves into the bad guys then wonder why we all get a kick out of sticking it to them. These guys are evil, therefore Google siding with them is an evil act.
As long as the internet remains free, I’m going to use it freely. Just try and stop me.
I believe piracy is everyone’s problem. It drives up costs
Bzzzzt. Thanks for playing.
Piracy is zero-cost competition to monopolists who have no incentive to lower their costs, since they hold a monopoly (copyright). Piracy lowers costs.
Google Instant is the default now, though. For many people, autocomplete is the search results.
It’s not censorship if you know that pressing Enter gives you something different. How many people know that?
Your absolutely right! bitt + enter first result is bittorrent. If you rely on autocomplete only bitt = 280 MILLION hits.
It’s a big stretch, isn’t it. What is preferable, removing all autocomplete (which is bound to turn up “illegal” advice due to the fact it aggregates and suggests based on content that netizens post and search for) or simply removing a handful of suggestions based on the previous track records of the scummy, litigious assholes involved in suing people for P2P?
If it was my choice I would make the same decision… you have to keep in mind that Google knowingly facilitates TONS of illegal downloading which they are happy to let fly. It’s only when people start jumping up and down that Google has to change the plan.
it is when you auto-complete everything else.
But if you start with “torrent (insert movie name here)”, it works just fine, with results pointing to some of the usual suspects.
Awhile back some folks were convinced that Google was supressing autocomplete of “climategate” because it wasn’t the absolute #1 thing that was autocompleted when you typed “cl”, and yet, “climategate” returned so many search results! Google’s in cahoots with Al Gore! So, I’m a little jaded about these theories. However, the fact that bittorrent doesn’t autocomplete at all is rather blatant.
Thanks for reminding me, I haven’t watched The Usual Suspects in years. Off to bittorrent I go.
What does CIYA mean? All I could find was “Corrugated Iron Youth Arts”.
Not that it matters much now that it’s been discontinued, but Pontiac had a SUV called Torrent. I’m sure they would be upset about being censored.
I always wondered if they slapped that name on it due to its popularity on the net.
Its not practical to call it a Pontiac Tits.
Come drive the new Pontiac Bukkake!
Bing does not censor autocompete – you have a choice!
Bing is terrible. They paid various major websites to de-list from Google and their search results STILL suck. Microsoft still hasn’t learned that throwing money at the internet won’t make them win. Dumbasses.
Well that it won’t auto-complete at all and that it used to fairly recently.
“How to cheat on tanks” is a good suggestion, too.
Does anyone actually know how Google selects autocompletes?
They probably use something along the lines of ngrams (http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/).
They also autocomplete “how to overthrow the american government”, “how to recruit prostitutes” and, shockingly, “how to kill batman” (although, admittedly, only after you make it clear you’re not just trying to kill bats).
And more self-loathingly:
How to kill goo –> How to kill google
Why bing i –> Why bing is better than google
Google is –> Google is evil
Please don’t kill batman!
Well now this changes my whole SEO strategy. Time to get in on the good autocompletes.
Whether or not they are censoring something may not be ALWAYS black and white but they do actively censor things. Pornographic searches for example. It as always fun to read alta vista search spy or whatever that was, back when the internet was sometimes not as entertaining and vast as it is today. The reason they do that is obvious and I’m thankful because most searches are for porn, at least they always were on that search spy.
Now, I see so many people here trying to claim that google isn’t actively censoring their search suggestions. You are making weak points but are completely wrong. They do. Nobody said it is censorship. It’s just paranoia. Websites merely pointing users to torrent lists have been targeted despite hosting nothing, not even hash files. Even blogs about torrents have gotten threatening letters. It’s called CIYA and is evidence of the climate of fear websites live in thanks to the MPAA and RIAA and the like.
Far scarier than any of this is that when you try to auto-tweet this BB post, the text that appears in Twitter reads only:
A monopoly choosing what you can and cannot read (autocomplete is publishing, yes really) is close enough to censorship to call it what it walks and quacks like.
As for monopoly, I Googled “search engines” (which it autocompleted) and found tons of other search engines out there, many of them with autocomplete. They’re all free, by the way. Advertisers might have an anti-monopolist case to make against Google, but from the user standpoint, the search engine “market” is as open and competitive as it can possibly be.
Censorship is one of those things that’s so bad we need to be really, really careful about preserving the value and meaning of the word. One search engine out of hundreds failing to volunteer information is just about the least convincing example of censorship I can think of in a world that still has governments taking hammers to printing presses.
For what it’s worth, I say this as a user of torrent sites–not in a noble civil-disobedience way like most BBers; I just download stuff I like for free. Also, I notice that Google still autocompletes “peer to peer,” and “damn the Man” but not the more effective and rebellious “fuck the Man.”
would you download a car?
Well, Google offers it as a suggestion, although it prefers that you download a calendar.
Children don’t have lobbyist and congressmen, silly.
Of course the RIAA and MPAA’s concerns are addressed before child kidnapping.
No conspiracy theories required. Google is doing this, just like they said they would.
actually if you can manage to type in bittorrent auto complete still works….
“How To” A-Z Google Auto Complete.
how to a ctivate a verizon phone
how to b ake pumpkin seeds
how to c ook a turkey
how to d raw
how to e at a pomegranate
how to f lirt
how to g et rid of bed bugs
how to h ack
how to i nduce labor
how to j ailbreak ipod touch
how to k nit
how to l ose weight fast
how to m ake out
how to n egotiate salary
how to o pen rar files
how to p lay qwop
how to q uit smoking
how to r oast pumpkin seeds
how to s olve a rubix cube
how to t ie a tie
how to u nblock someone on facebook
how to v ote
how to w rite a resume
how to x ray
how to y odel
how to z ip a file
“What is” A-Z Google Autocomplete
what is a g6
what is black friday
what is cancer
what is diabetes
what is energy
what is facebook
what is gluten
what is halloween
what is illuminati
what is java
what is kush
what is love
what is my ip
what is normal blood pressure
what is osmosis
what is potash
what is quinoa
what is rss
what is salvia
what is twitter
what is url
what is vertigo
what is wikileaks
what is xml
what is yoga
what is zumba
PS: I do not know what some of those items are.
rss and xml I don’t know. . .but a G6, zumba, potash. . .those things I have some knowledge of. . .
Why would anyone volunteering want censorship of any kind?
I don’t know where these guys are googling, but I just googled everything they claim they block. How to torrent cam up with tons of how-to’s, Bitorrent came up with bittorrent, all of them worked fine. And google did kinda claim that they were entirely anti-censorship, so if they ARE doing this, its pretty hypocritical.
a search for “.torrent” will auto-complete.
Where Is A-Z Google Autocomplete
where is area code 289
where is belize
where is chuck norris
where is dubai
where is euthanasia legal
where is flanders fields
where is grim batol
where is halls of origination
where is ip
where is justin bieber from
where is karla homolka
where is los cabos
where is my mind lyrics
where is new england
where is osama bin laden
where is puck on glee
where is qatar
where is rex murphy
where is santa
where is the love lyrics
where is uldum
where is vimy ridge
where is waldo
where is xander root
where is your appendix
where is zinc found
It seems to me that that auto-complete is geo-locational.
The ‘where is’ is far more difficult: I can get most of the geography. . .but waldo? osama? norris?
I have no idea where those guys are. . .
In fact the only other one I do know is the ‘where is my mind’ lyrics: ‘Waaaayyyyyy out in the water. . .see it swimmming!’~ Klang!!! Klung! bang bang a bappibappi bap bap ‘I was swimmin in the Caribbean!~’
Surfer Rosa is such a great album. . .
Gee this is like the Google school of journalism: how, what, where, who, and… why?
Who Is A-Z Google Autocomplete
who is a in pretty little liars
who is bruno mars
who is chuck norris
who is domain
who is ed hardy
who is frederic thiebaud
who is gossip girl
who is harry nilsson
who is ip
who is jennifer grey married to
who is kim kardashian
who is lyrics
who is mysterion
who is nobody
who is on the canadian 100 dollar bill
who is parson brown
who is queen mab
who is rob ford
who is searching for me
who is the cutest
who is uncle sam
who is viewing my facebook profile
who is willow smith
who is xenu
who is yeezy
who is zac efron dating
Why A-Z Google Autocomplete
why am i so tired
why black friday
why can’t i own a canadian
why do cats purr
why evolution is true
why facebook is bad
why georgia lyrics
why hitler hated jews
why is the sky blue
why jailbreak iphone
why kids bully
why not lyrics
why obama is no roosevelt
why people cheat
why root android
why should we hire you
why teachers drink
why unlock iphone
why wait lyrics
why xbox 360 is better than ps3
why you are fat
why zebras don’t get ulcers
Your zebra autocomplete made my day. That’s why I like playing this game. Try 1-12 o’clock, that was my first. If you think of the results as a days schedule its a riot.
A-Z “Google Autocomplete” autocomplete
google autocomplete api
google autocomplete blacklist
google autocomplete code
google autocomplete disable
google autocomplete example
google autocomplete funny
google autocomplete game*
google autocomplete how does it work
google autocomplete in java
google autocomplete jquery
google autocomplete k
google autocomplete lol
google autocomplete me
google autocomplete not working
google autocomplete off
google autocomplete php
google autocomplete query
google autocomplete results
google autocomplete search
google autocomplete turn off
google autocomplete url
google autocomplete venn diagram
google autocomplete wiki
google autocomplete xml
google autocomplete y
google autocomplete z
Time was when I wouldn’t have forgotten when!
When A-Z Google Autocomplete
when a stranger calls
when brothers speak
when can i take a pregnancy test
when does the time change
when earth sleeps
when faith meets pedagogy
when god made you
when harry met sally
when in rome
when johnny comes marching home
when keeping it real goes wrong
when love is not enough
when money dies
when night is falling
when one door closes
when parents text
when rabbit howls
when should i take a pregnancy test
when to use a semi-colon
when u find lyrics
when vacations attack
when was jesus born
when x approaches infinity
when you say nothing at all
when zachary beaver came to town
When will this end?
Yesterday I was appalled to see that Google’s top auto-complete for “how to use” is “how to use fire sheep”.
It should surprise no one that RIAA and MPAA have way more money than all child-protection organizations combined.
It’s good to know sites like ZOMBO COM still stick to their roots.
Several Linux distributions (e.g. Fedora) use bittorrent to distribute the DVD images, a completely legal thing to do. I notice that autocomplete works if “torrent” or “bittorrent” is typed first, followed by Fedora, but that as soon as I type “fedora bit” autocomplete stops, similarly when I type “fedora to”.
So it appears that you only need to type bittorrent or torrent before what you’re looking for instead of after.
I’m wondering if Google did this thing half-assed on purpose, so they could demonstrate to their big media friends that they had done something about the problem.
I gave up on Google recently and switched to http://duckduckgo.com/
Basically, the “Showing results for” feature is one of the worst things Google has ever implemented, and there’s no way to turn it off. After one too many times of having Google decide that it knows better than I do what I really wanted to search for, I quit.
It used to just give you an alternate search suggestion in the form of a “Did you mean” message; I don’t mind that. But then they started autocorrecting misspellings, and then their autocorrect went out of control.
So I left them. I tried Bing for a while, but Bing takes too long to load.
odd. I never would have thought stealing from walmart was considered a “terrible” thing. I don’t steal. But if i had to i would definitely go around ripping off walmarts and maybe long john silvers, that guy is just asking for it.
Is it really so bad that when you do a search for software you find the guy who made it before you find a torrent? Personally I was getting irritated by finding torrents before finding the legit sources. If you really want to find the torrent all you have to do is type torrent. sheesh.
“bit” will get you bitlord.
“pi” will get you pirate bay as the second option, “pir” will take it to first.
Both “bittorrent” and “torrent” will get you a number of suggestions (the first is “torrent sites, for example) if you complete the word, whereas “nude” for example, will get you absolutely nothing, even with the full word. It also doesn’t display any results until you hit enter when instant is on, whereas “torrent” will net you 68,400,000 results in the same test.
If they are trying to censor autocomplete, they do a pretty lousy job at it.
Ha, they don’t censor “[movie name] 720p”…
“Censorship” my aching fanny. It’s like saying a magazine not publishing your letter is censoring you. They are not a monopoly and they are not the government. They are under no obligation to carry anything they don’t want to.
And the facts don’t even seem to match the claim (see above examples). Even if they did, that’s a weak case for calling it censorship, even if google *did* count for use of the word. I think mot users know how to use a search engine by now.
Besides, why would I google “bittorrent” and not just type in the URL?
So I thought “wait a minute”. If Google was guilty of censoring “bittorrent” and manipulating predictions and auto complete, what other words starting with “bitt” were loosing out?
bitter almond through bitter wort
There were a few repeats with either bitter+, bitter +, or bitter-+
Next, I typed dictionary.com’s spelling of bittorrent into G mail and it needs to be corrected. The right click suggestions are bit-torrent and bit torrent. So Google is acknowledging its existence in its spell check program.
So how is a word/phrase/title/what ever you want to call it with 80,500,000 returns not found through predictions/auto complete? Well, those 80,500,000 are world wide results:
One more stop, Google Trends:
Wow! No wonder. U.S.A. is not even on the list of searches by Regions. San Fran is at the bottom as the only U.S. city to be on the chart. And finally, English is at the bottom in the language category. If you were to search in Hungarian or in the country of Spain or in the city of Singapore bit-torrent would be predicted/auto-completed. I think.
Finally, I believe I do have an answer for those who don;t like predictions and auto complete. You can use Google Realtime search. http://www.google.com/realtime?tab=mY
“band name” “album name” mediafire
“band name” “album name” rar
“band name” “album name” blogspot.com
“band name” “album name” thepiratebay.org
Try it in that order. Won’t take you more than 2 minutes to find whatever you are looking for.
Dude… WTF! If you teach every idiot how to do these things then the paths are likely to be shut down by Google much quicker. Method of best practice: tell people these things IRL (or in private chat), but don’t publish them online.
The goofballs trying to shut down file sharing are for the most part technologically inept. Don’t help them out by publishing suggestions in the comments section of a site KNOWN to be trolled by industry fuckwits.
If you type in “Suicide” it gives you a hotline, but if you type in “how to kill yourself” it gives you techniques.
A-Z “How can I” autocomplete:
How can I access Wikileaks
How can I bring on labour
How can I change my life
How can I download Youtube videos
How can I edit a pdf
How can I find my IP address
How can I get rid of spots
How can I hack someones facebook
How can I improve my credit rating
How can i jailbreak my iphone
How can I keep from singing
How can I lose weight fast
How can I make money
How can I not love you
How can I open a docx file
How can I put on weight
How can I quit smoking
How can I record my voice
How can I speed up my computer
How can I tell if i’m pregnant
How can I unlock my iphone
How can I view a private facebook profile
How can I watch free movies online
Hos can I xls
How can I youtube video download
How can I zip a file
From Google’s support:
“We aim to provide you with relevant search queries, but we exclude a narrow class of search queries related to pornography, violence, hate speech, and copyright infringement.”
If they expand this policy further and for all languages then they might as well remove autocompletion all together. I’ve already run into this several times while typing innocent words in my native language that happen to begin with something that Google thinks may lead to English profanities.
“Google, but from the user standpoint, the search engine “market” is as open and competitive as it can possibly be.”
No. An oligopoly is not as open and competitive as a market can be. Why would you even make such an absurd statement? The most open and competitive market would includes 100s of competitors in a space large enough that any single firm has little overall influence. That market is NOT search, which is 70% google, 15% yahoo, 10% bing, 5% other.
Why would you even make such an absurd statement?
I’m so seldom given a chance to account for my absurdity, so thanks for that.
Google is not a monopoly with respect to Internet search because there are several hundred alternatives for consumers. The fact that x% choose Google reflects its popularity and name recognition, not its “market share.” Nobody, but nobody, can use only Google to search for torrent sites.
Just switched to http://duckduckgo.com/ – sweet relief! =]
First religion used mis-information to control the masses and protect the profits and assets on the rich minority, Now google has taken their place along with television. You have deliberately removed the word torrent from auto complete. The sad fact is that you have chosen to give priority to removing the word torrent over phrases like “how to kidnap a child” because of pressure and possibly perks from the media fat cats. These under-worked and over-pampered media giants are more concerned about protecting their profits instead of protecting people from easy access to drug formulas and children from kidnaping tutorials. I pray that one day every dollar you have bled out of the people will become worthless and that you will have to do some real work to feed yourselves or beg for our assistance.
They spelt “past” wrong.
can i get
One doesn’t have to read past “passed” in the “kidnapped kid” item to see that Grammar Goddess must again moonlight as Spelling Sorceress.
I guess using https://encrypted.google.com/ is different from http://www.google.com/ because it doesn’t autocomplete how to kidnap anything.
Google has its sense of humor. Apart from that, you would know what comes to people’s mind and what they blogged sometimes. Check out google autocomplete site at tumblr and post your reactions on each post! http://iamautocomplete.com
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