Google won't autocomplete "bittorrent" but will autocomplete "how to kidnap a child"


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


    1. I have the same reaction: so what? This is about as uninteresting as the oddball things Microsoft Word suggests for spelling mistakes.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. Granger, do you think Google should also stop autocompleting email, as it’s a service used mainly for selling fake Viagra?

          2. 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.

          3. 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.

    2. 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?

      1. Your absolutely right! bitt + enter first result is bittorrent. If you rely on autocomplete only bitt = 280 MILLION hits.

    3. Failure to autocomplete is censorship?

      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.

  1. Huh.

    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.

    1. Thanks for reminding me, I haven’t watched The Usual Suspects in years. Off to bittorrent I go.

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

  3. 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).

    1. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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:

    “Google won”


  6. 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.

    1. 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.”

  7. Children don’t have lobbyist and congressmen, silly.
    Of course the RIAA and MPAA’s concerns are addressed before child kidnapping.

  8. “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

    1. “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.

      1. rss and xml I don’t know. . .but a G6, zumba, potash. . .those things I have some knowledge of. . .

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    Where indeed.

    It seems to me that that auto-complete is geo-locational.

    1. 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. . .

  11. 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 lyrics
    why me
    why not lyrics
    why obama is no roosevelt
    why people cheat
    why quotes
    why root android
    why should we hire you
    why teachers drink
    why unlock iphone
    why volunteer
    why wait lyrics
    why xbox 360 is better than ps3
    why you are fat
    why zebras don’t get ulcers


    1. Ugly:

      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


  12. 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 quotes
    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?

  13. Yesterday I was appalled to see that Google’s top auto-complete for “how to use” is “how to use fire sheep”.

  14. It should surprise no one that RIAA and MPAA have way more money than all child-protection organizations combined.

  15. 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.

  16. I gave up on Google recently and switched to

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. “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.

  20. “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?

  21. 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?

    bitt pin
    bitter almond through bitter wort
    bitteroot range
    bitteroot river
    bitterwood tree
    bittor bittour
    bitty box

    There were a few repeats with either bitter+, bitter +, or bitter-+

    Next, I typed’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.

  22. “band name” “album name” mediafire
    “band name” “album name” rar
    “band name” “album name”
    “band name” “album name”

    Try it in that order. Won’t take you more than 2 minutes to find whatever you are looking for.


    1. 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.

  23. If you type in “Suicide” it gives you a hotline, but if you type in “how to kill yourself” it gives you techniques.

  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. @semiotix 35

    “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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. One doesn’t have to read past “passed” in the “kidnapped kid” item to see that Grammar Goddess must again moonlight as Spelling Sorceress.

  30. 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!

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