Friday, May 09, 2008

Stephen Bassett: Update on Google Blocking Effort

Media Notice - Google Blocking Update - May 9, 2008

Shortly after a well known journalist contact of PRG's contacted the Google press office for the second time the Open Letter to Hillary Clinton located at: reemerged on the Google search listings.

It was at the top of the search listing on May 1 for [Open Letter to Senator Hillary Clinton] when it along with other sites were stripped from the listings.

As of today it can only be reached by using very restrictive search criteria. What that means is that the hit counter for the page was zeroed out when the block was taken off.

There are several ways Google can block a page. One is to simply block the specific address for a page. That's 100% effective. Another is to zero out the hit count for that page so it plunges downward in the listings essentially out of sight. Google can also block the page from appearing under some search terms and not others.

PRG requests that you please visit the source page often over the next few days to drive the hit count for the page up and thereby drive the page higher and higher up the search returns under all search criteria. This will help to keep Google honest.

That said, this breach of censorship has been fully documented and PRG has no intention of dropping the matter with Google.

PRG very much suspects that this entire episode was to limit any damage to the Clinton campagin going into last Tuesday's election. Which is to say that another reason all the pages in question have reemerged onto the Goolge listings is the North Carolina and Indiana primaries are over. If true, this act of censorship by Google would be even more egregious.

Please visit: early and often.

Stephen Bassett
Executive Director


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