[LINK] Google Blocks Site Containing Disparaging Joke About Kevin Rudd *

Jon Seymour jon.seymour at gmail.com
Sat Jan 16 12:59:55 AEDT 2010

Given the recent kerfuffle over Google filtering, I thought I'd
followup a series of posts I made to Link and STOP back in October
2008 in response to a discovery someone (Sylvano?) made regarding the
filtering of results containing the search term "Kevin Rudd".

Here is the original post (for context):


and here is a followup post, based on the current search results for
the term "Kevin Rudd is a bureaucratic"


I am not claiming anything of import about these discoveries. I
pursued these questions merely because I thought it would be
interesting to see if I could use Google itself to discover more about
what Google had decided to filter. It took a while, but I think I have
now discovered with reasonably high probability the site (if not the
actual contents) that Google was filtering back in October 2008.


On Sun, Oct 19, 2008 at 3:59 AM, Jon Seymour <jon.seymour at gmail.com> wrote:
> Please forgive me for being slightly mischievous in my choice of
> headline, but this serendipitous find was to delicious to ignore...
> http://broadbannedrevolution.blogspot.com/2008/10/google-blocks-site-containing.html
> jon.
> ================================================================================================
> Googlers will be amused to note that in response to a search like:
>    "Kevin Rudd" site:org
> Google will display this message:
> In response to a legal request submitted to Google, we have removed 2
> result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read more about the
> request at ChillingEffects.org.
> Upon visiting the link, one finds a letter which indicates that the
> result has been removed because it contains child pornography.
> Intrigued by this, I started to wonder what other terms were blocked
> and I found that the following queries were also blocked:
>    "Julia Gillard" site:org
>    "Stephen Conroy" site:org
>    "Australian Politics" site:org
>    "Australian Politics" October 2008 site:org
> but not:
>    "John Faulkner" site:org
>    "Malcom Turnbull" site:org
>    "Australian Politics" August 2008 site:org
> I found that this search:
>    site:org "Australian Politics" "illegal" "rudd" "October" "2008"
> "terrorist" "July" "Gillard"
> yields 7 hits and one block. I then wondered if I could work out what
> text was on the blocked page by trying various phrases that invoked
> the filter. Including:
>    "Kevin Rudd is a" site:org
> I substituted in text from non-blocked site:
>    "Kevin Rudd is a bureaucratic" site:org
> and got exactly one hit and one block. Here is the full text of the
> non-blocked result:
>    A platoon of Aussie soldiers were patrolling north of Fallujah
> when they came upon an Iraqi terrorist, badly injured and unconscious.
> On the opposite side of the road was an Australian soldier in a
> similar but less serious state.
>    The soldier was conscious and alert and as first aid was given to
> both men, the Platoon Leader asked the injured Australian what had
> happened. The soldier reported, 'I was heavily armed and moving north
> along the highway here, and coming south was a heavily armed
> insurgent.' We saw each other and both took cover in the ditches along
> the road. I yelled to him that Saddam Hussein was a miserable, lowlife
> scum bag who got what he deserved. He yelled back that Kevin Rudd is a
> bureaucratic, good-for-nothing, right wing labor dickhead who knows
> bugger all about running the country.'
>    'So I said that Osama Bin Ladin dresses like a frigid,
> mean-spirited lesbian and acts like one too!' He retaliated by
> yelling, 'Oh yeah? Well, so does Julia Gillard!'
>    'And so there we were, in the middle of the road, laughing and
> chatting away when a truck hit us.'
> Searching any phrase from that joke, causes Google to report a blocked
> result. Add the criteria: +conroy and Google reports that the only
> result for the query is blocked.
>    "Saddam Hussein was a miserable, lowlife scum" +conroy site:org
> The conclusion, therefore, is that Google's filter is blocking a site
> that contains a disparaging joke about Kevin Rudd.
> * Of course, the presence of a disparaging joke about Kevin Rudd is
> almost certainly not the reason Google is blocking the site, but the
> fact remains the site contains a disparaging joke about Kevin Rudd and
> it is being censored. Not a good look for a government wishing to
> impose a mandatory filtering regime on the country's Internet feeds.

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