Google has increasingly become under fire from a variety of sources both domestic and overseas for what might be anti trust violations. For years Google has faced criticism of their activities. Some accuse the company of favoring their own ‘real estate holdings’ over that of their competitors in how search results are listed.

Various studies have come up with various conclusions. The key to any statistic is how you spin it. So I tend to view most kinds of statistics with skepticism. It is not so much in the numbers, rather the collection method.

Although Google is an 800lb Gorilla and hardly needs my help, I will defend them. They ‘sell a product’, the product is actually free, the search results. The cost of the product is covered by the advertising. Hell this business model is alive and well in Radio, TV, and those ‘free newspapers’ that turn up on your doorstep.

The problem for Google is a curious one. They must be seen as neutral, yet also make money.

What is wrong with doing everything that Google is accused of? What is wrong with a company preferring their own property? When you walk into your local Walmart does the greeter give you a Kmart flier? Does the person at the checkout say “Oh don’t buy this product here, it is on sale at the Supermarket down the street”.

The simple answer is NO. You choose the store, and the store chooses the products they  stock. So I see nothing different with Google.

Yes I hear the outcry that Google has a monopoly on search, but I say who cares?

No-one is forcing you to use Google, no-one is forcing you to buy from Walmart.

In a move that somewhat surprised me Google released a study authored by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh on the subject. What I found tantalizing was the way it was treated by certain web sites. It clearly was viewed very differently by points of view.

One might think that a ‘white paper’ on the subject of the First Amendment would be published without redaction’s. Not so!

The web site decided that some editing (read red pen) was in order. Redaction’s are always interesting, I love to peek under the hood. In the redacted version on is this:


I was curious as to the redaction. What could it be?

It did not take long to resolve the issue.

The original version reads:


It is the word Encyclopedia that is on the hot seat! Why? Since when did Encyclopedia become a hot topic requiring censorship?

This is just the start of the stupidity. Try the two versions for yourself.


Real Document

Of course Paidcontent has an axe to grind, that can be guessed just by the name.

Oh rats, I didn’t link to the idiot article put up by paidcontent. I’ll try and fix that later!

Simon Barrett   


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