Last night, popular web portal Slashdot ran a member submitted article suggesting that search giant Google was censoring results on its image search page. Google has (correctly) been accused of censorship before, except previously it had been limited to countries like China. However, the implication here was the Google Images were not showing up for politically sensitive results; it was suggested that this was "another case of our administration confusing "National Security" with "Politically Undesirable". Examples given were Lynndie England, the woman who featured in many of the pictures from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
We contacted Google, who directed us to this response posted in the Slashdot comments :
"Hi All, Sergey asked me to pass this on: In short, there is no censorship here. We are embarrassed that our image index is not updated as frequently as it should be. Expect a refresh in the near future. In the meantime, you can just search on Google Web Search for [Abu Graib Photos] to get plenty of what you are looking for."
Clearly, a case of 2 and 2 making 7. However, it does highlight the apparent ease that false news can be propagated on the web via "submission based" sites. Negative coverage on such a large site as Slashdot can be very damaging for any company, especially with accusations of censorship. One would hope that Slashdot check there article submissions a little more carefully, and that Google update their image index very soon.