Google starts to censor torrent-related search queries

Google has begun blocking torrent-related searches from its autocomplete and instant search. Now when users attempt to search using Google's new autocomplete feature, torrent related words will no longer autocomplete in the search field.

Google announced back in December that it will begin blocking ""terms that are closely associated with piracy" and will filter these words from its instant search and autocomplete features. Google already filters out a list of sex-related terms from their instant search and autocomplete feature.

Google_torrent_filter

According to TorrentFreak.com, Google has blocked piracy-related terms such as "BitTorrent", "Torrent", "uTorrent", "MegaUpload" and "RapidShare". The new filtered words do not affect search results however. The new censorship only prevents the above words from being autocompleted in the search query, and once typed, Google will once again recognize the word and provide search suggestions.

BitTorrent_results

"We knew about Google's plans for quite a few weeks now. We embrace that certain search suggestions will not put a wrong complexion on RapidShare anymore, but we are concerned that at the same time the legitimate interests of our users will also be affected. We believe it was the wrong decision to remove the term ‘RapidShare' from the search suggestions," RapidShare told TorrentFreak.

Google's move to filter our piracy-related websites have angered websites like RapidShare. The filtering of their website affects users who use their service for legitimate purposes.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Daily Gaming: January 27, 2011

Next Story

Microsoft reports record earnings of $19.95bn in second quarter

63 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

If Google wants to start telling people what they should and shouldn't search for they will soon lose ground and some newcomer will gain it. Their success has been down to simplicity and neutrality, how stupid of them to throw away their trump card!

Its really starting to get sickening with Google, and all their spyware anymore. For one thing, Bittorrent is not illegal. Apparently the people working at google are idiots.

Yet Google makes a big deal out of China. Perhaps Google needs to look in a mirror.

jd100 said,
Its really starting to get sickening with Google, and all their spyware anymore. For one thing, Bittorrent is not illegal. Apparently the people working at google are idiots.

Yet Google makes a big deal out of China. Perhaps Google needs to look in a mirror.

Spyware? lol.

Wonder if they will block searches for market stalls, as they're a huge source of pirated material too. Or if you order pirated discs in the mail will they block UPS/DHL etc?

causa45 said,
I hate it when I get 20 pages full of that crap when searching for anything!
That's what you get when ****ing search becomes the source for advertising.

Jebadiah said,
That's what you get when ****ing search becomes the source for advertising.

Aw did you get all upset about things not being 100% free for you with no catch? How do you think business works? Do you think business works whereby you get things for free? Oh yeah, no, you have to pay. And in this case, you're paying by being fed advertising. Which is very clearly NOT mixed in with the search results and is very easily ignored. If you don't like it, start up your own search system, and then lets see who pays the bills for your company to exist

What most people seem to not be paying attention to is the fact that Google will still return results if you go ahead and type out the thing. What they are censoring is said words from the auto-complete feature. As such, saying that you're going to be using bing because of this 'censorship' makes absolutely no sense.

The article's title is misleading, yes... but one of these days, you people should bother and read the article before posting your comments.

Today google starts to censor bittorent-related searches. Okay, it's only the autocomplete feature. For now.
But what when google decides also to filter out these sites in their search results? What would you say then?
And tomorrow? Google could censor any site they wish. That's a very, very dangerous situation we're steering into. Just imagine, luckily we still have *one* other big search engine we can use, but what if google was our only choice? They could (and I think they already can) show us just the internet sites they want us to see - they can shape our opinions, our thoughts, our education...

..Why don't rapidshare have its own search engine for rapidshare?

I mean google isn't the only search provider in the world. yahoo ask bing

Ruciz said,
..Why don't rapidshare have its own search engine for rapidshare?

In other articles RapidShare have made it pretty clear they don't do that specifically as it aids their statement that they do not advocate piracy.

yakumo said,

In other articles RapidShare have made it pretty clear they don't do that specifically as it aids their statement that they do not advocate piracy.

Thats pretty stupid figuring 95% of their files are copyrighted works. And most people who actually want to share a legitimate file do not use that site.

Google only sees a small portion of the internet anyway. I think it's high time we got a real search engine, one that doesn't censor at the whim of vested interest groups. Perhaps the piratebay guys can come out with one I'm sure it would be immensely popular.

Flawed said,
Google only sees a small portion of the internet anyway. I think it's high time we got a real search engine, one that doesn't censor at the whim of vested interest groups. Perhaps the piratebay guys can come out with one I'm sure it would be immensely popular.

Long gone are the days where this would be possible. In order to have a competing search engine now you would need some seriously expensive infrastructure.

shinji257 said,
They don't seem to be removing entries yet.

They will never remove torrents from the search results, because the bittorrent protocol can be used for legitimate purposes.

bankajac said,
Yup, bing it is. Until they start censoring off course.

They have only removed the feature from the auto-complete and instant search features, which are features Bing does not even support. So that doesn't even make sense.

Lamp Post said,

They have only removed the feature from the auto-complete and instant search features, which are features Bing does not even support. So that doesn't even make sense.

Why not? I would rather deal with a company that does not censor. Does that make sense?

bankajac said,
Yup, bing it is. Until they start censoring off course.

Bing has it's own idiocy...

http://explore.live.com/code-of-conduct (Click "Legal" at the base of the Bing homepage, then click "Code of Conduct" to get here)

"Prohibited Uses

You will not upload, post, transmit, transfer, distribute or facilitate distribution of any content (including text, images, sound, video, data, information or software) or otherwise use the service in a way that:

promotes or otherwise facilitates the purchase and sale of ammunition or firearms."

Epic policy fail.

Xerax said,
off to bing i go.

Until it gets big enough that the MAFiAA start going after it. Although, the way bing is stagnating/declining globally, I doubt anyone will even take notice of it.

Other news: two people robbed a bank and escaped using a car. Automobiles will be banned soon in order to stop crime......

Fritzly said,
Other news: two people robbed a bank and escaped using a car. Automobiles will be banned soon in order to stop crime......

This doesn't go far enough - we must also ban Internet searches on cars... and banks... and crime. For good measure, we must report anyone searching these terms to the authorities for swift preemptive action!

Sometimes I think people forget that filesharing != piracy and there are perfectly legitimate uses for torrents. Most of the GNU/Linux distros, like ubuntu in the first picture, I have seen recommend their torrent over their http download.

TangoEight said,
Sometimes I think people forget that filesharing != piracy and there are perfectly legitimate uses for torrents. Most of the GNU/Linux distros, like ubuntu in the first picture, I have seen recommend their torrent over their http download.

Exactly, they take strain == costs off developers, which allow them to keep their product cost low. This is what every company should be doing.. But in reality every company is designing giant DRM structures and forcing their customers to use a common server, which leads to slow transfers.

Perfect example. Download the HTTP link for any ubuntu build. Then load up the torrent file. the HTTP link comes in around 200KB for me which is good, but the torrent feeds in over 3500KB

Download a PS3 update from playstation site, and download one from a torrent... list goes on.

Spirit Dave said,
So? It's Google's right to do what they want.
And the high horse of openness and puppies and kittens goes out the window!

Spirit Dave said,
So? It's Google's right to do what they want.

Yep, just like it's a crazy old bigot's right to be shunned for asinine behavior.

I already have a Mom. I don't need another in the form of a corporation or government.

For the sheep seeking a sanitized Nerf-covered world, they now have Google.

The rest of us are free go elsewhere.

Quigley Guy said,
Exactly, i dont see what the big deal is...

Exactly...

Well, if anything it helps to see who is actually RTFA before posting their comments...

I understand that Google faces pressures from Big Media to prevent obviously pirated materials from showing up in suggestions, but it's kind of a dick move to prevent 'rapidshare' from appearing at all. They're a company just like any other and their name alone doesn't constitute any kind of infringement.

BaikenGuro said,
I understand that Google faces pressures from Big Media to prevent obviously pirated materials from showing up in suggestions, but it's kind of a dick move to prevent 'rapidshare' from appearing at all. They're a company just like any other and their name alone doesn't constitute any kind of infringement.

Rapidshare hosts thousands and thousands of pirated software and copy protected documents, if they can't control what comes up on their search google just simply stops "recommending" people to go there by auto complete.

A user searching for a file will still come across RS in the search results just google can't be seen to be "promoting" or "recommending" illegal software.

I see nothing wrong with it to be honest

Only old people and rookie teenagers googles those, you have stand alone platforms (vuze) and dedicated trusted adult sites (and they're free )

joker999 said,
Now I'm using bing.com search.

Chances are that you were already a bing.com search user and only in here because it is a somewhat negative article about Google. The truth is anyone with a bit of common sense would know that the searches for rapidshare, torrents and so still remain the same and that Google only took them off their "instant" and "auto-complete" features.

So unless you were only using Google for their "instant" and "auto-complete" features(two features that Bing.com does support by the way) then you not using Google because of their decision to block those queries from those features no sense at all.

KavazovAngel said,
What the hell is wrong with searching for pr0n?

Why don't you just type the site in directly to the address bar, rather than using Google search which logs and saves a copy of every website you go to through their search feature???

Tha Bloo Monkee said,
Who said anything about porn?

"Google already filters out a list of sex-related terms from their instant search and autocomplete feature."

Not to express stereotype, but the US's censorship of "adult" material is freaking annoying. From what I've seen, they'll rather censor "****" than "kill".

That's just stupid.