Monday, May 06, 2013

Google Take Downs & Malware Warnings

Caught a curious article about the number of official takedown requests in the UK. Curious, because it seems rather low. And the item is talking about this time last why is it really news?

During the six months of 2012, the number of requests rose by 98% The UK government and police have requested removal of 124 videos and advertisements in 2012. 

According to a new Transparency Report by the internet giant, majority of requests involved the removal of YouTube videos that were believed to violate national security and hate speech laws, while Google rejected about half of the requests. The number of requests excludes court orders for offence and copyright infringement. During the initial six months of 2012, the number of requests for the removal rose by 98% compared with the corresponding period in 2011. 

Google said in its report that it received a request from a Member of Parliament to remove a blog post for suggesting that he advised businesses while serving in government.

I'm more concerned that Google has made it rather difficult for websites to complain and restore access to their websites if the Google algorithm decides the site contains malware or is using copyrighted material to which the owners object. This has happened to some clients of mine. Google offers people very useful services. But if you somehow violate the terms and conditions, starting a conversation is almost impossible. Played around with Google Adwords once. Not a fun experience...

I note that John C Dvorak's popular blog (on which relies for donations) has been erroneously flagged by my Chrome browser as containing malware. In fact there is nothing wrong, as you can see if you use (heaven forbid) Internet Explorer. But it is worrying if your business depends on web access - which almost all media businesses do.

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