Part trashing Google/Guge, part pursed-lips shock, part guide to the backstreets of virtual China, this May 10 “Daily Economic News 每日经济新闻” article spells out how to find drugs, guns, and other illegal things online–and makes the assertion that Guge/Google is not doing a proper filtering job.
The reporter’s central question: “How can we prevent the Internet from becoming more of a breeding ground and bridge for harmful information?”
The reporter compared keyword searches of 谷歌(Guge/Google) and “other major search engines.” When he/she typed in keywords “gambling 赌博,” “drugs,毒品,” “guns 枪支,” “fake ID 假证件,” and “pornography 色情,” on Guge/Google, there were tens of millions of hits. When entered on the other, unnamed search engines, however, this message came up: “The keyword you have entered may not conform with the content of relevant laws and regulations.” “你键入的关键词可能不符合相关法律法规的内容”.
A few examples of what the reporter found on Guge/Google:
“Fake diploma” yielded not only over 100,000 hits, but also automatically offered up such alternative keywords as “creating fake diplomas,” “getting a fake ID,” and “how to build a fake diploma website.”
“Buy [the drug] Ecstasy online” got over 200,000 hits. Most of the active links led to BBS discussion forums. When the reporter randomly followed some of the links, they led to sites with other semi-illegal substances such as anaesthetics, along with sellers’ cellphone and QQ numbers.
Guge/Google was given a chance to respond to the findings in the article. But the reporter was not happy with the vague responses given by a Guge/Google spokeswoman regarding the company’s technical and moral decisions on what a “Civilized Internet” should look like. Guge/Google has not joined the majority of Internet and content providers in pledging allegiance to civilizing the Chinese web.