Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Google, censored?

Guilty as charged: I get lost in most of the conversations in class that have to deal with media history (or contemporary pop culture for that matter). The pop culture I should do better with, but the media history I'm learning about--and thanks to all of you, quickly. Fortunately, I find the topics both amusing and applicable, so I jot things down to follow-up on. One of them being the "dirty words" conversation.

Inappropriate words in print don't particular phase me. Said on the media, I can handle it. Say it in front of me, and I get awkward. Ask me to say something? I'll clam up. Don't ask me what twisted part of my up-bringing instilled that, because my family and friends certainly aren't afraid to shoot the shit with one another. See that, I can curse in print.

Moving on however to Google. A fellow NH classmate of mine wrote a blog article last week addressing how the internet helps us think. That Google feature freaks me out a bit. However, it is censored. Google is notorious for being anything but censoring, but for its latest feature that thinks for you, it is just that. For example, if you begin to type in a possible offensive or sticky word, such as anal or barely legal, the instant search feature no longer works. You can still type the full word and search for it like you could three weeks ago. But that is so outdated. Who wants to search in the past? Now, if you took a gander at the black list of words, you'll notice that not all of them are outright wrong such as camel toe. Granted, not a personal fan of the phrase and what it represents, but you could very well want to know the anatomy of the Arabian one-humped camel's toes. Good for you--but probably not what most people are looking for. There are still some that are throwing me, such as hairy and meat, because I don't think that most searches of these words fall under the category that should be shielded from the viewer unless certain of intention. Google's working out the kinks right now, but this is the censorship they're sticking with for the time being.

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