The Agency Record Blog

Google Instant Controversy Is Much Ado About Nothing

For those that haven’t heard, there has been quite a bit of controversy over Google’s decision to “blacklist” some search terms from Google Instant. Basically, these terms won’t show up in Google’s suggestions once you start typing your search terms. You can stillĀ  search those terms, however. You just have to hit enter to see the results.

For some, this screams censorship. For others, this is Google helping keep people from material they may want to avoid. From my point of view, it is neither. Instant is a helpful tool, but if certain words don’t generate hints, you can still get results once you press enter. On the other side, people may still run into material they find offensive accidentally. Google’s algorithms aren’t perfect, and likely never will be.

Censorship must be defended against. However, let’s not waste energy on instances where that isn’t the case. As Google has gotten bigger, they have veered somewhat from their “don’t be evil” mantra. It’s important to call them on the carpet when they don’t live up to that standard. Nonetheless, let’s not get too worked up over something that really isn’t a big deal.

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