A new report alleging that Google’s new “flag” feature has been used to censor a blog on the grounds that readers have disagreed with the opinion of a writer has appeared, in what if proven true would be the first case of the service announced last week being used in such a a way.
Gypsyman writes at BlogCritics that Indian writer Ashok Banker seems to have been targeted by people using the feature implemented by Google and that the site disappeared for at least some time (its up at the time of writing this post). Interestingly he also mentions Joseph Goebbels in the same article, but notes that he is not accusing Google of censoring the blog, just giving others the means to do so (which I’d note is a flawed argument given that only Google can make the move to block it).
“Let me reiterate that I’m not blaming Google for directly censoring anybody, only that they have created a situation where it is possible. Blogs are supposed to provide people the means of free and open expression. Obviously, there has to be some method of monitoring that ensures things like hate literature or incitement to illegal activities are prevented. The system of mob rule that Google uses currently is not the answer.”
As long as Google takes the lazy option on spam blogs, expect to see a whole lot more of this in the future.