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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Google and Yahoo! in Trouble for ‘Erasing’ Name

Posted by @ 10:06 pm

A former Chinese university professor plans to sue Yahoo! and Google in the United States for blocking his name from search results in China.

Guo Quan, became the chairman of the underground New People’s Party in opposition to the ruling Communist Party and last week issued a letter vowing to bring a lawsuit against Google after he discovered that his name had been removed from searches on

He also found that the Chinese Yahoo! had also blocked his name. “Since January 1, a lot of friends told me that websites with my name had been closed. They told me it’s impossible to search for my information on Google and Yahoo!” Mr Guo said. So he now plans to bring actions against both companies.

This is not the first time there has been censorship of foreign internet portals operating in China. Google came under criticism when it became known that its Chinese search had been configured to filter out words that are banned in China, such as Tibet, Independence, Dalai Lama and Democracy.

However, Google defends their actions, saying that they are acting in accordance with Chinese law. The country’s carefully patrolled internet firewall slows, blocks or disrupts users trying to access uncensored foreign websites.

Guo said that he couldn’t sue Google or Yahoo! in China because they have no formal legal identity, but he would try his lawsuits in the United States against the parent companies. Mr Guo believes that “they have violated my political rights. I am opposed to violence and dictatorship but these sites have blocked me.”

It will be interesting if this lawsuit is successful and if so it may well become a precedent for future action by others who feels as though they have been ‘blocked out’ of search engine results. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Courtney Mills Courtney is an online marketing and communications specialist at ineedhits - a leading search engine marketing firm with over 16 years experience. Courtney has been living and breathing online marketing for over 5 years. She specializes in web and communication marketing, while providing news and opinion to online marketing communities.

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Discussion (3 - comments)

Interesting story! Some people may laugh at the mere idea of suing such big online entities such as Yahoo! and Google but it will be interesting to see if this man gets anywhere with this suit. If he does, it will certainly bring several other people and companies into the ring looking for either more attention or actual compensation.

By Brick Marketing - February 18, 2008

yahoo is notorius for political censorship. they are an unamerican company. They frequently apply censorship in chat rooms and discussion areas based on political beliefs of their emloyees. They need to be bitch slapped. The court ought to award this guy their ceos inflated salary, which is an insult to working people. I hate them

By Anonymous - February 19, 2008

When I lived in China, I could find certain Bible sites using Search. I had to type “Bible look up,” not Bible search.

By Anonymous - February 20, 2008

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