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Google’s Censored China Search Engine Project Triggers Protests

Several Google employees, including former Senior Scientist Jack Poulson, resigned in September, citing lack of corporate transparency in the wake of the censored search engine project

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The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

Google’s offices in the US, UK, Canada, India, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Sweden, Switzerland, and Denmark witnessed renewed protests by human rights groups over its plan to re-enter China through a censored search application code-named “Project Dragonfly”.

The demonstrations were organised by coalition of Chinese, Tibetan, Uighur, and human rights groups outside the tech giant’s offices. The Tibetan advocacy groups that were protesting included Free Tibet and the International Tibet Network.

“They fear that a censored search engine would lead to further oppression of the Tibetans, as filtered searches would erase terms such as ‘Tibet’ and ‘Tiananmen Square’ in line with the official narrative of the Chinese Communist Party,” the Business Insider reported late on Friday.

The same concerns apply to the Chinese citizens, including other oppressed minorities such as Uighur Muslims and Southern Mongolian people, the report added.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

The Internet giant designed a censored version for China search engine to blacklist information about human rights, democracy, peaceful protest, and religion in accordance with strict rules on censorship in the country that are enforced by its Communist Party government.

The dispute began in August 2018 when reports surfaced that Google staffers working on “Project Dragonfly” had been using a Beijing-based website to help develop blacklists for the censored search engine, which was designed to block out broad categories of information related to democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest, according to The Intercept.

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Several Google employees, including former Senior Scientist Jack Poulson, resigned in September, citing lack of corporate transparency in the wake of the censored search engine project.

In December, Google was forced to shut down a data analysis system that it was using to develop the search engine and the teams working on “Project Dragonfly” stopped gathering search queries from mainland China. (IANS)

Next Story

Tech Giant Google Adds ‘Key Moments for Videos’ in Search Section

Soon, one would be able to find these key moments from video publishers around the world, such as CBS Sports and NDTV, as they add markup to their videos, and the company is looking forward to more creators adopting this helpful new feature

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FILE - A woman walks past the logo for Google at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2018. VOA

US based search engine giant Google has added ‘key moments for videos’ in search, to highlight the most relevant parts of longer videos, based on timestamps provided by the video creators.

With the new feature, users will be able to find key moments within the video that have multiple steps, long speeches or documentaries.

This video indexing would initially be available only for English searches involving YouTube videos.

“Starting today you can find key moments within videos and get to the information you are looking for faster, with help from content creators. When you search for things like how-to videos that have multiple steps, or long videos like speeches or a documentary, Search will provide links to key moments within the video, based on timestamps provided by content creators,” Prashant Baheti, Google Search product manager, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

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FILE – The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

“You will be able to easily scan to see whether a video has what you’re looking for, and find the relevant section of the content. For people who use screen readers, this change also makes video content more accessible,” Prashant added.

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Soon, one would be able to find these key moments from video publishers around the world, such as CBS Sports and NDTV, as they add markup to their videos, and the company is looking forward to more creators adopting this helpful new feature. (IANS)