Search engines help us find what we’re looking for. So when governments put pressure on search companies, the results can be sinister.

A cyber-monitoring group says Microsoft’s Bing is squelching politically sensitive topics. What are their responsibilities, and what can people do to keep the information flowing?

Linguist Daniel Midgley searches for answers on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with James Hall


Show notes

Facebook allows custom genders
http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/facebook-now-allows-users-to-pick-a-custom-gender-beyond-mal

About 50+ in all.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/02/14/facebook_offers_50plus_new_gender_options_for_users/

Cis-
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/cis-

An Internet watchdog accuses Microsoft’s Bing of censoring Sino-sensitive results, even outside China.
http://phys.org/news/2014-02-microsoft-bing-accused-chinese-language-censorship.html
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/11/bing-censors-chinese-language-search-results

Microsoft denies it
http://phys.org/news/2014-02-microsoft-denies-chinese-language-bing-censorship.html
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/12/microsoft-bing-censor-chinese-search-results-system-error?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

Bing has some ‘splaining to do.
http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/herdict/2014/02/13/bing-needs-to-explain-its-search-algorithms/

What do you do if you’re a search engine in China?
http://www.economist.com/blogs/analects/2014/02/internet-censorship

Google’s history of censorship
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_by_Google

Google says it’s getting hammered
http://www.pcworld.com/article/257808/google_reports_alarming_rate_of_government_censorship.html

and puts out a transparency report to document it all.
http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/removals/government/

Bing could use one of those.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/14/micorsoft-bing-china-censorship-transparency

Google now explains the censorship, and provides suggestions.
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/may/31/google-alert-chinese-users-censored

Blogger redirects you to a country-specific URL so it can censor country by country.
https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/2402711?hl=en

Chinese speakers have ways around this.
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2699

Kevin Slavin on how algorithms shape our world
http://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_slavin_how_algorithms_shape_our_world.html

How do search engines work?
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/internet/basics/search-engine.htm
http://www.searchcatalyst.co.uk/learn/how-do-search-engines-work

There have been many Google Bombs over the years.
http://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/google-bombs/

Google put a stop to them.
http://searchengineland.com/google-kills-bushs-miserable-failure-search-other-google-bombs-10363

Why not try DuckDuckGo?
https://duckduckgo.com

The words of the Winter Olympics
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/winter-olympics/10627035/Winter-Olympics-the-language-explained.html


Show tunes

‘Stay’ by the Go Find
from the album Everybody Knows It’s Gonna Happen Only Not Tonight

‘Stadium Ice’ by Squarepusher
from the album Ufabulum