Google Transparency Project isn’t all that transparent

John Moe Sep 21, 2010

Google is always getting asked by governments around the world to take down certain material or to hand over data. They sometimes go along with it, sometimes don’t. But you can tell they’re not all that happy about it, as evidenced by Google Transparency Project.

It’s a site that gives data on how many take down requests they got from a given country as well as requests to get Google data. There’s also a section that shows traffic from different Google sites (News, Images, YouTube, Google) and it’s occasionally annotated such as when Iran blocked YouTube following their elections.

The data is interesting, although Google admits that it’s incomplete. Personally, I found the site hard to navigate and the data hard to sort. For instance, you have number of take down requests made, items affected, percentage complied with. You have tables, you have points on a Google map. It’s an interesting place to spend time but it takes a while to really figure out what’s going on.

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