Google to censor News Sources?

As far as I can make out, Google is threatening to suspend all news searches because the government wants them to pay for access to the stories. You can see why. Content creators pay for reporters, editors, printing, office space etc and depend on advertising to provide an income stream to stay in business. If Google gives them direct access to the stories, the providers may lose revenue by consumers not accessing their pages through online or printed media, so there *is* a point of principle at stake for all us end users. Having said that, Google wants to support a ‘free internet’ where all information is available to all.

If this ‘ban’ goes ahead, I can understand in principle what will happen, i.e. if, for example, I type a url request to go to News Ltd sites in my chrome browser, I’ll get a ‘content unavailable’ or some such similar message returned. What *isn’t* clear is what happens if I try to reach the site by other means. Is Google going to monitor all my url requests and filter out those related to sites it’s ‘banned’, or will I still be able to access them?

In some ways the point is moot because, like most other users, I’m aware that all I need do is move to a different search engine, no biggie. In fact if I use dogpile.com, it will use several search engines to return almost anything. Still, the suggestion that Google is, or will be, monitoring everything I do, and everywhere I go on the internet (and elsewhere since I have an android powered phone!) is a little worrying to say the least.

But getting back on topic. it seems to me Google will lose a lot of people for whom the search engine has become somewhat ubiquitous, after all “to Google” has become a verb synonymous with internet searches. If we all switch to Bing or whoever will this continue? We await developments.


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