China has blacked out my image. A Chinese citizen wanting to see Beppe Grillo gets the following results from the Chinese version of Google:


However, in the rest of the world my face is still visible.


The Chinese Government gives us the possibility to find out its political direction by observing the censorship of images presented as search engines results.
In fact if you put in words like “Falun Gong”, “Dalai Lama” or “Mao Tse Tung” in the Italian version you get certain pictures. In the Chinese version you get other images or you get none at all.

For example, for Dalai Lama with Google Italia, you get the following image first:


In the Chinese version, you get this one:


The great thing is that the censorship is transparent and you can see what the censors are doing.
But censorship on the Internet is dynamic and the images of the Chinese version of Google that appear in this post could already have been modified.

PS: You try and see if you can find censored words.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 03:27 AM in | Comments (12)
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Here is another google tidbit that you might or might not have seen:

Posted by: Brad L.. | September 3, 2006 02:23 AM


Google in China
1/27/2006 11:58:00 AM

Posted by Andrew McLaughlin, senior policy counsel

Google users in China today struggle with a service that, to be blunt, isn't very good. appears to be down around 10% of the time. Even when users can reach it, the website is slow, and sometimes produces results that when clicked on, stall out the user's browser. Our Google News service is never available; Google Images is accessible only half the time. At Google we work hard to create a great experience for our users, and the level of service we've been able to provide in China is not something we're proud of.

This problem could only be resolved by creating a local presence, and this week we did so, by launching, our website for the People's Republic of China. In order to do so, we have agreed to remove certain sensitive information from our search results. We know that many people are upset about this decision, and frankly, we understand their point of view. This wasn't an easy choice, but in the end, we believe the course of action we've chosen will prove to be the right one.

Launching a Google domain that restricts information in any way isn't a step we took lightly. For several years, we've debated whether entering the Chinese market at this point in history could be consistent with our mission and values. Our executives have spent a lot of time in recent months talking with many people, ranging from those who applaud the Chinese government for its embrace of a market economy and its lifting of 400 million people out of poverty to those who disagree with many of the Chinese government's policies, but who wish the best for China and its people. We ultimately reached our decision by asking ourselves which course would most effectively further Google's mission to organize the world's information and make it universally useful and accessible.

Posted by: Tom Salenti | February 23, 2006 02:01 AM

I am living in China and I can see Beppe Grillo's face as well as the Dalai Lama from Google's Chinese web-page. I'm here asking together with Mr Renzo Davoli an errata to the post.
I unite my small contribution to the words "I am not saying that there is no censorship in China, I am saying that you have given a *wrong* proof of that censorship."

There's already a lot of wrong informations about China available, hopefully we'll not see more coming from someone lie Beppe Grillo who's fighting against misinformation.

Posted by: Jacopo DR | February 22, 2006 10:34 AM

the top domain is restricted by another function: not cr.

Cr is used to say country specific content (or better, censored content) and is imposed in countries like China.
This content can change and become in these days all .cn, but a few days ago it wasn't as you can read on :

In regard to this I bet Dave Li is writing from a country outside China where you can see not censored.

By the way Google spilled it's beans answering to the allegations of censorship:

Posted by: John Cooper | February 20, 2006 11:51 PM

Networking: The end of 'shoulder surfing?
Some hackers like to "shoulder surf," or steal unsuspecting PC users' passwords by looking over their shoulders at the Internet café. Others prefer to crack an account's password -- using sophisticated software programs. But new developments in network security are going to wipe out the shoulder surfers, and their cracker pals, experts tell United Press International's Networking.

Graphical passwords are emerging -- images, not words or phrases, which authenticate access to a computer or a network. By Gene Koprowski

Posted by: Ted Smith | February 20, 2006 07:56 PM

Hi, dude. You are a liar. Im a chinese and i can see your *lovely* images on google.CN w/o any probs. Like another bud said below, if you fire your machine gun on something just to show that you are *SO important*, then we Chinese will be very thankful for our government's effort -- to BLOCK YOU! Coz in that sense, we are immunized from your B.S.! lol~

Posted by: Dave Li | February 20, 2006 07:32 PM

The cr variable restricts the search to one top level domain of the Internet.
returns results only from sites ending in .cn.
If you try cr=countryDE, you'll search only for german .de sites, and so on.
So Beppe's tests or all the tests done by using the "try" link on the posting are *useless*, prove *nothing*. The tests show that Grillo is not famout (yet) in China, or that there are no Chinese sites on the Dalai Lama or on Tien an Men square massacre, nothing more.
This is not what chinese people see, but what everyone in the world can see by restricting the search to chinese sites. You need proxys in China or Virtual Private Network links to check the real level of censorship (Google and the Chinese government are not so dull to show their private affairs so simply!)
Beppe, I already asked you in Italian to post an errata corrige, I'm doing the same again in English here. It is for the sake of correctness.
I am not saying that there is no censorship in China, I am saying that you have given a *wrong* proof of that censorship.
You are doing a great work, but if you do not
publish an errata when needed, you are just less believable.

Posted by: renzo davoli | February 20, 2006 04:57 PM

Censurata anche "sabina guzzanti", provare per credere.

Posted by: Noemi Morelli | February 20, 2006 04:36 PM

you have to put the cr variable to see what Chinese people see:

Posted by: Nick Thomasson | February 19, 2006 03:22 PM

Io riesco a visualizzare la sua faccia.

Posted by: Marco Paiolo | February 19, 2006 10:06 AM

Most occidental people is censured on that site why do you think you are SO important that the Chinese government is directly targeting you?

Posted by: Trinzio Cuni | February 18, 2006 03:29 PM

It is a tipical fact to see how with internet, we can believe in blue and five minutes after we can change our mind. We are comdamned to clic every second for something. I propose to design a new life-jacket with a computer hidden inside. So we will be not obliged to seat everytime we need to clic but we can even make our jogging in the same time. But the question is how to clic. If we are in a hurry it could be like here, dear Grillo. Difficult to be a conductor without making mistakes, hm? Furtunately you put some new clips on line and you remain sympathetic in any case. After all you are a comic and we are ready to laugh even about that. Occasions are more and more rare that I propose to the politicians to do like you to be accepted better when they lie or when they make mistakes and I propose to you to be like you are and not to change.

Posted by: sommarti jaio | February 18, 2006 07:34 AM

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