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Tech Reporter Claims Google Uses Its Power To Censor The Internet

A tech reporter claimed Thursday that Google uses its power to censor the internet, alleging that the company pressured her to delete an article detailing its deliberate stifling of search traffic.

(Article by Rob Shimshock republished from

Former Forbes reporter Kashmir Hill reportedly discovered during a 2011 social media meeting with Google that the company would rank links higher on its search engine if those links included buttons for its Google Plus social network, according to the reporter’s Gizmodo article.

“The Google salespeople were encouraging Forbes to add Plus’s ‘+1’ social buttons to articles on the site, alongside the Facebook Like button and the Reddit share button,” Hill said. “They said it was important to do because the Plus recommendations would be a factor in search results—a crucial source of traffic to publishers.”

“By tying search results to the use of Plus, Google was using that muscle to force people to promote its social network,” Hill said.

The former Forbes reporter clarified her interpretation with Google’s press office, which did not say she was wrong, but preferred to phrase the Google Plus button function as something that “influences the ranking” of pages.

Hill published an article in Forbes entitled “Stick Google Plus Buttons On Your Pages, Or Your Search Traffic Suffers” in which she detailed the exchange.

“Google promptly flipped out,” Hill said. “This was in 2011, around the same time that a congressional antitrust committee was looking into whether the company was abusing its powers.”

Google allegedly did not object to the accuracy of the story but told Hill to take it down, citing the confidentiality of the meeting in which the writer had learned the information. However, Hill claims that there was no such arrangement for confidentiality. (RELATED: Anti-Corporate Voices On Both Right And Left Claim Google Censorship)

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