According to TorrentFreak, Google has begun actively censoring file-sharing related terms in their instant and autocomplete services. The Big G had hinted recently that “piracy related” terms would be getting the boot, but we’re rather surprised they followed through. From now on, terms like torrent, rapidshare, and utorrent will not show up in autocomplete or instant results. Users will have to actually press enter (the horror!).
This isn’t just of concern because you have to completely type in ‘Ubuntu torrent’ to find your Linux-y goodness. It is also about the fact that Google has assembled a fairly wide variety of words that will trigger the instant search to shut off. It’s just like if you were typing a forbidden pornographic term. Google pretends to have no idea what you are talking about until you press enter.
Legitimate companies like BItTorrent Inc and Vodo are also affected by this move. Jamie King, founder of Vodo said in a statement, “Google already showed it will censor for the highest bidder — China Inc. springs to mind. Now it’s doing it for MPAA & Co.” We can’t say if this is going to really decrease traffic that much, or that it’s going to satisfy the copyright holders. But it does leave a bad taste in many people’s mouths. How do you feel about this?