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Madeleine McCann horrible jokes on Google

(99 Posts)
Siane Sun 09-Aug-09 08:57:49

Hi - I recently missed the news headlines and knew there was one about MM, so I went to Google and tapped in her name into the search engine. As you know, as you begin to type, suggestions drop down below. The first one was obviously her full name. The second one is, 'Madeleine McCann Jokes'. I nearly fell off my chair. I am aware they are on the web, but this is Google, actively directing people towards this self contained category. And - Google should direct people to the most searched option. However, there is 136,000 of these pages compated to over 3,000,000 for Michael Jackson. They have taken down that category (i.e. Michael Jackson Jokes) as it is inappropriate. They have removed any suggestions for porn sites, or other offensive material. However, when I got in contact with them they will not stop directing people to Madeleine McCann Jokes. I am furious with them - just because they are massive and corporate...can they not apply some BASIC ethics? Anyway, the only way they'll listen is if other people come forward. I've got a petition set up but only 6 friends have signed it! Please help me and sign. Imagine if your child was missing and when you or your mum, or husband tapped her name into Google to find out any developments, the category 'Jokes' appeared immediately under her name, before 'news' or 'own website' or anything.
Here's the link.
Please help - I'm determined to remove this material just to take away one other source of angst from her family, tiny in comparison though it might be.
thank you.

Siane Sun 09-Aug-09 09:10:33

Please have a look and help me stand up to this.

skihorse Sun 09-Aug-09 10:21:03

YABU. - that or you work for the Chinese government censorship department.

atworknotworking Sun 09-Aug-09 10:52:34


If no one tries to make a difference then nothing will change. Have signed petition and added to twitter. Good Luck

Siane Sun 09-Aug-09 10:59:22

atworknotworking - thank you so much. I'm glad you feel the same. Thank you.

skihorse - how can you say that? It's not censorship, the material will still be available to any people who like looking at jokes about a missing little girl...What I object to is Google directing people to them when you just type in her name. People like her mum, or her dad, or her gran, or any person sympathetic to her cause who has just typed in Madeleine McCann into Google.

If it were your child who were missing...would you feel the same? Would you approve of Google directing people to the category where people joke about the paedophile or killed her?

expatinscotland Sun 09-Aug-09 11:24:57

I'm with skihorse. Google is a business, not a charity or an ethics committee. The material is legal and obviously whoever's site it is has paid to have their site so far up the directory.

Distasteful, perhaps.

But legal and I don't agree with censorship.

Tidey Sun 09-Aug-09 11:28:12

It's certainly in the poorest taste but no-one has to click on it. If it's out there in internet land, it's going to come up on a serach engine. I presume it's on the list of subjects you might be searching for because somewhere out there, people ARE searching for them and there's not much you can do about that.

nellynaemates Sun 09-Aug-09 11:29:16

I think you have honourable intentions Siane but I'm afraid I won't be signing your petition.

If Google start making value judgements on that (which as expat says is not illegal, although undoubtedly in bad taste) then what else will they make value judgements on?

I'm not so naive as to think Google are completely impartial but the aim should be that they are as disinterested as possible in deciding what people should and should not see.

proverbial Sun 09-Aug-09 11:33:06

I'm in the no camp. You want Google to censor its web searches? hmm The things that come up are because of the volume of people who search for such things, you could say they are democratic, and I for one would not like to see anyone censoring that.
You might not like it but thats just your opinion. And, btw, if I was the parent of a missing child I don't think I'd be usin google to get updated information, and neither would I care who was saying what or making what jokes.

Siane Sun 09-Aug-09 11:33:07

I'm not talking about it appearing on the internet, I'm talking about google suggesting we visit it on their home page. If you type, 'naked wome' they do not suggest 'naked women' because they have chosen to filter that out as it is distasteful. Is it? Only pornographic images...If you type in 'Madeleine Mc' you get Madeleine McCann Jokes. This isn't censorship, this is taking Googles stated policy of filtering out pornographic or hate of violence terms from their search engine's home page. They are refusing to acknowledge that jokes discussing the various ways an innocent 4 year old DIED are hateful or violent.
Honestly. Calling it censorship is pathetic. Would you be happy if it appeared all over the telly when your kids were watching or in the papers? Like it or not, you have chosen to live in a country where you sign up to a code of behaviour. Businesses can run ethically and increasingly they do. Legality of the material has nothing to do with it.

proverbial Sun 09-Aug-09 11:36:10

Whose code of behaviour though? Yours? A great number of people like jokes about things that scare them, its an instinctive response to fear, it takes the sting out for a minute. Who are you to say its distasteful or anti social?

Siane Sun 09-Aug-09 11:37:54

Incidentally, Goolge have chosen to filter out 'Michael Jackson Jokes' from their homepage despite there being over 3 million sites devoted to them.
The self censor according to a code of behaviour. I'm just asking them to apply the same principle to a missing child as they have to a global celebrity. angry

proverbial Sun 09-Aug-09 11:41:02

I don't think they should have filtered that out either, but they can do what they like.
Do you not think though that every single person could think of something that they personally think should be filtered out on the rounds of taste or decency or whatever? And where would we be then?

Siane Sun 09-Aug-09 11:41:11

You live in a country which operates to a code. If you don't believe me, try to dicated where you taxes go. If you disagree with one element of where your taxes go, try to stop paying them. You can't unless you leave the country. You are a signed up member to a democracy which operates according to a code of decency - a code which says there is a watershed on telly at 9, a country which says the newspapers can't publish graphic pornographic shots, a country who says you can't streak naked in the street. If you don't believe that society dictates a code and you're part of it, then I am suprised.

expatinscotland Sun 09-Aug-09 11:44:43

You're not really winning people over to your 'cause' with your attitude, Siane, to be frank.

Siane Sun 09-Aug-09 11:48:08

i think proverbial, you are missing my point. I am advocating that Google include jokes about MM's disappearance as distasteful, in the same way as certain porn material is, and not ACTIVELY direct people there - they have a policy which they use in this respect. If you wish to type in 'Madeleine McCann Jokes' you are free to do so and you will be taken straight there to read them. If you just type in her name though, you shouldn't be.
I really thought on a mums forum there would be some compassion with this. I expect there is, but maybe you are mistaking my lobbying for this to be included in their current policy as censorship. I just don't understand why you would.

squatchette Sun 09-Aug-09 11:49:43

I don't agree with censorship in any form but I do agree that companies can have a code of conduct that covers basic decency.
Most people would think it common sense that if a child has gone missing it is inappropriate and cruel to make a joke of it,and by that token distasteful.
I'm not saying the content should be removed ffor those --sick fucks -- that want it.It should just be indexed in a more appropriate ccat e.g sick jokes .

Siane Sun 09-Aug-09 11:50:33

expatinscotland Sorry, I just don't get this. I'm just saying there are certain things we expect from the society we live in - that's hardly hard line!

PerfectPrefect Sun 09-Aug-09 11:50:35

TBH I think that some are mis-understanding Siane. I may be wrong. I kind of see what she is saying.

She is not saying that the top hits are for MM jokes.

She is saying that the Google perdictive text thing is SUGGESTING that you might want to google for MM jokes.
If there are abundant hits to be found I don't see the problem per se. It is on hte internet. If you want to search you will find (whether it is there as a suggestion or not).

If it is true that there was a similar "suggestions" offered for Micheal Jackson which Google have actively intervened to remove the "suggestion" then this is in equally bad taste and should therefore be given the same treatment and been removed (the jokes will stil come up if you type Michael Jackson Jokes; google have done nothing to remove them from a search result).

Siane Sun 09-Aug-09 11:51:48

squatchette - thank you. That's exactly what I mean. A Code of Conduct. Google have one, but they won't extend it to a missing child. That's all I'm saying.

SerendipitousHarlot Sun 09-Aug-09 11:52:23

Because it is Siane.

You type someting into a search engine, stuff comes up that you are either not interested in or find distasteful

Don't click on it then <shrugs>

pinkington Sun 09-Aug-09 11:52:28

Actually google haven't censored out micheal jackson jokes at all - like others have said you don't have to click on them!

squatchette Sun 09-Aug-09 11:52:34

I understand what you mean Siane exactly what I was trying to say.If they can judge content on MJ why not MM?

Siane Sun 09-Aug-09 11:53:39

PerfectPrefect - yes, that's it. thank you. It's just in terrible taste. I have friends who are friends of the family and there's nothing I can do to help them, I just wanted to remove one more source of angst, even if it's small.

edam Sun 09-Aug-09 11:53:57

Google already censors - happy to collude with the Chinese government in preventing people from learning about Tiananmen Square.

I don't see why a company that assists a dictatorship that imprisons and tortures its critics in suppressing information can suddenly cite freedom of expression when it comes to horrible jokes about a missing little girl.

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