Rick Santorum Claims Politics at Play in Vulgar Google Name Searches

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By Herbert Pinnock, Christian Post Reporter
September 22, 2011|4:43 pm

Rick Santorum is incensed that Google has not cleared obscene references connected to his last name in search results, and the presidential hopeful believes politics are at play.

The issue goes back to an ongoing campaign began by members of the gay community following controversial statements made by the former Pennsylvania Senator in respect to gays.

Syndicated columnist and LGBT activist Dan Savage found the statements offensive, and commenced a process of associating Santorum's surname to an obscene reference.

On Tuesday, Santorum lashed out at Google, claiming that the company could get rid of the unpleasant references linked to his name on the search results if it wanted to – and suggested that Google would have done so if he were a Democrat.

"I suspect if something was up there like that about Joe Biden, they'd get rid of it," he told Politico. "If you're a responsible business, you don't let things like that happen in your business that has an impact on the country."

In an e-mail to CNN, a Google spokeswoman said, "Google's search results are a reflection of the content and information that is available on the Web. Users who want content removed from the Internet should contact the webmaster of the page directly. Once the webmaster takes the page down from the Web, it will be removed from Google's search results through our usual crawling process."

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She added: "We do not remove content from our search results, except in very limited cases such as illegal content and violations of our webmaster guidelines."

Santorum is just the latest to gripe at Google over how it ranks search results, according to reports.

Jeremy Stoppelman, the CEO of Yelp, published a blog post Tuesday in which he claimed that Google purposefully ranks its own products - like Google Places - above its competitors'.

"We believe Google has acted anti-competitively in at least two key ways: by misusing Yelp review content in their competing Places product and by favoring their own competing Places product in search results," Stoppelman wrote.

 

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