Yahoo most zealous search censor in China

— 4:59 PM on June 16, 2006

Yahoo's Chinese site is the most zealous search engine with regard to censorship in China, according to an article by Reporters Without Borders. The organization found that Yahoo censored search results more thoroughly than even China's own number one search engine, Baidu. A search test for the term "press freedom" found only one "unauthorized" result on, while Baidu found three and Google's Chinese site found five. What's more, searching for keywords like "6-4"—the date of the Tiananmen Square incident, during which thousands of protesters were killed on June 4, 1989—blocks the user's access to the search engine for one hour, Reporters Without Borders says.

Of course, this report may come as no surprise to some. Yahoo has been known for its Sino-friendly policy since it was accused last year of collaborating with the Chinese government to put Chinese journalist Shi Tao behind bars. Tao's crime was leaking the contents of a Communist party memo that sought to control press coverage of the Tiananmen Square massacre's 15th anniversary on June 4, 2004. Tao was charged with "divulging state secrets" and sentenced to ten years in prison.

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