Sunday, January 29, 2006

White-shirted student activist morphs into white-shirted middle-aged tourist

Google's much-criticized announcement to start a censored search engine in China has given rise to a new national sports: doing parallel searches on both and and comparing the results.

And of course the discrepancies are huge, at least if you choose some nicely controversial keywords.

Here's what you get when you do an image search for 'tiananmen' on, and here are the corresponding results. Americans get 22,400 images, with the first results pages dominated by the famous tank column being stopped by a white-shirted activist. Chinese only get 414, barely 2%, of these, mostly tourists' holiday snapshots on the famous square.

The picture with the white-shirted tourist above is result #29 on .com, #2 on .cn. Wonder if it's the same guy.

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