Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

merkinofbaphomet posts on AnandTech that he just noticed that no abuse images show up on Google Images when you search for Abu Ghraib. The same search on Alta Vista produces a bunch of images.

I DO know that Google Images doesn't refresh their image database that frequently. Is it just that the images haven't made it into the database yet? Does anyone have more info on this? Can someone from Google shed some light?

via metafilter


Strangely enough, I noticed that Google didn't have any of these images about six weeks ago. For some reason, it never occured to me that they could have been stripped deliberately.

Google Images is *very* slow to update its database. There is a SEO contest for "seraphim proudleduck" and while a lot of search engine optimizers tried their luck to get an image in Google for this (it's running since September 2004), nothing can be found yet.

I don't think they censored anything. Why would they? To cause the biggest scandal in the history of Google Inc? It just doesn't make sense.
On the other hand, it is very likely people create conspiracy theories around this -- that's just normal, especially when it comes to Google.
Of course, until I have proof for either side, I wouldn't say I'm perfectly sure.

Dear. Mr. fuckyou: Those text-to-speech podcasts are not mine. They just talk about this blog. Also, please note that I do not have any advertisers.

Phillipp. I agree. I think it's a technical issue and probably not censorship. Which leads to another point. I don't have the URLs but a few other search engines with image search all of photos of Abu Ghraib. Why does Google have to be so slow?

Why is Google Images so slow? Good question. I suppose they don't get enough money out of ads on Google Images, so they won't invest too much money into bigger/better/faster approaches.

Even for web pages, Yahoo is often faster to pick up new things -- but give it some weeks, and Google will catch up and beat Yahoo with a higher quantity of results. See my analysis of the "Revenge of the Sith" meme:

Hi all,

We posted an official response here On slashdot.

(and other places :-)

But in short, it is a database age issue. Joi: thanks for giving us the benefit of the doubt in your post.

Chris DiBona
Open Source Program Manager, Google Inc.

Thanks for the clarification. I'm also glad I gave you the benefit of the doubt and didn't end up looking like an ass. ;-)

Yeah right! From April to November they don't have any pictures added? And the "explanation" in Slashdot is just a denial.

Something's smells fishy in Denmark

Joi: you wouldn't have looked like an ass.

Brenner: It's not so simple as a single granular index updating time, but it is simple in that it doesn't have a single thing to do with the government.


Hi together, also does have the pictures. Same for clusty.

Since the other engines do not only have like a few but tons of the torture pictures (ecspacially alltheweb) and google is working with weights on importance, I'm peronally quite suspicious about the missing results with google.

It should be relativeley easy to check whether this is an issue of update-time or not. Just look for some other recent pictures and compare their appearance.

I just made a quick test, look for

Google: no result
Alltheweb: no result
clusty: no result

If you search the web for "2004election_by_iq" all three engines produce results.

So, no clarificatio with this test, we would need to try something older. I have no ideas r8 now, and have to go back to work ;)