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Google helps Chinese web users evade censored keywords

 | 2/6/2012 01:19 PM

June 2 (LP)- Google has begun to offer help to web users in China with suggestions about banned words, which were viewed foul by the country’s strict censors, The Economic Times reported.

Until now, users who searched for banned or sensitive words received a “webpage not available” message and their connection was temporarily cut.

Google will now advise users if they are entering a sensitive word, and let them try and find an alternative.

Google, whose business in China has been held back by censorship issues, has been trying to deal with the country’s censors since 2010.

The company started redirecting mainland Chinese users to its Hong Kong website in 2010, citing concerns over censorship and hacking.

In its official blog, Google said that it had investigated error message complaints and website disconnection issues after being told by users that its search service inside China was erratic.

Google’s Senior Vice President Alan Eustace claimed that engineers of the firm reviewed the 350,000 most popular search queries in China to look for problems.

“After digging into user reports, we’ve noticed that these interruptions are closely correlated with searches for a particular subset of queries,” the BBC quoted Eustace, as saying.

The company did not refer to these keywords as censored, but internet users said the vast majority of problem searches are mostly related to politically-sensitive issues.

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