In only two days, well over 1,000 people from all over the world have signed a petition demanding that Google end its blacklisting of the World Socialist Web Site and other sites from search results. The signers of the petition come from at least 35 different countries on five continents.
In April, Google announced a change in its search algorithms under the guise of blocking “offensive” sites and promoting “authoritative content” in search results. The new algorithm effectively blocks search results for left-wing websites. The WSWS has been the hardest hit by this change, experiencing a nearly 70 percent decline in traffic from Google searches over a three-month period.
Because of the support of WSWS readers, who have responded to Google’s censorship by widely distributing articles through email and social media, the WSWS’s readership has in recent days returned to the levels seen before Google initiated its censorship protocols.
This is despite the fact that the search algorithms continue to prevent new WSWS articles from being displayed in Google search results.
Many readers that signed the petition also left comments in support of the campaign.
“Google’s censorship of the WSWS is undemocratic and unconstitutional,” wrote Stephanie. “Google must immediately stop blocking WSWS content from search results and allow information to flow freely, for knowledge is power.”
“Disallowing the dissemination of information critical to exposing the class nature of all political issues we face represents a leap toward authoritarianism,” wrote Filipe from Panama.
Ian, from Ireland, wrote, “I'm signing because the WSWS, which tells the complete objective truth to the working class, has the best interest of the working class in mind.”
“The campaign against WSWS and other progressive web sites is not just some dystopian nightmare,” wrote Robert in Germany, “We all must wake up.”
Gideon, from Denmark, said he signed the petition “because freedom of speech is more important and natural than power and control ever will be.”
Amber, wrote, “People have the right to choose where they want to receive their news and information from. Google is violating our right to free speech; they have no right to censor any web sites!”
David, from New South Wales, Australia, wrote, “This is an outrageous, deliberate and dangerous attack on the world’s working class. When governments and business collude to actively block information from public view it signals that they are actively and consciously moving to Police State method of population control.”
Helena, from Puerto Rico, wrote in support, “We need serious and trustworthy news. WSWS is my only alternative.”
“I'm against any kind of censorship on the internet,” wrote Ricardo in Portugal, “[It] should be a free space and not controlled by corporations.”
WSWS reporter Andre Damon said he was heartened by the strong response from WSWS readers around the world. “This response makes clear the degree of popular opposition to Google’s censorship policies and the control of the internet by giant monopolies.
“This is a critical fight in the struggle to defend democratic rights: We are fighting for the right to know, to think, and to communicate freely on the internet.”
The WSWS encourages all our readers to fight against Internet censorship by sharing our articles on social media, signing our petition, and becoming active in our campaign.