Defend the media – restore Uruknet to Google News

Please click here to send your complaints to google.news, or go to this url:
http://www.uruknet.de/protesta-google.php

January 20, 2006

On January 12, 2007 Google has stopped indexing Uruknet.info as a news source

(The latest Uruknet article included in the Google News index is Iraqi Children “Play” Civil War, January 12, 2007).

We wrote to Google News and this is their reply:

Hi Vincenzo,

Thank you for your message. We apologize for the confusion, we’ve reviewed your site again and are unable to include it in Google News at this time. We appreciate your willingness to provide your articles to us, and we will log your site for future consideration. Thank you for your interest in Google News.

They are unable? and for which reason? Of course there isn’t any technical reason, because Google.news have been indexing Uruknet up to five days ago and although old pages are still available, there has been no update since then. The only “technical reason” is censorship.

We rewrote to Google.news and their reply was even more cryptic:

Thank you for your note. Although we’re unable to provide specific information at this time, we sincerely appreciate your interest in Google News and your willingness to provide us with your content. Please be assured that we’ll keep your site on file should we be able to crawl it in the future.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

Regards, The Google Team

Of course, it is a lie: In our logs it seems that you still crawl Uruknet, but the articles do not appear on Google.news.

We re-rewrote to Google.news and we didn’t get any answer at all. We ignore the reason for which Google has manipulated the rankings for Uruknet , but we think the exclusion of alternative media through search engines results is government/corporate tactics to harness the free flow of information on the Internet. Being banned by Google.news is obviously a serious threat to a news website’s existence.

This isn’t the first time that Google discontinues indexing Uruknet. On February 18, 2005, Google.news removed Uruknet.info as a news source, apparently thanks to Michelle Malkin’s protestations only to reinstate them – following many complaints sent in by our readers.

On June 4, 2005 both Google.com and Google.news dropped Uruknet again without explanation: and in this case too Google reinstated Uruknet only because of complaint messages from our readers.

We must add that Google’s censorship unintentionally occurs in a particularly critical period for our website. Uruknet has been under hacking attacks since September 2005. These attacks increase whenever there are important events from Iraq. Since this past summer, when a great number of attacks were carried out against Uruknet, we have been moving our servers and spending lots of time, money and energies in order to prevent these attacks and to repair the damages. Since the assassination of the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the attacks have increased again and last week they managed to destroy our main server and other servers we use for mirroring websites.

As our readers know, we never carried out campaigns neither for fund-raising nor for any other kind of aid. Although we’ve been able to provide, in spite of sacrifice, for maintenance and safeguard of Uruknet and mirroring websites, and although we succeeded, notwithstanding such a great deal of problems, to face all damages caused by hacking attacks, now Google’s censorship risks to be a blow too hard to ward off.

We therefore kindly request our readers to write to Google asking Uruknet.info to be reinstated as a news source.

Please click here to send your complaints to google.news, or go to this url:
http://www.uruknet.de/protesta-google.php

A few hours ago, we asked our readers to send their complaint messages to ” source-suggestions@google.com ”

Now google.news claims that the address source-suggestions@google.com is no longer active. When one of our readers sends google.news a complaint letter for having stopped indexing uruknet,
he receives the following automated response from google:

—– Original Message —–

From: news-feedback@google.com

To: pao**si@tin.it

Sent: Saturday, January 20, 2007 8:00 PM

Subject: Re: [#102548054] Complain for removing www.uruknet.info from google.news

Thank you for your note about Google News. This is an automated response

to let you know that we appreciate your interest and feedback. Please note

that this email address is no longer active.

To further assist our users, we’ve created a Google News Help Center,

where you can search or browse all of our available support information.

Our Help Center is located at http://www.google.com/support/news/

If you’re a news publisher, please visit our Publisher Help Center at

http://www.google.com/support/news_pub where you’ll find extensive,
up-to-date information and solutions.

But four days ago google.news did reply us from the same email address: so on 16 January 2006 the address ” source-suggestions@google.com ” surely was active.

Messaggio Originale ——–

Oggetto: Re: [#81255140] Re-inserting uruknet.info into google-news

*Data: * *Tue, 16 Jan 2007 11:24:43 -0800*

*Da: * *Google Help source-suggestions@google.com*

A: enzo@uruknet.eu

Hi Vincenzo,

Thank you for your message. We apologize for the confusion, we’ve reviewed your site again and are unable to include it in Google News at this time. We appreciate your willingness to provide your articles to us, and we will log your site for future consideration.

Thank you for your interest in Google News.

Regards,

The Google Team

——– Messaggio Originale ——– Oggetto: Re: [#81255140] Re-inserting uruknet.info into google-news

Data: Tue, 16 Jan 2007 17:45:05 -0800

Da: Google Help source-suggestions@google.com

A: enzo@uruknet.eu

Hi Vincenzo,

Thank you for your note. Although we’re unable to provide specific information at this time, we sincerely appreciate your interest in Google News and your willingness to provide us with your content. Please be assured that we’ll keep your site on file should we be able to crawl it in the future.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

Regards,

The Google Team

We therefore strongly suspect that google.news “source-suggestions@google.com” has put a filter on the word “uruknet”.

We made some test, and we made sure that if someone sends
to source-suggestions@google.com an email message
without the word “uruknet”, google news doesn’t reply that the address is inactive.

Please click here to send your complaints to google.news, or go to this url:
http://www.uruknet.de/protesta-google.php