Jan 22, 2009, 07:35AM

Erotica, pornography and Google

Some things are just too difficult for an algorithm to filter.

Collateral damage:

I don’t expect Google’s much-celebrated algorithm would have any better luck with the Erotic vs Porngraphy question then we mere humans, but one would hope it would at least be able to distiguish between the internet’s honest participants and bad actors. Sadly, a Google-search like ["bill and desiree"] doesn’t give me much hope; Google ranks stolen torrents of our just released Bill and Desiree: Love is Timeless pages ahead of our own efforts to promote and sell the film on the web.

Of course I would suppose there are those who would argue that whether Google’s efforts represent a war on spam, a war on pornography, or a war on sex, it’s a war worth winning, and the harm to Comstock Films, if not intended, still falls in the realm of “acceptable losses”; that the suppression of Comstock Films that’s taken place over the last two years in Google’s search returns is an unintended, but inevitable side effect of Google’s larger efforts “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” As Seth puts it – collateral damage.




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