Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Googling Our Way to Community Standards

Link to June 24 New York Times article, "What’s Obscene? Google Could Have an Answer", by Matt Richtel.

In the trial of a pornographic Web site operator, the defense plans to show that residents of Pensacola are more likely to use Google to search for terms like “orgy” than for “apple pie” or “watermelon.” The publicly accessible data is vague in that it does not specify how many people are searching for the terms, just their relative popularity over time. But the defense lawyer, Lawrence Walters, is arguing that the evidence is sufficient to demonstrate that interest in the sexual subjects exceeds that of more mainstream topics — and that by extension, the sexual material distributed by his client is not outside the norm.

OK, maybe the defense team needs to rethink its search terms. What does third base feel like? The answer is here.

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