Google defend decisions on gay hate website

Tony Grew February 26, 2007
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Google has confirmed that they removed a homophobic blog from their service because it was in breach of their terms and conditions.

The company defended their decision last week not to remove the offending webpage.

The blog, called killbattyman, featured numerous highly offensive images and comments about LGBT people and called for them all to be executed.

The latest post featured a doctored image of Peter Tatchell holding a placard with a sexually explicit picture of a child on it.

It is thought that this image of a child is the reason that Google decided to take the blog offline.

“We will act to remove blogs which are in clear breach of our terms and conditions,” Rachel Whetstone, director of corporate communications for Google Europe, told

She declined to say which condition had been breached.

“We removed the blog today as quickly as we could,” she said.

Peter Tatchell, who was one of the people vilified on the site, welcomed the decision.

“Thanks to and everyone else who lobbied Google to remove this murderous website,” he said.

“It is good that Google has heard our concerns but bad that it took them so long to respond.

“If this website had been advocating the killing of black or Jewish people, I am certain that Google would have taken a much tougher stand and removed it much sooner.

“This is not a free speech issue. Free speech does not include the right to incite the killing of other human beings. “

Ms Whetstone defended Google’s decision.

“We respect the fact that people may disagree with this, but as a company we believe that freedom of expression and freedom of speech are very important.

“There are many things on the Web which certain groups find upsetting or distasteful.

“It is up to governments to decide at the end of the day where freedom of speech begins and ends.”

The decision to remove the homophobic blog was welcomed by Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of gay rights organisation Stonewall.

“We are delighted that Google has listened to common sense,” he told

“It is common sense that means you cannot divorce incitement to hatred from the reality of what is happening on the street.

“That is why we are pressing the government to introduce an offence of incitement to hatred which matches the offence of incitement to racial hatred.”

On Friday Google decided to put up a page warning people that the content on killbattyman blog might be offensive.

The warning page disappeared over the weekend, but was restored this morning.

Ms Whetstone said the company is reviewing why the page went down.

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