Section 28 backer Brian Souter accuses Google of censoring his website
Scottish entrepreneur Brian Souter, who gave £1 million to the campaign to keep Section 28, has accused Google of blocking his personal website.
The Stagecoach founder accused the search engine of censoring free speech and said his website, briansouter.com, had “mysteriously disappeared” from Google’s top results for his name.
Sir Brian, who was knighted this summer, said he will ask ministers to draw up legislation to curb Google’s “power over free speech”.
Gordon Beattie, his public relations and web media adviser, said: “It’s not Google’s place to decide which sites we can see and those we can’t. “It amounts to search engine censorship.
“We are now asking the question – is it time legislation was enacted to curb Google’s power over free speech on the internet?”
Sir Brian gave £1 million to a 2000 campaign to uphold Section 28 in Scotland and his website mentions the fact.
He has not publicly commented on gay rights in the last decade, but gay rights charity Stonewall has nominated him for its 2011 Bigot of the Year award.
His website, briansouter.com, does not appear in the first ten pages of Google’s results. However, many results refer to his backing of the controversial legislation, which banned the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools.
A Google spokesman said in a statement that while he could not comment on individual cases, the search engine’s algorithm seeks to provide the most relevant results.