Today we discovered that Google has filtered out any firearms and firearms related accessories from their Google Shopping channel. Google Shopping is an extremely useful tool for finding a variety of products on multiple outlets in order to see what is available and what retailer or e-tailer offers a product at the best price point.
As recently as last week, this author has used Google Shopping to search for firearms-related products, but as of today, this function is no longer available.
A search for ?Springfield? (Springfield Armory, a company that makes a variety of pistols, rifles, and related accessories) came up blank.
As did a search for ?Daniel Defense? (A company known for making high quality rifles and accessories).
A search for ?Magpul? (A company known for making low cost but good quality firearm accessories) brought up only four items, whereas before the same search would have turned up hundreds of links.
A search for ?9mm Ammo? also came up empty.
Non-lethal defensive devices such as pepper spray and Tasers are also being filtered from searches.
It is interesting to note that in many of these searches, the potential categories still showed up at the bottom left, although the searches showed no results.
Many firearm-related accessories are sold by major retailers that deal in sporting goods, including Amazon, and there are a variety of legitimate firearms stores and companies that have an online presence. For Google to omit them from their search is nothing short of censorship of a legitimate industry. There are rumors that Google may also be ending any and all Youtube monetization contracts with any firearm-related Youtube channels. The rumors also mention the possibility of Google requiring all firearms-related videos to be accessible only to people ages 18 and over.
This could be the first step of a Google attempt to ?whitewash? the internet of industries that it does not approve of, regardless of their legitimacy. For a company whose motto is ?Don?t be evil?, this is definitely a violation.
For more information, click here to see Google’s new policy for Google Shopping.