Don't Censor Search

5 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2013

Date Written: September 7, 2007


When search engines lead thousands of searchers to anonymous online harassment, it may seem only natural to look for legal ways to make the harassment disappear from search results. This initially attractive idea is in fact deeply dangerous. It pressures the wrong intermediary, invites abuse by spammers and censors, and misunderstands the relationship between search engines and search users. Search-engine amplification is part of the problem of online harassment, but laws targeting search engines are the wrong solution.

Keywords: search, search engines, Google

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Grimmelmann, James, Don't Censor Search (September 7, 2007). 117 Yale Law Journal Pocket Part 48 (2007), Available at SSRN:

James Grimmelmann (Contact Author)

Cornell Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

Cornell Tech ( email )

111 8th Avenue #302
New York, NY 10011
United States

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