Beacon of Speech May Be Being Censored
Updated: May 10
I didn't want to write this article because I am depressed enough already.
But here we are.
During Covid, my partner at BOS, Ted, and I abandoned the YouTube version of Beacon of Speech for a year. We couldn't successfully socially distance under the old format. During our hiatus, I continued writing for the Blog and kept in weekly contact with Ted. The Mac Book Pro we used for the show crapped out and the Apple Store was closed and not giving any Tech Support. When the Apple Store finally opened back up, they refused my entry (literally) and sent me to a Apple approved independent vendor who would charge me whether they fixed the computer or not.
That dead computer is still sitting next to me, a $1,000 paperweight. Currently, Beacon of Speech is run off of 3 computers. A crappy, refurbished school laptop which, on most days, runs marginally better than a typewriter, a gaming desktop in the basement, and, very rarely, the work computer. I make sure I am off the clock when using the work computer (for obvious reasons.) When BOS on YouTube is rebooted, it will be on the basement desktop.
Why am I telling you these mundane details? At some point, Beacon of Speech's connection to Google was severed. Not sure how, not sure why, but I blamed myself for the Russian roulette of computer usage. My tech support skills were not up to par and I didn't catch the mistake for a long period of time.
Once I fixed the issues, though, I briefly thought that Wix might not be best hosting partner, but everything I double checked on the Wix end panned out. As far as I can tell, Wix is not the problem.
Everything I could think of on my end seemed to be fixed, but for some reason, BOS articles still weren't coming up on Google.
Then the words of the immortal Kurt Cobain echoed in my head....
Just because you're paranoid,
Don't mean they're not after you.
So I tried a little experiment. Assuming that BOS is doing everything right to be found on Google, and Wix is doing everything right to allow BOS to be found on Google. Let's try the Google search engine.
Okay, the main website comes up and the Blog comes up. Using the downstairs computer, the first 2 out of a 100 of so searches come up as BOS. I haven't used Bing in forever. Let's try Bing.
The first 50 searches were all my website.
Let's try Google again, except something a little more controversial. The Blog has a Race category. Let's see if Google lands there.
Out of 21,400,000 results, no Beacon of Speech. The first 50 articles leaned a certain way. (The Black Lives Matter Way.) We are not fans of Black Lives Matter at BOS. Let's try Bing again.
The first 8 searches were BOS, with a smattering of hits in the first 50. Now I'm starting to get frustrated. There's no way Google has time to filter out my libertarian leaning website. Beacon of Speech is a minnow in an ocean of sharks. I understand certain keywords not getting picked up, but a search engine should easily find my website.
Then I remembered, about 4 years ago, I wrote an unfocused article that really didn't have a point called Great Googily-Moogily which lamented that ONLY Google could find Beacon of Speech.
So, somehow, despite an additional 500 blog entries, hundreds of edited original images, and a couple of dozen YouTube videos, Beacon of Speech has LESS of a presence on Google.
Coincidentally, the mechanic at my day job asked if I was aware of Caster Semenya? I said I was and wrote about her a few years back. I Googled my own article on his phone and...
Google Beacon of Speech Caster Semenya and this is what you get:
Only 12 results, none of them my article.
I'm afraid to look, but let's try Bing:
A search engine with no results? Maybe I deleted my own article and I don't remember doing so?
Nope. Here it is.
Tried Baidu. I'd understand if they censored Beacon of Speech. (They did.)
There it is-
BUT only one original image from the website came up out of hundreds, and that's from one of the last YouTube videos.
Now I believe the blog post with the most hits I've ever had is The Strange, Strange Story of Manute Bol. When I google Beacon of Speech Manute Bol, it comes right up. But I don't believe many people are still writing about the late Manute Bol. If you simply type of Manute Bol in the Google search engine, the article comes up on Page 13....
You know what? I am going to hit the Pause Button on the Blog and contact Google itself. I assume it will go one of 3 ways.
Google will send a form letter stating that they don't censor anyone.
Google will say "contact your host's SEO." Meaning if you PAY to get found on Google, you will get found on Google. (Pay to Play.)
Google will play ignorant. People can't find your Blog? Must be bad, bad luck.
Soccer Great Henry Thierry said that he was leaving social media until platforms "attack racism and bullying with the same veracity as copyright infringement."
Is it possible that BOS has been blocked over something as basic as copyright infringement?