BNP gets top news listing on Google

Google has defended the integrity of its news service after it emerged that reports filed by the British National party are being listed as sources on its website.

As the leader of the British National party, Nick Griffin, appears on charges of inciting racial hatred after being secretly filmed by a BBC documentary team, the BNP's news reports are being listed on Google News alongside those from organisations such as the BBC and Reuters.

One article, written by the BNP's south-east England "correspondent" about the trial of six men accused of murdering 16-year-old Mary-Ann Leneghan, is the first news source listed when searching under the dead woman's name.

The article, which accused the BBC of double standards in not reporting the colour of the defendants in the case, is listed ahead of reports from the BBC, Reuters, Channel 4, the Times and the Telegraph.

Its prime position will mean that many Google users will be directed to the BNP's website by virtue of having clicked on the first headline that is listed.

Other articles listed on the search engine giving the BNP's take on recent news - written by the far-right party "correspondents" - include a man arrested for making homophobic remarks, and support for the BNP among Christians.

But a spokeswoman for Google said today that its job was not to act as censor, and that its automated search services could not screen results.

The company acknowledges that a search may result in "link to sites that some people find objectionable, inappropriate, or offensive" but that it assumes no responsibility for the content of any site included in any search results.

But it said that if any illegal content was linked to in its index the web pages in question would be removed from the Google site.

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