By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:23pm EDT

People talk in front of a Baidu's company logo at Baidu's headquarters in Beijing January 16, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Lee

People talk in front of a Baidu’s company logo at Baidu’s headquarters in Beijing January 16, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Lee

(Reuters) – Chinese Internet company Baidu Inc on Thursday won the dismissal of a U.S. lawsuit by pro-democracy activists who complained that Baidu illegally suppressed political speech on China’s most widely used Internet search engine.

Eight New York writers and video producers had accused Baidu of creating search engine algorithms, at the behest of China, to block users in the United States from viewing articles, videos and other information advocating greater democracy in China.

The plaintiffs said this kept Baidu users from seeing their work, unlike users of other search engines such as Google and Microsoft’s Bing. They sought $16 million in damages for violations of their civil and equal protection rights.

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