Change the debate: Google Bomb

Change the debate: Google Bomb

Technology is helping citizens take democracy to the next step, with something called Google Bombing:

If things go as planned for liberal bloggers in the next few weeks, searching Google for “Jon Kyl,” the Republican senator from Arizona now running for re-election, will produce high among the returns a link to an April 13 article from The Phoenix New Times, an alternative weekly.

Mr. Kyl “has spent his time in Washington kowtowing to the Bush administration and the radical right,” the article suggests, “very often to the detriment of Arizonans.”

Searching Google for “Peter King,” the Republican congressman from Long Island, would bring up a link to a Newsday article headlined “King Endorses Ethnic Profiling.”

Fifty or so other Republican candidates have also been made targets in a sophisticated “Google bombing” campaign intended to game the search engine’s ranking algorithms. By flooding the Web with references to the candidates and repeatedly cross-linking to specific articles and sites on the Web, it is possible to take advantage of Google’s formula and force those articles to the top of the list of search results.

What this does is take a small step toward equality in our national conversation about our political choices. Instead of big money pols running attack ads, or incumbents getting their greasy mugs on television at every chance spewing nonsense, this action uses the web- which is where large amounts of voters are getting their information- to show a more realistic picture of a candidate. Instead of puppies and shots of their family, you get reports such as this about whackadoo Marilyn Musgrave (R-COLO.)- who feels that “gay marriage is the most important issue we face today”.

The notion is simple. People click on these links long enough, they rise higher in Google rankings, until they are in the first few pages of hits when someone searches on a particular candidate. Ha. Instant democracy.

If you want to help, this page will get you started. Do it!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

From the Archives