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Blogger Launches 'Google Bomb' At McCain 545

Posted by Soulskill
from the everyone-needs-a-hobby dept.
hhavensteincw writes "A liberal blogger has launched a 'Google bomb' project aimed at boosting Google search results for nine news articles showing Sen. John McCain in a negative light. The Computerworld article notes: 'Chris Bowers, managing editor of the progressive blog OpenLeft, is launching the Google bombs by encouraging bloggers to embed Web links to the nine news stories about McCain in their blogs, which helps raise their ranking in Google search results. Bowers is reprising a similar Google bombing effort he undertook in 2006 against 52 different congressional candidates. "Obviously, it is manipulating, but search engines are not public forums and unless you act to use them for your own benefit, your opponent's information is going to get out there," Bowers said.'"
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Blogger Launches 'Google Bomb' At McCain

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  • google bombs away!
    • by mnemocynic (1221372) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @11:27AM (#23894979)
      For the lazy among us, here's a direct link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=bombs+away!&btnG=Google+Search [google.com]
      • by Gewalt (1200451) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @12:28PM (#23895537)
        What if my hl isn't en you insensitive clod!
      • by commodoresloat (172735) * on Sunday June 22, 2008 @04:06PM (#23897289)
        He's trying to manipulate google, sure, but in a more legit way than doing this: warmongering douchebag [johnmccain.com]. The guy in the article is simply promoting 9 specific articles about McCain and suggesting that others link those articles as well to make sure they climb the search results. It's not that different from just passing the links around and telling people to make sure everyone they know reads them. Whereas doing this charming imposter [barackobama.com] doesn't just get more people to go to a link; it makes a clear association between that link and a phrase denigrating the object of the link.
        • by ArcherB (796902) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @08:30PM (#23898947) Journal

          He's trying to manipulate google, sure, but in a more legit way than doing this: warmongering douchebag [johnmccain.com]. The guy in the article is simply promoting 9 specific articles about McCain and suggesting that others link those articles as well to make sure they climb the search results. It's not that different from just passing the links around and telling people to make sure everyone they know reads them. Whereas doing this charming imposter [barackobama.com] doesn't just get more people to go to a link; it makes a clear association between that link and a phrase denigrating the object of the link.
          I disagree. I think it's a bit dishonest. If this guy gets his way, when someone searches for John McCain, they are likely to get negative articles. I mean, let's forget about getting balanced results and letting people make up their own minds when presented with ALL the facts. Nope, let's make sure they only see the facts WE want them to see so they can make up their minds the way WE want them to.

          Yeah. It's a pretty shitty thing to do, although, with all the people saying things like "McCain WANTS troops to be in Iraq for 100 years", it's not surprising.

          • by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @10:24PM (#23899649) Homepage

            I mean, let's forget about getting balanced results and letting people make up their own minds when presented with ALL the facts.

            Nobody ever gets ALL the facts. You have a finite amount of time on this mudball and most people do not want to spend it studying the minutia about the two idiots who happen to be running this year (and, yes, I have a clear preference, but after the FISA debacle, he's still an idiot). Google's page rank reflects the reality of the situation vis a vis relative web link importance at a particular current point in time. If McCain's opponents are more web-savvy or more energetic, they will have an advantage in this arena and they will have earned it. If you want more "balance", get McCain's people as motivated as Obama's. If they can't be as motivated, maybe that says something about his importance.

            The bottom line is that bitching about the lack of some mythical "balance" on the web is about as useful as complaining about the lack of a mythical immortality for people. It may make you feel better in some strange, warped way but, in the long run, it makes no difference. People have finite time and have only finite means for managing the information they take in over this finite time. Deal with it.

  • by PeeAitchPee (712652) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @11:26AM (#23894969)
    . . . unify the country.
    • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @11:30AM (#23895019)

      Since when has that become the goal of politics?

      • by letxa2000 (215841) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @12:58PM (#23895791)

        The goal of politics should be to do what's best for the country. The goal of politicians is to gain power. So apparently the liberal blogger in question is a politician because he's doing what's best for his candidate, not what's best for the country. Making it hard to find the best information (even if it's not information the liberal blogger wants people to see) about a candidate is not in the spirit of a free society and democracy. Basically, this liberal blogger is decreasing the signal to noise ratio rather than providing useful and compelling reasons to vote for his own candidate.

        Seriously... if Obama were as amazing as we were supposed to believe he is, it would be more than enough to promote his virtues rather than trying to smear the opponent. Guess Obama isn't all that great stuff.

        • by sumdumass (711423) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @01:13PM (#23895941) Journal

          Politics aside, I agree with everything you just said.

          I can see this backfiring on him though. What happens when a search for John McCain starts turning up a story about how one side is attempting a political smear as the number one result. I mean it would sort of make McCain the underdog and create some sympathy towards him along with making some potential Obama voters question why they had to resort to that type of tactic.

          Of course some 527 group could just buy an advertising spot and put the story there on any McCain search from a common search engine. All the search engines list the advertisements at the top so it would be the first result. The good thing about it is that they could link to all the sites promoting the google bomb efforts to wow any undecided voter into thinking Obama has something to hid if they had to resort to something like this.

          • Arms race? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by WaltBusterkeys (1156557) * on Sunday June 22, 2008 @01:37PM (#23896167)

            It's true that this could backfire, but it could also cause a massive arms race [reputation...erblog.com]. If politics weren't messy and dirty enough already, imagine if both campaigns were spending massive amounts of time and energy to control the other side's Google results. McCain supporters would link to dirty articles about Obama, Obama supporters would link to dirty articles about McCain, and the whole Internet would be filled with even more political links than it already is.

            Heck, a really smart campaigner would just outsource the whole thing to India and have thousands of staffers constantly building links to positive and negative results.

            Politics might be the one thing strong enough to overcome all of Google's attempts to stop Googlebombs [searchengineland.com].

        • by Original Replica (908688) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @03:01PM (#23896813) Journal
          So apparently the liberal blogger in question is a politician because he's doing what's best for his candidate, not what's best for the country. Making it hard to find the best information (even if it's not information the liberal blogger wants people to see) about a candidate

          The validity of you statement depends strongly on the quality and accuracy of the articles in question. If the articles are mostly just "noise" then yes you are quiet right, but if the articles contain information pertinent to gaining a better understanding of the true character of a presidential candidate, information which might otherwise get buried by the whims of Big Media, then these bloggers are providing a service where our "free press" has failed us.

          As to whether this is smearing or not, is again dependent on the accuracy and relevance to the qualification and quality of the candidate. If Obama had pushed an earmark through that funded eugenics research, pointing that out loudly and repeatedly would not be smearing. If someone wearing an Obama '08 shirt threw a brick off an overpass at McCain's motorcade, trying to proclaim that as a gauge of Obama's character would be a smear.
          • by NotBornYesterday (1093817) * on Sunday June 22, 2008 @09:14PM (#23899211) Journal

            The validity of you statement depends strongly on the quality and accuracy of the articles in question. If the articles are mostly just "noise" then yes you are quiet right, but if the articles contain information pertinent to gaining a better understanding of the true character of a presidential candidate, information which might otherwise get buried by the whims of Big Media, then these bloggers are providing a service where our "free press" has failed us.
            I haven't read them all, but they appear to be mainstream articles. Whatever your opinion of their contents, it's not as if he is revealing information wasn't already available. What is annoying about this guy is that he is trying to turn up the volume on information to create noise, to follow your analogy.

            Apparently he's miffed that we didn't all jump up and thank him for his stunt. [openleft.com] I have zero respect for zealots like this guy, regardless of whether they are left or right. It's not because I disagree with his views (I do, but I can live with that), it's because there's just no reasoning with people like this. He's smarter than everyone else, so he's going to tell us all how to think by skewing the information we receive. Our country's politics have been poisoned by weasels like this. I hereby find him guilty of being a jerk, and sentence him to eternity handcuffed to Karl Rove. Oh yeah , and his internet access has been revoked, or at least restricted to something to help him with his manners. [pbskids.org]
        • by badasscat (563442) <`basscadet75' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Sunday June 22, 2008 @04:28PM (#23897411)

          Seriously... if Obama were as amazing as we were supposed to believe he is, it would be more than enough to promote his virtues rather than trying to smear the opponent. Guess Obama isn't all that great stuff.

          So your argument is that one misguided follower serves as an indictment of Obama himself?

          I'm sure you could dredge up plenty of assholes on McCain's side too. Here's one [dailykos.com] now.

          So I'm guessing your vote in November will be "none of the above"? Or possibly Montgomery Brewster? (Bonus points if you get the reference.)

          Everybody's got idiot followers with misguided ideas about how to promote them.

      • Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government

        If you don't believe and work for this, you will never have it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by willyhill (965620)
          You already posted in this article with three different [slashdot.org] accounts [slashdot.org]. Would it bee too much to ask to only use one? Is it really that difficult to make your point without pretending you're multiple people? Why do you insist on gaming Slashdot this way?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 22, 2008 @12:03PM (#23895299)

      Unify the country? Why is that considered a good thing? A significant portion of the American public are in favour of the Bush administration, the Iraq war and torture. You aren't going to change their minds. The only way you will unify the country is to meet them half-way. Is that a good thing?

      I've never heard of this "unification" nonsense until the Republican Party started becoming unpopular. Until then, in pretty much every democratic country, it was understood that there is room for disagreement in politics and that this wasn't necessarily a bad thing. But now they seem to be feeding you the idea that all parties should be striving for the same thing (which is basically no different to a one-party system) and the American public seem to be lapping this bullshit up and asking for seconds. WTF is up with that? Can you really not see that it's just a desperate lie told by people who fear losing power in the near future? It's not transparently obvious to you?

      • by Ian Alexander (997430) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @12:52PM (#23895709)

        Unify the country? Why is that considered a good thing?
        I think it's because partisan politics in the States revolves more around mudslinging and villifying people who disagree with you and less around, perhaps, coming to agreements and bipartisan cooperation. It's typical American political "problemsolving": identify a problem and propose a boneheaded solution that won't fix anything. Instead of settling down and being civilized about the other party, why don't we just get rid of bothersome "other" parties?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by robertjw (728654)
        Unifying the country is a good thing. It doesn't mean we all agree, but it means we are all going in the same general direction and making progress. Right now the US is not just divided, it's segmented. No one is a fan of the poor economy, high fuel prices, Gitmo controversy, the morass that is Iraq, and the perceived lack of leadership in Washington.

        Our greatest presidents are the ones that could unite the people behind a common cause and make us proud to be Americans. FDR, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Reag
    • by Metasquares (555685) <slashdot@NoSPAM.metasquared.com> on Sunday June 22, 2008 @12:53PM (#23895717) Homepage
      No, but at least it might help Google fix its search engine.
    • by Entropius (188861) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @12:55PM (#23895739)

      I don't want a unified country.

      I want a just, upstanding, ethical, and prosperous country.

      If "unity" means "agreeing with people who advocate theocracy", then I'm against it. If it means "Americans working together to make their country and the world a better place", I'm for it.

      Unity isn't something that you *make* happen. Unity is something that happens as a result of good governance and an educated and civic-minded citizenry.

  • Links? (Score:5, Funny)

    by OshMan (1246516) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @11:28AM (#23894993)
    Hmmmm I couldn't find the links to the original 9 articles. Could someone post them here? ;)
  • Open left of what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by conner_bw (120497) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @11:29AM (#23895011) Homepage Journal

    One vote for the democratic party of america is one less vote for the republican party of america, but is it really a vote to the left?

    http://www.politicalcompass.org/usprimaries2008 [politicalcompass.org]

    • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <tms.infamous@net> on Sunday June 22, 2008 @12:12PM (#23895383) Homepage

      One vote for the democratic party of america is one less vote for the republican party of america, but is it really a vote to the left?

      True - we've got two major parties in the U.S., one representing the center of the right wing, one representing the right wing of the center.

      It's no wonder that, until this charismatic upstart Obama came along, the "sure winner" of the Democratic primaries was a woman who had been the president of her campus's chapter of the College Republicans, and whose husband was called "the best Republican president we've had in a while" by Alan Greenspan.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mdmkolbe (944892)

        Ok, so I see three theories what would explain this.

        First, you might be looking at the wrong axis. There are many political issues and any one candidate may fall at many different places on those issues. Just because all the parties happen to align on certain issues (e.g. economy, etc.) they can often be quite disparate on other issues (e.g. death penalty, abortion, etc.). Saying that the Democrat's are right wing might be true on some issues (e.g. both Dems and Reps would say they reject socialism),

  • by clang_jangle (975789) * on Sunday June 22, 2008 @11:31AM (#23895031) Journal
    I find the practice of SEO to be a bit questionable in any event, but soliciting volunteers to essentially manipulate google search results in order to favor a given political agenda just leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. Sure, it can argued that the right fights dirty, but where is the honor in stooping to this sort of thing?

    Well, I am old enough to remember the sixties -- maybe I'm just becoming obsolete.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jpellino (202698)

      I certainly hope you don't think you can counter the likes of Karl Rove simply by being honorable...

      Had Rove been in the cast of "To Kill A Mockingbird", Atticus Finch would be whispered for being a gay single parent, Tom Robinson would have been fathering children of white women all across the south, and Boo Radley would be president. Oh, wait...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by VGPowerlord (621254)

      Doesn't Google have the tendency to lower the page ranks of sites that participate in Google bombs?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        If I understood it correctly, they altered the algorithm to promote pages which *discuss* a googlebomb, rather than the target pages themselves. Which is pretty cool, as it gives the victim the context they need. Presumably it detects a googlebomb when the links are consistently out of context with the rest of the targeting page.

    • That dishonorable jerks exist across the entire political spectrum. Regardless of your political affiliation, restrict the "fights dirty" label to individuals. Do not generalize the distasteful actions of a few to the entirety of your political opposition simply because it makes things more convenient for you.
  • by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @11:32AM (#23895045) Journal
    Honestly, the generation that gets their information from the internet (instead of cable or newspapers) is going to have a much more liberal bias in general. All you have to do is look at age group demographics for any polling done and you'll see the heavy liberal skew to the younger ages.

    With that being said, there are already going to be many, MANY more blogs with a pro-Obama, anti McCainb standpoint than the alternative already. Having a few more people bump some anti-McCain articles may bump them up a couple slots, but I guarantee with the demographics of internet users, those articles probably weren't doing badly on their own.

    Besides, republicans already have their propaganda machine too *cough* Fox News *cough* Ann Coulter *Cough*
    • by klingens (147173) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @11:39AM (#23895103)

      Honestly, the generation that gets their information from the internet (instead of cable or newspapers) is going to have a much more liberal bias in general. All you have to do is look at age group demographics for any polling done and you'll see the heavy liberal skew to the younger ages.
       
      There is a saying here (paraphrased): "A 20 year old liberal will end up a 70 year old conservative and doesn't have to change a single of his views".

      So I don't fear for the conservative parties of the world just yet.

      • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Sunday June 22, 2008 @12:39PM (#23895617) Homepage Journal

        Big picture, on a global scale, that's true: politics have been getting steadily more liberal ever since the Middle Ages, and so those who hold to political views acquired in their youth always seem more conservative as they age. The interesting thing is that in American politics over the last couple of generations or so, the opposite is true. Eisenhower would be considered a mainstream Democrat these days, while Nixon, seen at the time as representing the hard right, would today be a "Blue Dog" Democrat or maybe a "RINO" Republican. Conversely, both Clintons, and Obama, support policies largely in accord with the Republican party of Eisenhower's day. Carter is remembered today as an extreme leftist, but by the standards of the day, he was actually seen as a solidly conservative Democrat. Even Saint Reagan, no matter how much today's Republicans venerate him, would be considered suspiciously leftish by modern Republicans if he were a new candidate running for office today.

        It's a blip, of course, kind of like in the stock market. In the very long term, stocks always go up. But they do so on a jagged line, and those downward dips sure can make a lot of people's lives miserable.

    • by fermion (181285)
      I think it is called the preponderance of evidence, the truth will set you free, or whatever else you want to call it. If the facts are that Clinton smoked pot in britain where it was legal, Bush drove drunk in America where it is not legal and tantamount to attempted manslaughter, Rush likely broke that law to feed his drug addiction, and McCain sells beer, selling that requires constant government intervention as the ads are often aimed at small children, then those are the facts. Yes, on the internet i
    • by Capitalist Piggy (1298699) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @12:05PM (#23895319)

      Besides, republicans already have their propaganda machine too *cough* Fox News *cough* Ann Coulter *Cough*


      The unfortunate side of all this, all of these talk machines, including Boortz, Rush, Hannity, etc will be repeating, over and over, about how this is a fine example of leftist propoganda, the liberal conspiracy, etc.

      Don't get me wrong. I think Bill Maher and the rest of the leftist paid-to-talk types are complete twits as well. Nothing like seeing someone from either side ignorantly pressing points only for the sake of them being right, left, or endlessly playing devil's advocate.

      Too bad there isn't a fiscal conservative, socially liberal person to vote for. Too bad there isn't a news network without slant anymore. I recognize slant was always there, but CNN learned a little from Fox's ratings and starts coming across as ridiculously liberal when elections near.

    • by Dachannien (617929) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @01:06PM (#23895865)

      Besides, republicans already have their propaganda machine too *cough* Fox News *cough* Ann Coulter *Cough*
      What, as opposed to Obama's fanboys comprising the entire rest of the media?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jazon Bladen (938809)

      The reason you see a liberal skew on young voters is because young people are not only impressionable, they have been raised in government schools where propaganda is served out daily, and they watch and listen to popular media which is majority owned by heavy supporters of the Democrat Party.

      That being said, since the Internet is primarily appealing to teens and young adults, you're going to see a massive leftist bias on sites filled with these people (Perfect Example: Digg.) Their leftism is perpetuated

  • by DeionXxX (261398) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @11:32AM (#23895047)

    Isn't one of the tenants of democracy that everyone have access to all information and then they decide who's best for themselves? This is poisoning the available information so citizens don't have all of the information about a candidate.

    Pretty surprising come from the left, you know, with their morals and such.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Huh? It's hardly "poison" to tell the truth.

      They're Google-bombing. That means they've chosen several informative articles and are working to make them the top search results when one searches for "McCain". It does not change anything about what is accessible. The pro-McCain sites will still be there, on the interbutts, waiting for you to sign on.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Lawrence_Bird (67278)
        what makes you believe they will be 'telling the truth'. They can use what ever they want, fact fiction or anything else. Hopefully then you won't be uspet if there is a googlebomb for articles claiming Obama is a muslim? I mean some people believe that is 'truth' therefore it should be available to everyone searching for Obama right?
    • by rthille (8526)


      Perhaps they see this as a counter to the big-money support of the right (and the status quo) by the 'main stream media'?

    • by Koiu Lpoi (632570)

      Pretty surprising come from the left, you know, with their morals and such.
      Actually, I thought that the right was known for always pushing that they held the moral higher ground. You know, that whole "Christan/family/constitution/tradition" thing. Since when did the Left all of a sudden become the "holders of morality"?

      I've always found both sides to be as equally immoral.

  • What a dick. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saintlupus (227599) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @11:38AM (#23895099) Homepage

    Yeah, it's always a lot better to make sure that you taint the conversation.

    This is an excellent example of the juvenile "us vs. them" mentality that national US politics has devolved into. I'm a bicycle-riding urbanite liberal stereotype, I still find this sort of idiocy appalling. Let people make up their own minds and hunt for their own information.

    --saint

    • by Koiu Lpoi (632570)
      You know as well as I that your philosophy only works for people who are both willing and able to look for information on their own, which most people are not. If the left consistently acted in that way, they'd never elect another person to office, because the Right isn't going to stop doing what they're doing just because the left is. On the contrary, they'd take as much advantage of it as possible.
      • Re:What a dick. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by FleaPlus (6935) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @12:37PM (#23895603) Journal

        If the left consistently acted in that way, they'd never elect another person to office, because the Right isn't going to stop doing what they're doing just because the left is.

        Could you elaborate on what dishonorable attacks have been coming from the Right so far in this election? As far as I've seen, the vast majority of the attacks on Obama so far have been from the Clinton camp. McCain on the other hand has (somewhat surprisingly) been trying to take the high ground and has on a number of occasions criticized those who've tried to use spurious claims again Obama.

        • Re:What a dick. (Score:5, Informative)

          by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @01:47PM (#23896277)
          Oh jeez, come on! That's like asking when the last time water was wet. Just the other day on Fox they were talking about how when Barack Obama bumped fists with his wife and they called him a terrorist (link [youtube.com]). Or how about that picture of him when he was dressed up in traditional Somali garb (=90% Christian), claiming he was dressing up as an muslim (link [sweetness-light.com], etc. etc. etc. Face it, the modern conservative political view is synonymous with character assassination. You can thank Rove, and the other Republican attack dogs for that.
          • Re:What a dick. (Score:4, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 22, 2008 @02:23PM (#23896531)

            Just the other day on Fox they were talking about how when Barack Obama bumped fists with his wife and they called him a terrorist (link)

            Dishonest. She was talking about something someone else said.

            Or how about that picture of him when he was dressed up in traditional Somali garb (=90% Christian),

            You mean the picture that the Clinton campaign released?

            But don't let the facts get in the way of your bias.

            What about Obama claiming McCain wants 100 years of war, even after being called on it twice? Yes, McCain certainly wants 100 years of war when he says "as long as no one is getting killed." That's the candidate himself straight up lying in an attempt to smear. (But then again, Obama just went back on his public financing pledge. Do we sense a pattern?)

            What about 90% of the shit coming out of MoveOn? Anyone who thinks they're not just a smear-machine needs to put the pipe down. They've also went out and used the 100 year war lie, recently in fact. Or the NAACP running an ad in Texas about Bush not sponsoring hate crimes legislation, using the murder of James Byrd, voiced over by his daughter? Bush didn't sponsor hate crime legislation, and in this case, it wasn't needed: two of the three men were sentenced to death and the third was sentenced to life. The NAACP ad didn't mention this, despite being made over a year after the men were sentenced. (Of course, you also don't see the NAACP out shooting to have the men who murdered Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom tried for hate crimes... and that is far worse than the Byrd murder, there's just not a chance to smear Republicans in it for them)

            Trying to pretend it's just Rove and Republicans is fucking dishonest.

            • Re:What a dick. (Score:4, Informative)

              by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @02:31PM (#23896593)

              Dishonest. She was talking about something someone else said.
              Funny how often Fox finds these people that said something slanderous. Let me explain it to you, they do that to protect themselves from a libel suit. Jon Stewart had a funny piece on it (link [thedailyshow.com]).

              You mean the picture that the Clinton campaign released?
              Bullshit. The Clinton campaign didn't release that, the Drudge report only claimed Clinton staffers released it, but they could easily have lied to discredit Clinton because they hate her more than they hate Obama.
  • what a douche (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alibaba10100 (1296289) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @11:43AM (#23895135) Journal
    This is a perfect example of how political types can't see anything outside of their petty us vs. them mentality.

    "We're just using McCain's own words -- everything we are targeting are things McCain has done or said himself. There's no bias at all.
    No bias? By what definition is emphasizing the things someone says that suit your purposes not bias? In fact, this is the most insidious kind of bias. If the pieces being ranked up were opinion pieces, at least viewers would be aware that what they are reading is someone's opinion. But this way, the ordering of the news stories itself contains some random guy's personal bias and the majority of searchers will not know to put their guard up.

    Obviously, it is manipulating

    bingo
  • by wmbetts (1306001) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @11:45AM (#23895159)
    You have to love how the left bloggers love to cry fowl at every little turn. Yet, when they attempt to rig search engine results it's somehow okay. Regardless of a person political affiliations this type of action should be frowned upon and they people partaking in the event should be shunned by their readers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Phroggy (441)

      You have to love how the left bloggers love to cry fowl at every little turn. Yet, when they attempt to rig search engine results it's somehow okay.
      No, it really isn't. Just because this jackass is doing it doesn't mean the rest of us think it's OK, but we can't stop him.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Frostalicious (657235)

      You have to love how the left bloggers love to cry fowl at every little turn. Yet, when they attempt to rig search engine results it's somehow okay.
      All leftist bloggers cry fowl at dirty tricks and also rig search engines? Or maybe political parties are not monolithic collective consciousnesses.
  • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @11:46AM (#23895175) Journal

    Seems to me that this is basically a result of this asshole believing Obama can't win without such underhanded tricks.

  • Informed Vote? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc,paradise&gmail,com> on Sunday June 22, 2008 @11:52AM (#23895211) Homepage Journal

    "Obviously, it is manipulating, but search engines are not public forums and unless you act to use them for your own benefit, your opponent's information is going to get out there," Bowers said.'"
    Because clearly, the last thing you want to do is let your opponent's perspective out there. This is brought to you by the 'informed populace makes for poor voters' theory.
  • Will this even work? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @11:58AM (#23895269)

    I thought Google had put in place controls to prevent exactly this kind of thing from tainting search results. Even if he does get a lot of people linking, it seems like Google's own corrective algorithms would prevent it from really making an impact on search results.

    It might be interesting to see what degree other search engines end up being affected as well, as a study in how manipulatable the various engines are.

  • Defeated (Score:5, Informative)

    by shird (566377) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @11:59AM (#23895277) Homepage Journal

    Apparently Google already has protection against such "bombs":
    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2007/01/quick-word-about-googlebombs.html [blogspot.com]

    I have no idea how the algorithm detects such a bomb, but it appears to be pretty effective.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      This isn't really a Google bomb though, at least not like the kind discussed in that article. Those aimed to return a site from an unrelated query, by doing something like miserable failure [wikipedia.org]. This is aiming at queries of "John McCain" or "McCain", phrases the pages actually contain.
      Although actually looking at the page, he does seem to be going at it in the same way: Linking "McCain" or "John McCain" to the articles. An earlier poster linked them as "article 1" and such, which might be less apt to trigger t
  • Backfire (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @12:04PM (#23895311)
    This sort of stuff just makes the side doing it seem more juvenile and reactionary... which is an image the democrats need to overcome, not encourage.

    I think if they could have shut up their most ardent supporters, the Democrats would have won the last election.
    • Re:Backfire (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nEoN nOoDlE (27594) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @01:30PM (#23896097) Homepage

      I think if they could have shut up their most ardent supporters, the Democrats would have won the last election.

      That's a load of crap. It wasn't the ardent democrat supporters who lost the election, it was the ardent Republican supports being more underhanded. They turned "swiftboating" into a verb. Stuff like this doesn't backfire because the majority of the population just looks at the message and not the messenger.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by east coast (590680)
        If you honestly don't think that mouthpieces like Mike Moore and Rosie O'Donell aren't negatives to associate with your cause you're out of your blinking mind. Most Democrat moderates that I know are, at the least, alarmed by this arm of the Democratic party. Most moderates on both sides simply do not want the extremes in their parties.

        That's going to decide a lot in the next election. Whichever candidate can come off looking like less of a crackpot is going to get the swing vote. It's that simple. There's
  • Tag? (Score:5, Informative)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @12:09PM (#23895353) Homepage Journal

    Why is this tagged 'Republicans' when it's a Democrat doing the deed?

    I expect both sides will engage in this kind of thing though to be honest.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Plus the fact McCain isn't really a republican (which is why he threatened, like a little baby, to become a democrat). He's nothing more than a old fart desperate for his moment in the spotlight. People should be concerned about the fact he stands for nothing other than becoming president.
  • This is progress? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Asylumn (598576) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @12:18PM (#23895435)

    "...unless you act to use them for your own benefit, your opponent's information is going to get out there.
    Heaven forbid people get all the facts and make up their own mind. Let's just prevent our opponents from being able to make their case in the first place!

    How very 'progressive'.
  • by nick_davison (217681) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @02:34PM (#23896615)

    1. Announce a Google bomb to the world.
    2. Hit the Google blacklist in 3, 2, 1...
    3. Links conveniently "gone" from Google.

    He's either the most moronic SEO manipulator known to man or his goal is to get the links hidden entirely from Google.

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