Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Google-bombing = dirty trick?

In a Slate article, Bonnie Goldstein outlines the Democrats' Google-bombing campaign. She notes, "This variety of Googlebombing appears to be the first campaign dirty trick (practitioners prefer the term "netroots citizen activism") in many a year to be pioneered by Democrats."

First, the technique is hardly new. InstaPundit referred to it in 2002(scroll up a tick). Perhaps today's Google-bombing is more sophisticated than 2002's Google-bombing, as the bombers and Google strucggle to keep up with each other.

Second, if this is what "dirty tricks" look like today, then we're in pretty good shape. It used to be that if you wanted to flood the zone with your message about a candidate, all it took was control (or purchase of ad space) of a few media outlets.

Now, you have to try to manipulate the algorithm of a search engine so that your take on a candidate appears before all the other takes that anybody can publish and anybody can access.

It seems to me that if Google-bombing is a "dirty trick," then we've got a true marketplace of ideas out there. It may give those who use it a (somewhat) unfair head start, but it doesn't end the race.


august said...

So Democrats haven't come up with a dirty trick? How disappointing.

Will there be a football roundup this week? I saw my first bit of a game all season when I was over at a friend's house. Sadly, it was the Giants game. They seemed to think that the play ends whenever they decided things were getting dull.

JohnMcG said...

I was driving from Charlotte back to St. Louis last Sunday, so the only NFL I saw was the Dallas Thanksgiving game.

I did happen to be driving through Nashville and by BP stadium during the aforementioned Giants game, but all I could see was the crowd.

You'll have to rely on Peter King or if you're in an indulgent mood, Easterbrook.