Agree with the tactics or not, isn’t it interesting that the Martin Luther King DOT org site that we’ve been reverse Google Bombing has already slipped from the number one result in the Google search results for Dr. King to fourth or sixth, depending on what browser I use. (Now why would that be?) Don’t get me wrong…I’m glad it’s sinking. But there is something unsettling about this whole process in terms of how, for ourselves and for our kids, do we get our brains around the scope of the potential manipulation of ideas and information on the Web? And I’m sure it’s only going to get more complex. Pity the poor kids who aren’t being taught any of this because it’s too “dangerous.”
My brain, as it often does, hurts…
technorati tags:literacy, Martin_Luther_King, education, learning
James Yap says
If you want to see something related. Put in the word: failure
Mark Woolley says
Interestingly the site is still at number 2 on google.com.au
Chris Craft says
Whats interesting is to search for “martin luther king” from different Google domains. For example, a google.com search for me, doesn’t reveal the stormfront site for at least SIX pages. MacBook Pro with Flock. The same search term on google.es (Spain’s localisation) shows it as the last result on the first page. google.cn (China) shows it a little higher.
So, now that magic has been worked for folks using google.com, can we expand this little project globally and continue with our flat world line of thinking? Let’s keep the impact going!
Clarence Fisher says
So we can manipulate images, we can manipulate the forms that data is packaged and presented in, we can manipulate what people worldwide are easily able to see or use….. Why are a lot of kids not getting this stuff? Would this not be at least at important as being able to divide 543 7/12 by 67 8/10 by hand?
That was my point in declining to participate in the bombing. By pushing down the ranking so that it’s sixth instead of first, aren’t we just trying to hide the problem from the kids?
It be better to acknowledge that such stupidity exists and then have a good discussion with students, both about why and how to find real information on the web.
It really is scary when you think about the future and the crazy algorithm’s that determine so much of our lives. I have a good math friend swears up and down that math is the most important subject and everything… EVERYTHING in life can be simplified down to math. I am starting to believe he is right.
I understand why some people did not participate. My my classes did. It was a great opportunity to explain how google works and how information could be manipulated. The classes all grew very quiet when they realized how such a site would be on the top of the results.
Stephen Downes says
It’s still at number 2 on google.ca
But this remark is interesting: “there is something unsettling about this whole process in terms of how, for ourselves and for our kids, do we get our brains around the scope of the potential manipulation of ideas and information on the Web?”
I heard a saying recently, I can’t remember where, and I can’t remember the exact quotation (it was only at the periphery of my perception), but it went something like this:
The master gives the workers the tools they need to work. The master takes away the tools when they begin to tear down the house.
The implication is: so long as what we’re doing online (such as messing around with Google rankings) benefits them, they are happy to let it continue. But if it begins to threaten their lordship over things (‘tearing down the house’) they take the tools away.
I have been thinking about this small saying a lot recently. About how much of our new empowerment is genuine, and how much exists only through the benevolence of the masters.
It’s pretty easy to test.
I got an invitation recently to talk at some conference in Florida or Carolina or something, a conference for executives. Asked what I would talk about, I outlined how in order to function in the new economy they would have to give up power, to function through networks of equals rather than through coercion. I never heard from the conference organizers again.
Oh, I’m happy to see that site drop in the rankings. I looked at it; it’s a piece of racist crap and deserves oblivion.
But what do I do if I’m next? If some major society, say, were to decide that socialists (which I am) or communists (which I’m called) are as bad as racists.
Suppose even that I simply attract the ire of some major company that sponsors conferences. Could they silence my voice? See to it that my rankings drop?
The master takes away….
I’m just wondering what happens when the other shoe drops. If it drops.
Stephen Downes says
p.s. Like this:
“Thereâ€™s been a flurry of news about new video downloading services â€” BitTorrent, Wal-Mart, Time Warner â€” as copyright holders get busy taking back control from consumers. YouTube just cut a deal with Verizon that gives users so little control that the blogosphere couldnâ€™t find enough pejorative adjectives to describe it.
“The glory days of consumers in control of copyrighted content seem to be coming to an end â€” people who still want to control copyrighted content are being driven underground, or to sites like DailyMotionMovieVids.com, where you can find the location of copyrighted content still available online.”
Mike Radday says
The bottom line in all of this is that we need to teach and continually reinforce for our students that they are being manipulated at some level every time they use a search engine. The MLK.org reverse Google bombing was an excellent teachable moment to help our students understand the grammar of the Internet. The concept of information literacy must be infused in our classrooms everyday.
Brian Mull says
“Pity the poor kids who arenâ€™t being taught any of this because itâ€™s too ‘dangerous.'”
Right on Will. I worry about this not only because of the site we are dealing with, but because of the fact that we as educators are making the decision on what is right for the rest of the world. There’s know “clean” way around this.
the speakers on cspan on 1/15/07 are not at all celebrating mlk’s acomplisments but encouaging racism by advocating electing black panthers and other activists (terrorists). and that was what i got from the Daniels speech. the woman after him was recruiting people to join an organazation called “blacks to get stupid white people out of office”. How mlk must be rolling in his grave!
if you really want black families to succeed e-mail me and i’ll tell you how.