The netroots "Google bombs" the elections

The growth of internet organizing has given rise to a kind of two-track campaign. There's the usual dirty-but-careful campaign being mounted by the parties, and then there's a parallel campaign being run by the grassroots. And the latter are bringing things to the table that career political organizers would never think of.

One of these is the "Google bomb," in which the internet giant’s mysterious (to me, at least) algorithms are intentionally manipulated to bring a particular webpage to the top of Google's search results. In the past, Google bombs have been employed as pranks, the best example being one that most people are aware of: the first result on a Google search for "miserable failure."

But the blog MYDD realized that many "low information" voters use the internet to get information on candidates in the final weeks before the election, and that a Google bomb could be used as a serious tool to inform them. Instead of a piece of snark, a bomb might bring people real info about candidates -- about their ethical lapses, scandals, crappy voting records, etc. So they selected a non-partisan article about right-wing politicians in each of seventy races, and are "Google bombing" the articles to the top of people's search results. The hope is the articles selected will come up in people's searchesabove the candidates' official websites.

This project has been getting a lot of media attention.

Below the fold are the articles. There's some good, informative stuff that's worth reading. If you want a more complete explanation of the Google bomb, see here. And if you have a blog and want to take part in the project, you'll find the source code all nice and neat and ready to cut 'n' paste here.


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