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THE WORLD OF GOOGLE
This article is from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_Google_bombs

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_the_GNU_Free_Documentation_License 

Political Google bombs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Political google bombs became an Internet phenomenon in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election. Two of the first google bombs were the "Miserable Failure" google bomb linked to George W. Bush's Whitehouse biography and the "Waffles" google bomb that linked to John Kerry's website. At different times supporters and detractors of these political candidates were able to shift around the results so that searches for "miserable failure" and "waffles" would return links to the particular targets of the groups trying to influence the search [1]

Similarly, if one enters "miserable loser" into a Yahoo! search engine, two of the top 10 results will feature the unofficial campaign sites of Al Gore.[2] This may also be the backlash of Bush supporters in response.

First political Google bomb of George W. Bush

U.S. President George W. Bush has been the subject and indirect spawn of a variety of Google bombs. "Miserable Failure" was the first. In October of 2003 Democrat partisan supporters launched an effort to create links of "miserable failure" to the official White House biography of President Bush. In about 6 weeks the link to George W. Bush's biography became the first result for "miserable failure" on a Google search. A blogger from Oregon has since taken credit for starting this tactic, though the phrase had been in heavy use by Democratic officials[citation needed] following its adoption as a catchphrase by the Dick Gephardt campaign.

At various times, conservatives were able to shift search results for "miserable failure" to former President Jimmy Carter, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Michael Moore (former President Carter's is second on the list of "miserable failure" - although this may be an artifact of being on the same website as Bush's biography - and this article appears in fourth).[3] For a while, a BBC News article documenting this Google bomb was first, but now Bush's biography has returned to #1, and the news article has slipped to third.

The term's exact origin is unknown; it was used in the 1970s by the BBC to describe American intervention in Vietnam, and by the New York Times to describe certain architectural monstrosities. AFL-CIO president George Meany used the term to describe the Nixon Administration's wage and price controls. Its first recorded public application in relation to the Bush administration[citation needed] was by Dick Gephardt, who claimed during a debate, "This president is a miserable failure on foreign policy ... and on the economy. And he's got to be replaced."[4] He used the phrase repeatedly to describe the Administration in the month before the Oregon blogger started the campaign.

Since this time, Bush's official biography has also become the top result for both "Miserable" and "Failure".

First political Google bomb of John Kerry

Senator John Kerry has also been the target of Google bombs. The first of these is the "Waffles" Google bomb. In April 2004, Ken Jacobson, then a law school student at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh launched the "waffles" Google bombing of Kerry, in part to retaliate for Democrats' Google bombing of George W. Bush.[1] He encouraged linking of "waffles" to John Kerry's official site.

The term "waffling" is used to describe the back and forth motion of the wings of water fowl prior to landing and is often used to describe a person who cannot decide on a particular course of action. Throughout the campaign, Kerry detractors accused him of changing his position on various issues.

Google bomb

Main article: Google bomb

By creating links to the official presidential biography page[5] with text reading 'miserable failure', a relatively small number (possibly as few as 32[6]) of website owners and bloggers were able to make the site appear as the first result when searching for miserable failure.[7]

Blogger George Johnston of the political blog Old Fashioned Patriot has claimed to be the coordinator of this particular Google bomb, which began a month after the Dick Gephardt campaign began using the catchphrase "miserable failure" to attack the Administration.[8] In October of 2003 he began to encourage his visitors to participate in the 'bombing'. Democrat partisan e-mailing lists and blogging groups began passing the word to do similar things in the same time period.

By April 12, 2006, an email was circulating noting that searching for "failure" linked to the official president biography page.[9] Left unsaid by the email was the fact that searching for "miserable" did as well.[10]

The bomb has proliferated beyond the Google web search: "miserable failure" returns images of Bush on Google Images and Local and Maps return the "US Executive Mansion" and the White House as the first two results for "miserable failure" in Washington, D.C..[11]

As of May 2006, there is a similar Google bomb on "Worst president ever".

There are also positive Google bombs such as "Great President."

Official response

Google has commented that it will not alter the result (or any other googlebombed results) because it wished to preserve the integrity of its search engine.[12]

In September 2005, the following ad (written by Marissa Mayer, Google Director of Consumer Web Products) began to appear with the search results, in order to explain the situation here

The Google article explained the mechanism behind Google bombing, why Google is reluctant to change individual results found by their algorithm, and that this particular Googlebomb did not reflect their political viewpoint.

Translation / International use

Several other governmental office holders have been Google bombed with various translations of "miserable failure" or others similar sentences :

  • Ladrones. (Spanish: "thieves") — Official Page of SGAE (Authors and Editors General Society)
  • Miserable, (Spanish: "miserable") — Official Biography of ex-minister Angel Acebes.
  • Totalt fiasko (Swedish: "total fiasco") — Official Göran Persson (Swedish Prime Minister) biography.
  • Miserabile fallimento, (Italian: "miserable failure") — Official Silvio Berlusconi (former Italian Prime Minister) biography. As a countermeasure, a few weeks after the bomb the official Italian Prime Minister homepage was not indexed by Google. [13]
  • Déspota Cachaceiro, (Portuguese: "Drunken despot") — Official Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Brazilian President) biography.
  • Враг народа, (Russian: "enemy of the people"); Друг народа, (Russian: "friend of the people") — Official Vladimir Putin (Russian President) biography.
  • Tyhmä lehmä, (Finnish: "stupid cow") — Official Tanja Saarela (Finnish Culture Minister).
  • Raar kapsel, (Dutch: "strange haircut") — Official Jan Peter Balkenende (Dutch prime minister).
  • Vreemdelingenhaat, (Dutch: "Xenophobia") — Official Rita Verdonk (Dutch minister for Integration and Immigration)
  • Iznogoud (French comic hero who wants to overthrow the current Caliph) - Biography of Nicolas Sarkozy (Minister of interior Department)
  • Κατσίκα. (Greek: "goat") — Official Page of Greek Minister of National Education and Religious Affairs, Marietta Gianakou - Koutsikou (her husband's surname sounds the same as the greek word for 'goat').
  • primitiv hulemand. (Danish: "primitive troll") — Official Page of Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Danish Prime Minister).
  • kretyn. (Polish: synonym for "idiot") — Official Sejm page of Andrzej Lepper (Polish MP and Deputy Prime Minister).
  • mouton insignifiant. (French: "unimportant sheep") - official biography of Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec
  • pekeng pangulo. (Tagalog: "fake president") - Website of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Philippines
  • Jämmerlicher Waschlappen (German: "pathetic sissy") - Christoph Blocher, Swiss Federal Councillor

On other search engines

Notes

  1. ^ a b Dropping Google Bombs, Sidener, Jonathan June 14, 2004 accesses August 9, 2006
  2. ^ miserable loser. Yahoo! Search. Retrieved on 2006-07-13.
  3. ^ miserable failure. Google Search. Retrieved on 2006-12-25.
  4. ^ Democratic Debate Part III: The Economy. PBS Online NewsHour (September 4, 2003). Retrieved on 2006-07-13.
  5. ^ Biography of President George W. Bush. Whitehouse.gov. Retrieved on 2006-07-13.
  6. ^ BBC News (12 2003). 'Miserable failure' links to Bush. Retrieved on 2006-05-13.
  7. ^ miserable failure. Google Search. Retrieved on 2006-07-13.
  8. ^ Mikkelson, Barbara; David P. Mikkelson (12 2003). Someone Set Us Up the Google Bomb. Urban Legends Reference Pages. Retrieved on 2006-05-13.
  9. ^ failure. Google Search. Retrieved on 2006-07-13.
  10. ^ miserable. Google Search. Retrieved on 2006-07-13.
  11. ^ miserable failure loc: washington dc. Google Maps. Retrieved on 2006-07-13.
  12. ^ Mayer, Marissa (9/16/2005). Googlebombing 'failure'. Googleblog. Retrieved on 2006-07-13.
  13. ^ Mantellini, Massimo (2004-01-19). PI: Contrappunti/ Un fallimento miserabile (Italian). Punto Informatico. Retrieved on 2006-09-11.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_Google_bombs"