Wednesday, October 25, 2006

'Google Bombs' and Reader Beware

Interesting article from the National Journal via MSNBC today:
Political bloggers coordinate 'Google Bombs'

Of course, I had never heard of "Google Bombs" before, but the concept is not new. Companies have been using the same techniques for years to get their companies listed first among search results. It is not surprising that some political consultants finally decided to do the same thing.

This highlights the danger of relying on Google and the Internet in general for your information. There is a lot of important information out there that is not findable via Google, and the information you do get is not always reliable or trustworthy. Of course, the Internet is a very valuable tool, but the user must beware.

A good example of this is to do a quick Google search for "Martin Luther King." There are probably thousands of young students who go online for information about King, and what do they get? The very first (unpaid) link is to martinlutherking.org. Sounds like a good source, right? Take a look at the page, it is anti-civil rights. The website calls King a "liar, cheater and traitor" and calls for the end of the King Holiday. At the bottom of the page, we see that the website is hosted by stormfront.org, a "White Nationalist Community," not exactly the type of organization you would expect to get unbiased and correct information about a black civil rights leader.

Be careful. Not everything you read online is true.

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