On Bombs

I've been trying all morning to figure out why I'm uncomfortable with the idea of the Google Bomb. While I applaud all efforts to alert people to the remarkable rash of scandal and ne'er-do-well-ness that has gripped the GOP for the last six years, this feels too much like gaming the system. A lot of people make a living on the internets because it's an open, democratic system that shows no inherent bias, which makes it one of the last places a person can go if they're seeking honest information (although this can be a lot harder than it sounds sometimes). We all use search engines, and to a degree we trust that the results we get from them have some merit, that they're ranked by frequency of use, as with Google, or by actual humans who have analyzed the source material, like LookSmart.

This "bombing campaign" seeks to skew the results if anyone should seek information on a particular set of Republican candidates and direct the searcher to one particular article alleging corruption on the part of the candidate. It certainly doesn't prevent you from reading other articles, nor does it necessarily make it more difficult to find other sources of information. What it does is manipulate a system that is ostensibly based on merit in order to steer people towards a set of articles that have been selected by a group of liberal bloggers as being more important than others. It removes one of the reasons that people use and trust Google, that it's results are based on the number of people that have individually linked to an article based on their own conclusions, rather than what one group of people has decided to focus on.

I am not opposed to individual bloggers linking to these articles. That certainly happens enough on it's own, and usually with a good reason. But any campaign to force a result that you want to arise from a system that is normally a meritocracy feels too much like playing with the Dark Side. Replace the word "system" in the preceeding sentence with "election" and you'll get what I mean.

Plus, I'm just not down with the whole bombing metaphor. If we weren't as a nation responsible for the continued mass bombing of civilians in Iraq it might be more fun. As it stands, I just don't feel that Democrats should adopt martial imagery in order to sell an idea or a platform. We are ostensibly the anti-aggressive war party, after all.

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