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Rick Santorum's Google problem

By AV . ·
Tags: Off Topic
Rick Santorum is running for President of the US, but his Google search results leave a lot to be desired in a candidate. Just Google his name and you'll see what I mean. I sort of feel sorry for the guy.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/21/tech/web/santorum-google-ranking/index.html

Google will not remove those results either, saying that its up to Santorum to get the results removed. Thats not going to happen. I think he might have to live with this - forever. I guess the moral of this story is payback is a b*tch.

AV

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Thanks, I am aware of what a libertarian really is.

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Attack the content, not t ...

Just reminding Maxwell that it's not exemplified by his recent crusading.
I am sorry to have given you cause to reprimand me, and on the whole your reprimand was called for (That's why you have a +1 there, right now).
All I can say is, that when Maxwell refuses to speak with me, all my tools for peacemaking are void.
Short of unwrapping my warmaking tools, I am left only with copying his crappy tactics, hoping that the pointless idiocy of his chosen course will dawn on him.
I gave it a try... but I doubt he has the self-awareness to see the parallel.

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If he choose not to speak to you,

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Thanks, I am aware of wha ...

have you considered returning the favor?

"Short of unwrapping my warmaking tools, I am left only with copying his crappy tactics, hoping that the pointless idiocy of his chosen course will dawn on him."

You can always ignore those you disagree with, or limit the number of times you respond. You don't have to have the last word. Who's a bigger idiot, an idiot or the idiot who argues with him? Why would you discuss something with someone whose opinion you actively disdain? If a poster's opinions are blatantly ignorant on a repeated basis, it will become apparent to other readers without anyone needing to point it out every time.

Few have their opinions changed in an Internet discussion, and fewer are capable of eliciting those changes. Accept it.

(Note: Max, I'm being very careful here to use indirect pronouns. I'm NOT referring to you. This time :-) )

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I don't mind not talking to him

by AnsuGisalas In reply to If he choose not to speak ...

I do mind him talking about me, though.
If nobody will reprimand him for me, I will do it myself.
I usually post to share a thought, and usually they are meant to be funny.
I don't want to have to retaliate against Maxwell to make him stop his pettiness, but if nobody stands up for me, I most certainly will stand up for myself.
If you look at <a href=http://www.techrepublic.com/forum/discussions/103-348188?messageId=3498710> that other thread</a>, you'll see what I am talking about.
It's all well and good that you stand up for civility, Palmetto, but since you're NOT talking about Maxwell, you're not helping me to just let go.
Call it a character flaw, but when someone gets on my case, I retaliate until they leave me alone.

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i'm not attacking anyone's liberties

by maxwell edison In reply to As a Libertarian Maxwell ...

And suggesting as much further illustrates why I seldom respond to any of your messages.

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You call me a spammer and take slanderous pot shots at me.

by AnsuGisalas In reply to i'm not attacking anyone' ...

That IS an attack on my freedom of expression.
And I will retaliate in kind - every time you snipe at me, I will snipe at you for one (1) week - until you stop.
Get it into your head that I do not need to conform to your standards, nor do you need to care what I post, nor comment on it, so long as it doesn't concern you.
If you can't be civil, then neither will I.

Even if you DID invent the internet.

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Oh....

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to As a Libertarian Maxwell ...

Boo, Ansu.

Isn't that what libertarian means? Someone who wants liberties for themselves, but not for others?

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It was sarcasm, and I apologize to all actual libertarians for not making that clear.

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Oh....

Just pointing out hypocrisy.
I have a lot of respect for libertarianism when it is an all-encompassing stance, but not when it is when convenient only.
The latter isn't libertarianism in my book, which is my point with the obviously false statement you quoted. The former is a difficult discipline - involving respect also for those liberties of others which may be uncomfortable to ones own self.
The latter is simply hypocrisy. I forgot the damn < /sarcasm> tag, sorry.

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Response.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to An example of left-wing m ...

Like many who conduct ill-advised protests, Santorum has made the mistake of bringing this to the public's attention. Had he not opened his mouth, would any of us have heard of this? It's like those who loudly object to less-than-mainstream movies they find morally objectionable, movies the majority likely would have not known about without the protesters' unintended advertising effect. It draws attention to that which the protester would prefer go unseen.

If Santorum can't motivate enough supporters to click the appropriate search results often enough to affect the algorithms, how is he going to get enough to win an election? The first doesn't even require people to get off their butts like going out to vote does. Geez, why are people having to search for his website in the first place? Couldn't he score something easily remembered like 'Santorum2012.org'?

Santorum is well within his rights to object to the content, but trying to hold Google responsible is like blaming the phone company for listing strip clubs in the book, or the post office for delivering Newsweek.

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Actually, I was commenting on Google's search results

by AV . In reply to Response.

This kind of smear campaign can happen to anyone on the internet. How do you fix it? If you have someone like Rick Savage (who I wasn't familiar with until I posted this thread) that wants to ruin your reputation, there is very little recourse. Google doesn't want to be responsible, but maybe they bear some responsibility, if it goes as far as it did with Rick Santorum.

Rick Santorum didn't do himself a favor by trumpeting this all over the internet, but it probably would have come out anyway because he's running for President. Still, he brought attention to a growing concern for everyone that uses the internet.

If you are a business or professional, all it takes is one person that doesn't like you to spread all kinds of negative content about you. You don't have any remedy except to try to keep posting more positive content to counteract it. That really isn't a good enough solution. Sure, there are services that deal with reputation problems, but I don't think they would work in this situation. Plus, they cost a small fortune.

I think in Rick Santorum's case, a group of people defamed him for his comments about gay people, but it would be interesting to know how they were able to manipulate Google search results to do it. Is it just algorithms or does Google prioritize their search results based on things other than clicks. Is there a preference for some web sites over others?

Rick Santorum doesn't have enough supporters to affect any algorithms, but why should Savage's smear campaign against him be allowed to begin with? Its way over the top. It should be considered slander and Santorum should have legal recourse, IMO.

AV

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Sorry, wrong branch.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Actually, I was commentin ...

My 'clarification' question was directed toward Max's opening response. I'll repost that part of my comment to him.

I hadn't heard of Savage before this either. I suspect most hadn't. In order to ruin a reputation, people have to respect the opinion of the slanderer. If most haven't heard of you, how many are going to care what you say?

Regarding Google, as I asked earlier, would you a distribution system responsible for the contents? Is your ISP responsible for everything accessible on the web? You'll notice Santorum isn't trying to place any blame on them.

"...it would be interesting to know how they were able to manipulate Google search results to do it."

This assumes the results were manipulated. Evidence, please. Otherwise I'll attribute the results to Savage's followers repeatedly clicking the desired result to drive up its popularity.

Allowing Savage's 'smear campaign' isn't a question for Google; that's a separate free speech issue for the courts to hack out. I haven't been to Savage's site; the link in your initial post was enough to convince me there wasn't anything there I was interested in. I assume you have; did Savage attribute behaviors and statements to 'former Sen. Rick Santorum' by name, or did he ask his audience to define a new word 'santorum', with no affiliation to the presidential candidate? The first is slander; the second is a word game. There are plenty of 'Santorum' listing in the phone book; all Savage need do is ask why Sen. Rick assume this is about him. Lots of political candidates have names with unfortunate connotations; see the recently resigned congressman Wiener.

PS: while Googling to get Santorum's first name and title correct, I did trip over the 'definition' in question. Oddly enough, it turned out to be almost exactly what my deviant little mind came up with on its own.

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