How did this heinous Gaza app even get approved by Google?

Just as the 29-day conflict in the Gaza Strip has peaked with at least 1,865 casualties, a new and insanely disturbing Google Play app, called Bomb Gaza, has been downloaded 1,000 times. That’s right — up to 1,000 people decided to make light of a terribly real situation by seeing if they could win points by dropping bombs on cartoon Hamas militants and being careful enough to avoid killing citizens in the process.

Though the game has since been taken down, the damage has been done. The game creators, PlayFTW, capitalized on a tragic reality and are facing the backlash that comes with that territory, as is Google for hosting Bomb Gaza.

It hasn’t been the only tone-deaf response | Follow micdotcom 

When you buy Google Glass, you are not a consumer. You are an Explorer.

Everything about Glass affirms your specialness. The Swedish modern showroom, where a hot guy tweaks Glass’s nose grips just for your face. The card that comes with Glass, calling you an “adventurer,” a “founder.” The fact that you must be invited to purchase your pair, since there are only 8,000 Google Glasses in the world.

When you wear Glass, you and Google are a team.

But explorers are not neutral. They are the shock troops of empire. The lands explorers traverse are later conquered by armies, their sacred objects melted down for gold. Glass Explorers continue the corporation’s conquest of reality.

Google bombing: That frothy mixture of power and discourse.

By William Yagatich

On the February 21, 2011 edition of The Colbert Report, there was a humorous but still telling segment about former Congressional Senator and Representative Rick Santorum (R-PA). The segment detailed the effects of Dan Savage’s appeal to readers and followers to “Google bomb” then U.S. Senator Santorum in 2003 as a response to some of Santorum’s comments about homosexuality. In April of 2003, the Senator made several controversial statements that essentially compared homosexual acts to bestiality and incest, and stated he believed such acts to be a threat to society and the institution of the family (read excerpts from the interview).

Savage, author of the sex advice column “Savage Love,” appealed to his readers to come up with a definition of “Santorum” to memorialize the Senator’s comments as an act of protest.

After settling on a definition, Savage created the website Santorum to promote the newly coined sexual neologism that meant a “frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”

Over time, and many searches later, Savage’s website is to this day at the top of the results list when you Google “Santorum.” 

As funny as the story is, it raises important questions about the power over discourse given the new possibilities presented by the web. In order to Google bomb, or to inflate the ranking of a site under a particular query, you rely on people clicking on a specific link in the search results list and you rely upon other websites linking to a particular page using a specific anchor text. In this case, other websites linked to Savage’s site using the anchor text “Santorum” and many people clicked on his site when Googling the term.

Much is to be said for a crowd-sourced means of discourse. In a very general way, it can be likened to subvertising (see AdBusters) where popular advertisements are parodied or spoofed to illustratively and critically question the meaning of the original advertisements and the discourses they are selling to the consumer.

In a more specific way to Santorum’s case, using a Google bomb can be likened to muckraking. Not only did Savage make a successful attempt at a large-scale practical joke, he successfully drew attention to Santorum’s comments about homosexuality. Further, the result of the Google bomb would make it difficult for Santorum to promote his own website and the discourse he would wish to produce about himself on the web.

Yet, each of these strategies that combat dominant narratives are traditionally produced by the few and the privileged, and the same was true of the dominant narratives. Ultimately, what I wish to highlight with this post is that the web is fostering challenges to existing power relations over the production of discourse. The Google bomb presents an interesting case for the democratization of discourse production, and it provides evidence for possible strategies of altering what discourses become visible in the mainstream.

William Yagatich is a sociology graduate student at the University of Maryland.  His post originally appeared at Cyborgology.


| Modern AU Meme | Battlestar Galactica + WWIII |

A charismatic religious leader has reached into the hearts of millions worldwide, making them believe he is their salvation. When his followers infiltrate the highest levels of government, they turn our weapons against us, plunging the world into darkness and despair. When your neighbor, your friend, your lover can be compromised, who can you trust? World War III is upon us, and the enemy is everywhere.

"We still commit murder because of greed and spite, jealousy, and we still visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we’ve done. We decided to play God, to weaponize and split the atom. And when those weapons were turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn’t our fault, not really. You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you’ve created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can’t hide from the things that you’ve done anymore."

Comment nettoyer les résultats négatifs de Google ?

Votre société ou vos dirigeants sont attaqués sur le Web ? Vous souffrez de diffamation ? Découvrez comment nettoyer les résultats de Google. L’e-réputation est bien plus maîtrisable qu’on ne peut le penser à première vue : elle repose sur un ensemble d’actions décidées et orchestrées par l’entreprise : discussion, transparence, partage d’informations… En savoir plus en découvrant le site du cabinet

Google Bombing

Hace un rato, leyendo un artículo de @JulioAlonso sobre la demanda de la SGAE hacia su persona por ciertos comentarios en su artículo SGAE=ladrones, me he enterado de lo que se conoce como Google Bombing, que no es más que posicionar una página web en el primer lugar de los resultados de Google de manera premeditada, colaborativa y con un aspecto subjetivo detrás (desde simple diversión hasta venganza extrema).

Son casos más famosos son los de Bush, con su “miserable failure”, o el caso que se explica en, blog de Julio Alonso, donde al realizar la búsqueda de la palabra “ladrones”, aparecía la web de SGAE en primera posición.

Sin embargo, parece que un cambio en el algoritmo de Google, hubiese puesto fin a estos movimientos ciudadanos.

Por cierto, yo también creo que SGAE son unos ladrones, y vosotros?


Google bombing ou résultat de réelles recherches massives par les internautes ? Les suggestions de Google quand on commence à taper le nom de “Hollande” dans la barre de recherche prêtent à sourire quand il s’agit de déterminer si le président est “mou”, “nul” ou “menteur”, moins quand on se voit suggérer qu’il serait juif ou franc-maçon… L’obsession d’un complot judéo-maçonnique n’est jamais loin.

PS : il s’agit des résultats obtenus au jour de la rédaction de ce billet (13/04/2013), ils auront sans doute disparu dans quelques semaines.