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Google Bombs Are Our New Normal (wired.com) 94

mirandakatz writes: Tech companies' worst crises used to come in the form of pranks like Google bombs: Users figured out how to game search results, such as when a search for "miserable failure" turned up links to information about then-president George W. Bush. Today, in the era of fake news and Russian interference, that's basically our new normal -- but as Karen Wickre, a former communications lead at companies like Google and Twitter, points out, tech companies' approaches to dealing with the new breed of crises haven't evolved much since the age of Google bombs. Wickre suggests a new, collaborative approach that she dubs the "Federation," writing that "No single company, no matter how massive and wealthy, can hire its way out of a steady gusher of bad information or false and manipulative ads...The era of the edge case -- the exception, the outlier—is over. Welcome to our time, where trouble is forever brewing."
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Google Bombs Are Our New Normal

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  • Good grief msmash. The Russians! nonsense is just embarrassing at this point.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Trumptard spotted. It’s okay. Just because the guy you voted for is Putin’s cuck doesn’t mean you need to lash out.

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by bobbied ( 2522392 )

        That joke wasn't funny on the late night comedy shows the first time it got told. It's not getting better with age.

      • Trumptard spotted. It’s okay. Just because the guy you voted for is Putin’s cuck doesn’t mean you need to lash out.

        Regular retard spotted.

    • From the article:

      We trust our devices: We trust them to surface the correct sources in our information feeds, we trust them to deliver our news, and we trust them to surface the opinions of our friends. So the biggest and most influential platforms falling prey to manipulations upsets that trust—and the order of things.

      No, no we don't. We don't just trust everything we read, and for good reason. Typically, the more you know about the subject of a news story, the more you realize how inaccurate it is. That also applies to the news stories you don't know a lot about, you just may not be the one who has the right background on it. I like hearing from the people who do.

      massive platforms and services we rely on routinely communicate and coordinate, despite the fact that they are also competitors.

      No, we're not pining for the "good old days" when you only had to get the NY Times to preview a story for the three major TV network news teams and it became magically enshrined as the "truth" because no one ever got to see any other opinions.

      The answer to bad speech is more speech to compete with it, not censoring speech in order to "control the narrative". Deciding to federate all the Internet media companies into a shared censorship regime because a few spammers purchased a rounding error's worth of advertising in order to promote their click farms is completely out of proportion. It's almost like someone was waiting for an excuse to propose the solution they've been wishing for, a return to the days when not anyone could just speak, when you had to get past the "gatekeepers" in order to communicate to the masses.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The answer to noise isn't more noise. If someone is popping off their motorcycle, that doesn't mean someone else has to buy a jet engine to drown out that sound. We are already dealing with a deluge of bullshit every day, with crap coming from all directions, and major social media sites actually paid to disseminate propaganda. Had FB existed in the 1980s US, the Feds would have dismantled and shut down the entire company for acts of sedition and overt treason, be it giving aid and comfort to the enemy,

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

      The Russians! nonsense is just embarrassing at this point.

      That's exactly what a Russian dezinformatsiya agent would say.

      https://beta.theglobeandmail.c... [theglobeandmail.com]

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Look, you people are seeing TEH ROOSHINS in every post, on every thread. If you think Slashdot has any reach anymore, you're sadly mistaken. Most stories barely get double digit comments these days. The whole "blame the foreigners" thing is such an obvious dodge to avoid accepting that Trump voters might have had a point. We all know Podesta came up with this dolchstoss-legende within 24 hours of Hillary's loss, right? You people are seeing TEH ROOSHINS under your bed, and it's honestly kind of sad seein
        • Trump voters might have had a point.

          You just lost all credibility.

          seeing TEH ROOSHINS under your bed

          That Russia worked to influence the 2016 election is not in doubt any more.

          http://www.slate.com/articles/... [slate.com]

          http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com]

          The receipts have been found and displayed for all to see. Don't be so invested in Orange Julius that you refuse to see what's in front of your face.

          • Look, TEH ROOSHINS didn't cause Hillary to lose. Hillary lost because she ignored the Democratic blue-collar heartland. Trump showing up doing 3 a day events in the rust belt saying "we will never forget you again" while Hillary didn't show up at all is what won him MI, PA and WI. Win those states and Hillary is president today.

            It's so sad to see smart people dissolve into "blame the foreigners", the oldest trick in the book. It's not healthy. Believing in the backstab legend is what got the Nazi party s

            • It's so sad to see smart people dissolve into "blame the foreigners", the oldest trick in the book.

              Buddy, Trump's entire campaign was based on "blame the foreigners". Now all of a sudden you don't like that approach? Have you changed your mind because the Russians are white people? Because the same white nationalist sentiment that keeps Putin in power is what got Trump elected?

              https://www.realclearpolitics.... [realclearpolitics.com]

              https://www.vox.com/2017/8/12/... [vox.com]

              https://www.theatlantic.com/po... [theatlantic.com]

              • We're talking about why Hillary lost. It wasn't because of TEH ROOSHINS. It was because the Democrats abandoned the white working class and planned to drown them in immigrants. Deal with it, learn, and maybe in 2024 you can win an election again. I mean, fuck, the Democrats are the party of Harvey Weinstein.
      • That's exactly what a Russian dezinformatsiya agent would say.

        It's not at all clear to me why this non-falsifiable, modern-day equivalent of McCarthyism would get modded up so enthusiastically. Probably that thing about people not learning from history being doomed to repeat it.

        • It's not at all clear to me why this non-falsifiable

          Of course it's falsifiable, but you have to prove the evidence presented is not true.

          That's how evidence works: The prosecution (or scientist) presents the evidence, and it is proven up by a court (or peers). The defense can try to cast doubt on that evidence (falsification) or on witnesses. A prosecution (in this case a political prosecution) is not a hypothesis.

          We're past hypothesis now. Hypotheses can be falsifiable (or not). We're now at the provi

          • Of course it's falsifiable, but you have to prove the evidence presented is not true.

            * * *

            http://www.latimes.com/nation/ [latimes.com]...

            http://abcnews.go.com/Politics [go.com]...

            * * *

            There are emails . . . There are receipts.

            Um, ok. Unsurprisingly, neither of the articles you linked show any of the actual emails or receipts you claim to be evidence of "a deal to exchange the lifting of sanctions for campaign help." In fact, the original WaPo article [washingtonpost.com] your ABC News link mentions says exactly the opposite -- that the new emails bolster the Russian lawyer's story that the meeting had nothing at all to do with campaign help:

            It could offer evidence backing up the Russian lawyer’s claims that she was meeting with Trump Jr. solely to discuss a 2012 law despised by the Kremlin that imposed financial sanctions on wealthy Russians as punishment for human rights abuses.

            If there's some specific "evidence" you'd like to specifically direct me to and specifically say why you fee

          • Of course it's falsifiable

            And just to be clear, my reference to "this non-falsifiable, modern-day equivalent of McCarthyism" was referring to your reflexive labeling of the OP as "a Russian dezinformatsiya agent." That stands.

            • referring to your reflexive labeling of the OP as "a Russian dezinformatsiya agent."

              I did not label him as such. You made an inference. Read my post again.

              Your misapplication of logic and willingness to jump to a conclusion to satisfy your bias are part of the reason dezinformatsiya works so well.

              • Oh, stop. Your intent was crystal clear. Attempting to scurry back behind a veneer of plausible deniability just makes you look weak.

                • Oh, stop. Your intent was crystal clear. Attempting to scurry back behind a veneer of plausible deniability just makes you look weak.

                  Looking "weak" is something that scares you, isn't it?

                  That's another reason dezinformatsiya is so effective.

      • The Russians! nonsense is just embarrassing at this point.

        That's exactly what a Russian dezinformatsiya agent would say.

        https://beta.theglobeandmail.c... [theglobeandmail.com]

        Congratulations; your opinion is hermetically sealed.

  • by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday October 13, 2017 @11:54AM (#55363159) Homepage Journal
    Hard to believe this was back in 2004, but it worked! [slashdot.org]
  • Google bombs have been common for years now. If anything, they're the old normal.

  • Searching for "Miserable Failure", George W. Bush still dominates the top results.

    Can we finally conclude the result is legitimate?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Google, Twitter, and Facebook are not in the business of delivering news. They are in the business of delivering you to advertisers. They don't care about fake news so long as the eyeballs keep coming. If you look to corporations for unbiased reporting then you get the news you deserve.

    • Exactly...

      When the business of News is obviously in the tank for profits from advertisement, what do you expect from the likes of Google and Facebook? Unbiased commentary and search results? Please.... It's all about profits and getting paid to push advertisements onto your browser, you phone, your tablet, you big screen TV where you have to see them.

      The internet is starting to look and sound like a bazar where *everybody* from the kookiest on up get's paid the same way, ad clicks. The crazier you can b

    • If you expect to find "unbiased reporting", you will be led like the sheep you are.

  • Typo alert! (Score:1, Troll)

    by Archtech ( 159117 )

    "Today, in the era of fake news and Russian interference..."

    Presumably this should read

    "Today, in the era of fake news about Russian interference..."

  • My friend looks up my social media account through google and slowly they got pushed to the second page. I mentioned search results had started to suck since last year and he told me about my social media stuff and it made me wonder why google's search has been worse and worse. Russians I guess, they did it all!!!
  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Friday October 13, 2017 @03:08PM (#55364533) Journal

    ...that the OP mentioned "fake news" and "Russian Interference" in the same sentence inveighing against bad information spread widely.

  • half of what I see, nothing of what I hear, and only some of what I read without checking and questioning.
    but then I've been around a looong time.
    and I've been burned, hence my skepticism

    In the initial stages of a disaster you will get extremely detailed information.
    It will be wrong
    how long this lasts depends on many factors

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