Monday, October 08, 2007

Don't Sign That Petition

From Haaretz:
ADL warns Web users not to sign petition against anti-Semitic site

By Lisa Zilberpriver

The Anti-Defamation League on Monday issued a statement warning Internet users against signing an online petition to have Google remove the anti-Semitic Web site from its search results for the word 'Jew'.

The petition, which was initiated in 2005 by an Internet user identified only as 'SMW' makes signatories' names publicly accessible. According to the ADL these have been posted to anti-Semitic Web sites which then published offensive commentary about them.

At the time of writing, the petition requesting Google ban the site from its results had 455178 signatories.

In response to the original petition, Google published a statement which appears below the anti-Semitic site when a search is performed, explaining that its searches are based on algorithms which cannot censor results.

ADL spokesperson Arieh O'Sullivan told Haaretz that his organization was aware of Google's explanation, but had requested Google respond to new allegations of signatories' names appearing on other Web sites.
I was worried about this. I hate online petitions for a number of reasons (e.g. nothing worthwhile comes from something of such little effort, online ANYTHING is dangerous), but this takes the cake. Our enemies *really* do study our behavior and know that the best way to attack us is to lunge for our sense of togetherness (petitions) and feelings of persecution.

Hat tip: EM. 2009 Update, pic from here.

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