Report reveals Google’s manipulation of search results to influence outcomes.

by Arthur Foxake

The contributors to this blog are not the only people putting content online to have been called ‘conspiracy theorists’ for suggesting that Google has, for at least twenty years, been manipulating search results to its own benefit and the benefit of its clients. In the early days this was innocuous enough, organisations that paid to advertise of Google’s pages had their page links bumped up the search results table.

Later it became more sinister, when you understand that among Google’s clients were organisations including political parties, governments (of some very nasty dictatorships as well as the so – called democracies,) state security agencies, NGOs (non government organisations) promoting and assisting the mass migration of illiterate, unskilled third world males to the developed nations for the purpose of destabilising societies, and other organisations and corporate enterprises pursuing a globalist political agenda.

Yes, the proof is out there that Google (and other internet tech giants,) rather than ‘hostile foreign powers’ have been meddling in elections and manipulating public opinion on certain issues.

Nutjob City Limits

There has been much in the news in recent months regarding trolls on social networking sites. The trolls I am referring to are those who post inflammatory, offensive, and often off-topic messages in forums, chat rooms, blogs, etc, in order to provoke an emotional response; not the kind who hide under bridges tormenting billy goats.

Last week saw the sentencing of Reece Elliot, of South Shields, following posts he made under a false name on a Facebook page dedicated to two US teens that had died in a car accident. Elliot wrote that he was going to take a gun and kill his Dad, and then drive to a school and kill at least 200 before killing himself. In his defence, he said this was a sarcastic joke, and that it was never meant as a threat. His girlfriend said he ‘does things on Facebook for a laugh, that’s what he does’. (I would prefer not to go to a party at their house if this is his idea of a laugh).

He went to the trouble to create a false profile to post from and directed another threat to one girl in particular. He was unaware of the kind of upset this may cause. Really? In this day and age, this sort of threat, especially in the US, is tantamount to joking about having a bomb in your shoe at an airport check-in.

Now, years and years ago, local nutjobs would stand on a crate in the town square and preach about this, that or the other. One or two people might have actually got themselves a bit of a following as they maybe, sort of, somehow, made a bit of sense, and/or promised the most fantastic (I suspect this is how many religions were formed). Back then though, not everyone had time to stand around and listen, they had more important things to do, they had pox, etc.

Today, everyone has a platform. And everyone has time. The internet has changed the world in ways that I would have never have thought possible when I was a teenager. Each of us has been given a voice, all be it a small, squeaky one on the general scale of things, but there’s always someone listening…more than you think if Ed Snowden’s revelations are anything to go by.

I for one am certainly guilty of keeping my Facebook page open while I’m doing other things online, or checking it on my phone in a bar while my mate’s in the loo. But then, I’m not a nutjob. I look at what my friends are up to, I don’t go looking for people to upset for my own enjoyment, not even the Scientologists.

It has been suggested that laws should be changed to effectively deal with modern day, ‘cyber-crime’. Elliot was prosecuted under a 150 year old law (section 16 of the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861). Some say they are merely playground threats, brought into the public domain by modern technologies. Others feel that as it is more public and often more sinister than your everyday playground threat, it should be punishable by suitable laws.

Playground threats at my school usually threatened nobody speaking to you for ever more, or possibly a punch in the face (more likely for boys but occasionally comes up in girl arguments depending on your opponent). But, we didn’t have the internet then.

We could change the laws to bring them up to date, it might make people think twice before writing offensive. We could also educate people better. In several of these cases the spelling and grammar was terrible. Many of such defendants have claimed their comments were jokes, and they didn’t realise what the consequences might be, demonstrating a lack of common sense and a misunderstanding of humour. Throw in some social skills for the hell of it.

Both may help to create a better society. Neither will eradicate the problem.


Are we nearly there yet?

So, summer is here and people are setting off on holiday to see new places, experience new cultures, or just catch a bit of sun (that yellowy-orange – or sometimes brown, depending on where you live – thing that sets in the sky about 4pm in December…remember it?)

When I was little, we used to go to South Wales, which is a long, vomit inducing drive to a car-sick 7 year old. Later we used to drive to France for camping trips. On all occasions involving long drives, there was a map present. Maps were all we had in them days, you see. I don’t recall us ever getting stupidly lost. I’m a firm believer in maps to this day. I refuse to get a satnav/GPS system, and not just because it would probably cost more than my car is worth.

This week, a Swedish couple holidaying in Italy set out for the isle of Capri, but spelt it wrong and ended up in northern industrial town Carpi. Now, spelling errors are an easy mistake to make and I doubt there is a spell checker. But they didn’t realise their error until they went to the tourist office in Carpi and asked where they could find the famous Blue Grotto. Being that they were 400 miles away, the bloke behind the desk must have thought the Italian equivalent of Jermemy Beadle was about to jump out. A tourism official has been quoted as saying “Capri is an island. They did not even wonder why they did not cross a bridge or take a boat”. My point exactly.

I have countless friends and colleagues (and I hate to say it, but most of them are women) with sat nav who have had similar incidents. There are often two towns with the same name in France. The driver input the destination and set off, ending up 6 hours away from the place she wanted to be, and having to sleep in the car. Another set out up a closed (with clear signage) mountain pass in the Alps in winter because her sat nav told her to. It was a miracle they didn’t slip off a cliff edge. She was with her boyfriend (who was a dick) and neither of them thought about checking the directions they had been given until it was nearly too late. Several others have similar stories, and yet none of them have even considered buying a map as a back up.

“Well, I don’t need a map, ’cause I’ve got sat nav and that tells me where to go”. Bollocks. If that was the case, you wouldn’t have had to sleep in your car/drive around Granada for 7 hours and come out going in the wrong direction/go via Paris on your way from Exeter to Newcastle/get your car wedged between two concrete cows on a farm track in Milton Keynes.

I’m not suggesting that everyone using sat nav is clueless, but it seems a fair proportion of users lack a common sense gland.

Also, the voice of the sat nav woman is so annoying; if you do realise she is wrong and continue the way you should go, she almost starts shouting at you, as if you were a small child. She actually reminds me of one of my Catholic primary school teachers. If I was to own one it would only last about ten minutes into the first journey before I fell into a Clarkson-esque rant and chucked it through the window.

If you must use sat nav, always carry a map as backup, and look at it before you set off.

Puffin up The Power Of Sat Nav Technology

Sat Nav Blunders I suppose you could even call it Sat Nav Schadenfreude. What kind of person takes pleasure in hearing of the Sat Nav misfortunes of others. Well, the kind this blogger is obviously.

Strange Sat Nav facts Do you know how many drivers try to murder their Sat Nav?

Death By Sat Nav Has anyone been directed into a fatal situation by Sat Nav or do they just nag drivers to death

More Humour Every Day At Boggart Blog

and don’t forget all the other Greenteeth Multi Media pages…
Greenteeth Multi Media
Greenteeth Comedy Pages
A Tale Told By An Idiot
Ian at Authorsden

It’s the Costume, Stupid.

Records have tumbled at the World Short Course Swimming Championships held in Manchester during the last week.
But controversy is in the water, or more to the point, in the Lycra.
Are the faster times down to the new swim suit made by Speedo?.
We’ve become quite used to seeing sports performances improved by the kit over the past few years, shaped cycling helmets to improve aerodynamics, baggy football and tennis shorts to improve ball play, colour co-ordinated Pringle sweaters to improve teamwork amongst the Ryder Cup golfers.
Once upon a time the only thing you needed to embark on a swimming career was a cozzie, preferably not hand knitted from wool, and a towel.
Then came goggles and racing hats, skimpier costumes that squashed and flattened to make you more streamlined, men as well as ladies took to the razor to shave off hundredths of a second along with all their body hair.
Then a revolution, suits that looked something like Captain Webb might have worn, knee length, full body suits, for the boys as well as the girls, some with vest tops, some short sleeved, some long, tight fitting and slick.
Pretty soon it will be telemetery feeding back to computers in the changing room and the technicians will be more important than the athletes, a bit like F1. The sport had evolved from pure human capability to technological enhancements.
So what is to be done?
Well in this thechnological era I reckon they should be made to swim nude, and if it’s televised they can pixellate the naughty bits.

Original humour every day from Boggart Blog

Remember The Country Code

Those of you from my generation, younger than Ian yet old enough to remember watching trade test transmissions for the emergent BBC2 will probably recall public information films in advertising breaks telling us how to cross the road safely or how not to scald a cat, (sorry Charlie!)There was one about observing the country code; taking your litter home, not poking crocodiles, sorry cows, with sticks and always closing gates behind you.
Well you will be pleased to know that the message got through and still persists today. A young lady was following the instructions from her sat nav when she came to a closed gate. Getting out of the car she opened the gate and then drove through, stopping on the other side to get out and close the gate. She then leapt out of the way of the oncoming train and watched, presumably gobsmacked, as it ploughed into her car and carried it half a mile down the track.
Wonder what she thought that big red circle on the gate was for? Or those flashing lights? And those funny parallel metal rails…? Perhaps it’s time to bring public information films back, but would you choose to educate the populace about indicators of railway lines or would you choose to tell them to open their bloody eyes and look where they’re going!
Maybe I’m being too harsh, after all she was probably doing much more than blindly following her sat nav, eye make up, talking to a friend and probably a Su Doku puzzle to boot. Young people need to realise technology can get things badly wrong.

More humour every day from Boggart Blog

Take one footballer, add one Sat Nav, stir in one Porsche