Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Google and WIkipedia collude to hide "Climategate" data

Fascinating blog post with some very convincing links comparing Google searches for "Climategate" to Bing searches for the same thing.  Disturbing, to say the least ...

Climate Observer: Those Who Control The Information Try To Control The Debate.
The rise and exposure of Climategate did more than just show the email correspondence of a few climate scientists who were determined to shut down dissent, manipulate the peer review process hide or destroy information requested under FOI, hide their mistakes, etc, etc. They also exposed the bias of information sources like Wikipedia (as we have seen before), as well as exposing the bias of Google as a web browser. National Post journalist Lawrence Solomon investigated these phenomenon and this is what he found: In the first article entitled Wikipedia's Climate Doctor we find:

The Climategate Emails describe how a small band of climatologists cooked the books to make the last century seem dangerously warm.

...The Climategate Emails reveal something else, too: the enlistment of the most widely read source of information in the world — Wikipedia — in the wholesale rewriting of this history.

... This bias by Wikipedia was not isolated. In fact the Google readjustment (read hiding) of the
number of articles referring to Climategate became known as
"Googlegate," such was the level of interference. In Solomon's article Better off with Bing he writes:

This week,
Google announced an end to its long-standing collaboration with the
Chinese Communists — it will no longer censor users inside China.

That’s good of it. Maybe Google will now also stop using its search engine to censor the rest of us, in the Western countries.

Search for “Googlegate” on Google and you’ll get a paltry result (my result yesterday was 29,300). Search for “Googlegate” on Bing,
Microsoft’s search engine competitor, and the result numbers an
eye-popping 72.4 million. If you’re a regular Google user, as opposed
to a Bing user, you might not even know that “Googlegate” has been a
hot topic for years in the blogosphere — that’s the power that comes of
being able to control information.

Despite Google’s
motto of “Do No Evil,” it has long been controversial and suspected of
evil-doing — and not just in its cooperation with China, or in
protecting itself by hiding criticism of itself from unsuspecting
Google users. In recent months,
most of the evil-doing has focused on the Climategate scandal, the
startling emails from the Climate Research Unit in the UK that show
climate change scientists to be cooking the books.

many weeks now, readers have been sending me emails describing how
Google has been doing its best to hide information relating to
Climategate, which has been the single biggest story on the Internet
since the Climategate emails came to light on November 19.
Nov. 26, the term had gone viral and Google returned more results for
“climategate” (10.4 million) than for “global warming” (10.1 million).
As the Climate Scandal exploded, and increasing numbers of blog sites
covered it, the number of web pages with Climategate continued to
climb. On Dec. 7, Google’s search engine found 31.6 million hits for
people who searched for “Climategate.”

around then, in early December, Google began to minimize the
Climategate scandal by hiding Climategate pages from its users. By Dec.
17, the number of climategate pages that a Google search found dropped
by almost 10 million, to 22.2 million. One day later Google dropped its
find by another 8 million pages, to 14.1 million. By Dec. 23, Google
could find only 7.5 million hits and on Dec. 24 just 6 million. And
yesterday, when I checked, Google reported a mere 1.8 million
climategate pages.
See Here.

in contrast, didn’t make climategate pages disappear. As you’d expect
from a search engine that wasn’t manipulating data, search results on
Bing climbed steadily until they peaked at around 51 million, where
they have remained since. See Here

in late November, Google has been keeping the public in the dark about
Climategate in other ways, too. Ordinarily, when people begin keying in
their search terms, Google helpfully suggests the balance of their
text, through an automatic feature it calls Google Suggests.

the very beginning of the Climategate scandal, before it became huge,
Google Suggests worked as advertised. If someone typed in c-l-i-,
Google would have shown them “climategate” on a list of options. Many
people, in fact, learned about Climategate this very way, because most
major media outlets had not yet picked up on the scandal. As
Climategate rose in intensity, the term also rose in prominence on the
Google Suggest list — anyone keying in c-l-i would see “climategate” at
the top of the list.

suddenly in late November, for reasons known only to Google, Google
often would not suggest “climategate” to those who keyed in c-l-i. Even
c-l-i-m-a or c-l-i-m-a-t-e-g-a-t weren’t enough to solicit a suggestion.

Bing, in contrast, did not and does not steer users away from
climategate — it has consistently suggested “climategate” to those who
keyed in c-l-i or even c-l.

For those whom Google can’t steer
away from “climategate,” and who key in all 11 letters to learn about
the eye-opening emails, Google goes the extra yard in keeping people in
the dark — it dishes up a page that trivializes the scientific
significance of climategate. Those who click on Google’s “I’m feeling lucky” after asking for “climategate” find themselves on a Wikipedia page entitled Climatic Research Unit hacking incidentthat
downplays the content of the emails and focuses on the “unauthorised
release of thousands of emails and other documents obtained through the
hacking of a server,” the “illegal taking of data,” the “Law
enforcement agencies [that] are investigating the matter as a crime,”
and “the death threats that were subsequently made against climate
scientists named in the emails.”

For those who don’t
use Google’s “I’m feeling lucky” feature, Google presents them with
this one-sided Wikipedia page as the first item in its search results.
Wikipedia actually has a page called “Climategate” that contains
damning information about the scientists caught up in the scandal but
its own censors won’t let the public see it — anyone who tries to key
in “Climategate” on the Wikipedia site will be instantly redirected to
the Wikipedia-approved version of climategate, where the scandal is
described as nothing more than “a smear campaign.”

Why would Google want to tamp down interest in climategate? Money and power could have something to do with it. Search
for Google and its founders and you’ll see that they have made big
financial bets on global warming through investments in renewable and
other green technologies; that they have a close relationship with Al Gore, that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is close to Barack Obama.

But search for Googlegate and you’ll also see that more than money is at stake. The
accusations against Google of censorship are wide-spread, involving
schemes to elect Barack Obama, attacks on Christianity (key in
“Christianity is” and Google will suggest unflattering completions to
the phrase), and political correctness (key in “Islam is” and nothing
negative is suggested).

The bottom line? Google is as
inscrutable as the Chinese, and perhaps no less corrupt. For safe
searches, you’re best off with Bing.

the tentacles of climategate go beyond influencing the temperature
records of countries all round the world, to include influence over
major information sources such as Wikipedia (by having someone inside
do the gate keeping) to Google by their external relationship to Gore
and to members of his former political party. Is it any wonder that
some people either still have not heard of Climategate or have no idea
as to the depths of manipulation they are being subject to on a daily

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