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Posted Friday, April 9, 2004

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Friday, April 9, 2004

 

Top Ranked 'Jew Watch' Site Under Attack

by Kevin Alfred Strom

NATIONAL Alliance member and retired librarian Frank Weltner has operated 'Jew Watch' -- jewwatch.com -- since 1995 as a watchdog site and Internet resource for readers and scholars interested in researching Jewish issues. Through hard work and consistency, the site has managed to achieve a high ranking on the number one search engine, Google. In fact, merely entering the word 'Jew' into the Google search box returns Jew Watch pages as the top two entries.

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David Irving comments:

I AM posting this story, which was emailed to me by a reader today, not because of its Jewish angle but because of its Google and censorship angle, which we have followed on more than one occasion on this website.
   After pausing for a moment to puzzle, briefly, on why a Jew would type the word "Jew" into a searach-engine, let me say this: Google is one of the world's premier search-engines, and we are all dismayed to see it coming under any kind of outside influence which may skew its results and degrade its usefulness
.
   Of course at Focal Point we have our own concerns about this, as we are also a target of these bigots: our website currently outranks that of the odious Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith (annual income: $60m), for example. "They" do not like that, and are doing all they can to reverse the trend.

[I have added a lot of links at the foot of this page, which were not in the original article.]

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Google's ranking algorithm, the method used to determine the most useful and therefore the highest-ranked sites, is not public -- the company fears that should its exact parameters become known, advertisers would exploit them to gain falsely inflated rankings for their worthless sites -- but it is believed to analyze the site's text for content relevant to the site's ostensible subject, click-throughs from Google itself, and links from other sites with relevant content on the same subject. By all those criteria, Jew Watch is the number one site in its specialized field.

Since Jew Watch archives material from many sources -- Jewish and non-Jewish -- which express a critical attitude toward the power-seeking and power-exercising activities of the Jewish establishment, the site's top ranking at Google has angered Jewish groups, some of which have attempted to pressure the search giant to alter its automated ranking criteria to prevent 'anti-Semitic' sites like Jew Watch from receiving a high search page position. This is something that Google has so far refused to do.

Other Jews are spearheading a plan to spoof the Google algorithm by providing numerous links from their sites to the Wikipedia online encyclopedia entry for the word 'Jew' and then submitting the url of their newly-linked pages to Google, in an effort to move the Wikipedia page's Google position higher than the Jew Watch position.

As of this writing, the Wikipedia page is still number three, after two pages from Jew Watch. It's not really clear just what these Jewish spoofers would 'win' even if they were successful in hijacking the top spot: Jew Watch would still be number two, just as visible -- and, with all the controversy they've created over it, with a lot more traffic.

The Jewish efforts at pressuring and 'link bombing' Google (the latter is something which Google disapproves of, by the way) have generated quite a bit of press, with stories on ZDNet, the Los Angeles Times, the Jerusalem Post, the Charleston (South Carolina) Post and Courier, and many others.


The Post and Courier reports:

A FEW hours before Passover, Jerri Chaplin of Charleston was shocked to learn that people looking on the Internet for information about Jews are likely to end up at a Web site denying the Holocaust and portraying Jews as a threat to the American way of life.

Google is the world's most popular Internet search engine. Type in the word "Jew," hit Web search, and the resultant list is topped by a site called Jew Watch. Jew Watch promotes the belief that Jews control American newspapers, the movie industry, the banking system and the military for their own interests....

Site operator Frank Weltner, a retired librarian who lives in St. Louis, defended the site Monday in a telephone interview.

"They (Jews) own the media; they own the banks," Weltner said. "This is a democracy, and in a democracy, minorities should not rule. But Jews don't feel that way; they feel that they should rule this country, and I object to that. I want my country back."

That's a sample of the tone of the site, and it's causing Jews to wonder why Google features it so prominently. Chaplin heard about it from an e-mail that's apparently circulating around the world. The controversy was featured a couple of days ago in The Jerusalem Post.

Google's operators have said they are in no way against Jews but can't remove Jew Watch from its search engine.

"The way that Google decides to rank and order Web pages is done completely automatically, using (computer) software," corporate spokesman David Krane said Monday. "This ranking criterion is essentially representative of popular opinion on the Internet."

Even when people don't like the results, Google operators never interfere with the computer program, said Krane, who identified himself as a Jew who will be observing Passover. "That's the promise that Google has made to its users for more than six years," Krane said. "We guarantee an objective, tamper-free search experience."

The search program analyzes 4 billion Web pages and sorts more than 100 factors to decide how to rank them, Krane said. A big factor is how many high-volume Web pages have links to the site.

...Jew Watch was still No. 1 on Google when Jew was the search word Monday evening. It came up No. 18 on Yahoo, the second most popular search engine. [It's the eighth result shown at Altavista. -- Ed.]

A number of Jews are trying another strategy to knock Jew Watch from the top of the list. They're putting links to the online dictionary Wikipedia's reference to "Jew" on their Web sites and encouraging people to click away....


The Jerusalem Post piece describes one Jew's "call to arms" over Jew Watch and openly admits Jewish efforts to remove the site:

What is a Jew? Those hoping to find out from a Google search are in for an unpleasant surprise. The first of 1.75 million entries that appear when you type "Jew" into the search engine is an anti-Semitic site.

This discovery by a New York real-estate developer, among others, has sparked a cyberspace showdown, and a bid to alter the situation by a small band of Internet experts.

While surfing the Web from his New York home, real-estate investor Steven Weinstock was shocked to find Jew Watch, filled with propaganda similar to that used by the Nazis.

"At first I felt surprised, and then those feelings turned to shock," he said.

What upset him most is not that hatemongers might be publishing such lies, but that any person looking to find out about Judaism would be offered choices such as the "Jewish Controlled Press," "Jewish World Conspiracies," "Jewish Media Lies," and "Jewish Banking and Financial Manipulations." Under one of the categories, titled "Revisionists -- 6,000,000 Jews DID NOT DIE," there are dozens of links to articles dedicated to Holocaust revisionism.

Weinstock has been working to get rid of the site. Last Saturday, he launched his own Web site, called Remove Jew Watch, containing a petition which received more than 3,000 signatures in its first 48 hours -- 1,500 on Monday alone. He also wrote an e-mail to Google, demanding that it remove the site.

In an e-mail response, Google refused: "Unfortunately, no computer can assess the morality, tastefulness, or honesty of a site's content. Results are determined by computer algorithms using thousands of factors to calculate a page's relevance to a given query."

Emboldened by Google's refusal, Daniel Sieradski, editor of the Jew School, a site devoted to Jewish fringe culture, decided to take matters into his own hands. Using a method called Google bombing, which exploits a quirk in Google's algorithms, he hoped to raise another site to the No. 1 rank.

"I decided to issue a call to arms on my Web site," Sieradski said. "Within a week, my proposal caught the attention of other Jewish bloggers [keepers of Web-based diaries] in the US, Canada, and Israel."

Sieradski's efforts paid off. The Wikipedia encyclopedia listing for "Jew," which just a week ago held no rank on Google, rose to the fourth-highest entry. But Sieradski is still not satisfied.

"Our work is not yet done," he said. "We've got quite a way to go before we reach No. 1, and then start to push Jew Watch completely off the first page."

...Jew Watch's description of itself is bland: "Archive of essays, articles, and on-line books about a perceived international Jewish conspiracy: Keeping a Close Watch on Jewish Communities & Organizations Worldwide." ...Perversely, the site also has links to Jewish community and civil rights organizations such as B'nai B'rith, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, but lists them as "Jewish Hate Groups."

Ephraim Zuroff right"If it means hating extremists, racists, and anti-Semites, then this title is well deserved," said Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem (right, with Chilean ambassador to Israel). "Not to fight against these groups increases their potential to poison the minds of millions."

There is an inherent danger when a hate site masquerades as an academic resource, said Brian Marcus of the civil-rights division of the Anti-Defamation League.

"One of our major concerns is that children unable to discern what is true will stumble onto these hate sites," he said. "There have been many cases where children unknowingly turn in school reports that contain anti-Semitic and racist remarks."

Stopping hate sites has been difficult, said Zuroff.

"What is going on is really outrageous; they can get away with saying the worst things: lies, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, and racist remarks. And yet all of our efforts to date to get these sites off the Web have been unsuccessful because the First Amendment enables people to make racist and anti-Semitic remarks."...

 


WHAT'S really interesting about the Jerusalem Post story is the admission by Zuroff that the Jewish goal is censorship of their critics, and the assumption that Jewish groups can decide what is and what is not an "academic resource" based on its position regarding Jews.

Also quite revealing is the notice taken of the controversy in the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, a paper read mainly by Jews. David Krane -- the Jewish spokesman for Google on this issue -- comes across in most of these articles as a staunch opponent of censorship or alteration of the ranking algorithm to give tainted search results. But when speaking to the Jewish paper, he sang a somewhat different tune:

... The No. 1 ranking of Jew Watch came as a surprise to David Krane, the director of corporate communications for the San Mateo-based Web giant.

Such a page might not pop up for Google searchers in European countries, where Holocaust denial is illegal. But Krane adamantly stated that Google has no plans to manually alter the results of their ranking system to knock Jew Watch from its top spot.

"No, we don't do that. Google merely reflects what is on the Web and does its best to algorithmically rank pages. Unless [a Web page] violates a country or local law, we don't make any tweaks," he said.

So how did a hate site grab Google's top spot? Krane explained that Google's search engine discerns a site's "relevance" by the number of pages with a forwarding link to it in addition to the prominence of those sites.

While Google will not alter the results of its search engine, Krane promised to alert the firm's engineers to further refine the search algorithm, which might alter the findings for the term "Jew."

He invited users concerned about search results to contact help@google.com. User feedback is fed directly to engineers, he said.

Jew Watch is valuable on several levels, but the most important is this: Jewish groups, working with corrupt politicians, have already made publishing certain opinions on history and politics illegal in many nations. Groups that would take away our freedom of speech should be watched, and watched very closely indeed.

 

Charleston Post and Courier article
Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles story
CNET News article
Controversy over Google search-engine grows: Harvard experts on Web censorship detect that Google engine, bowing to German and French pressure, suppresses sites (including ours)  | Who hijacked it? | Who writes the offensive "category" notes? | See too Google Watch | Jamie McCarthy's role | Who hijacked ... (continued) |  "C" discovers another odd thing about it | The Memory Hole: Google engine has sanitised the David Shayler website [more on Google's Web-fixing] | More on The Google Gods  | Google.de schließt illegale Seiten aus
So much for First Amendment: As the traditional enemies slowly throttle free speech, report shows Internet filtering now in 43% of US public libraries (thank God for the home computer).
Websites become dependent on Google search engine
White House Alters Website To Block Google Archives
The two brains behind Google
Lynda Mortl has been investigating library censorship of websites
Robert Fisk identifies US missile that killed 62 Arabs, by using Google
Censorship of revisionism - at €1,100,000 (over $1million) the largest budget item in Euro Internet 
Europe to criminalize Internet "hate speech" including hyperlinks to offensive pages
Google.de schließt illegale Seiten aus
Canadian Jewish newspapers warned that revisionists have seized the Internet high ground, called for more police censorship
 

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