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Search-Engines and the JFK Assassination


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Jim DiEugenio started a very important thread on search-engines and the JFK Assassination:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=16168

Jim used the example of what happens if you type in “Lee Harvey Oswald” into a Google search-box. At number one is the Wikipedia page on Oswald. This is true of any search you do of almost any historical character. As most people now get their information from the web before any other source, this is a serious problem.

In theory, Wikipedia is a democratic system that allows people to correct information on its pages. In reality, the content of these pages are controlled by unnamed figures that ensure the website provides an establishment view of past events. A case-study of this can be found on Jim’s website by J. P. Mroz:

http://www.ctka.net/2010/wiki.html

I know from previous experience that it is sometimes possible to get changes to Wikipedia pages. For example, the original entry for “Operation Mockingbird” said it was an urban myth. I rewrote it but it was immediately removed. When I complained they said that I had not added references to my article. I did that and it was accepted as being an academic article. This page is now one at Google whereas my Spartacus page on the subject is at number 3. However, I am not complaining as I have been able to get my version of the subject into the public domain.

However, going to battle over Wikipedia entries is a time-consuming business. At the same time there is no guarantee that you will end up as the winner. In fact, the odds are heavily stacked against you.

When I first discovered the internet in early 1997 I realized that we were about to experience a communication revolution. That in the future, people would get their information from the web. The good thing about this was that it would undermine traditional media that was under the control of the multinational corporations.

I therefore decided to create a website that would provide an anti-establishment view of the past. At the time, very few people were doing this and virtually every time I created a page it went to number one in the search-engines. This was before both Google and Wikipedia. (In fact, when Google first started they paid me to link to them because of my place in the rankings.) The reason I feature so high for my pages is that the search-engines give preference to the amount of links that each site has. In the early days of the web, all the schools, colleges and universities provided free links to educational websites. Another factor is the quality of links that you have (the number of links that the linked website has). For example, it is very important to have links from the BBC, PBS, newspaper websites, etc.

However, the arrival of Wikipedia, knocked me off the top spot. (I am still number two when you type in “Lee Harvey Oswald”). The main problem is that a large percentage of people believe the Wikipedia myth that it is possible to create “objective” history. They are not aware of the struggle that goes on behind the scenes at Wikipedia.

The real problem with the Google system of search-rankings (all the other search-engines now use the Google model) is that its emphasis on links provides a terrible disadvantage to new websites. For example, if you create a new page on Lee Harvey Oswald, it does not matter how good it is, it will not appear on the first couple of search pages and will not be read unless it is linked via something like this forum.

Joe Hill was an important figure in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). He was considered so dangerous that he was set-up to take the rap for the murder of J. B. Morrison, a former policeman. He was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death and plans were made for Hill's execution by firing-squad on 19th November, 1915. Hill sent out a message to Bill Haywood, the head of the IWW: "Goodbye Bill. I die like a true blue rebel. Don't waste any time in mourning. Organize."

The internet gives us a chance to organize against the status quo. However, it will only work if we join together to get our pages near the top of Google’s ranking system. Let us take the example of J. P. Mroz’s article on Wikipedia and the assassination of JFK

http://www.ctka.net/2010/wiki.html

It has already been given a link from this forum:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=16206

I have also added links from two of my blogs, twitter and facebook:

http://spartacus-educational.blogspot.com/

http://spartacus2ww.blogspot.com/

http://www.facebook.com/john.simkin?ref=name

http://twitter.com/johnsimkin

This will help this page to the top of the search-rankings for phrases such as “Wikipedia and the assassination of JFK”.

I am suggesting that we form a group of people who have websites and blogs who want to get their page in the top five of any particular searches. The way it would work is that each member would have the right each week to nominate a page that they wanted promoting. The rest of the group would then add links to this page from their blogs, twitter, facebook, etc.

Please contact me if you are interested in joining such a group.

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''Joe Hill was an important figure in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). He was considered so dangerous that he was set-up to take the rap for the murder of J. B. Morrison, a former policeman. He was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death and plans were made for Hill's execution by firing-squad on 19th November, 1915. Hill sent out a message to Bill Haywood, the head of the IWW: "Goodbye Bill. I die like a true blue rebel. Don't waste any time in mourning. Organize." - the words are as true as ever

Another way is to really saturate the rest of the forum with everyhing that is possible, relevant, unrelated. I'\n kinda putting together a survival manual for less well to do students, for example, things that may be of interest to others... Visitors will in time notice ''hot spots''. I think then there will be a surge. It's just a matter of utilising it.

Edited by John Dolva
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Guest Tom Scully

My anecdotal experience over there does not encourage me to be optimistic, Jim.:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Lee_Harvey_Oswald#Lead_.28again.29

This is how the lead in the Wikipedia article on LHO read before the recent edit.:

In 1964, the [[Warren Commission]] concluded that Oswald acted alone in assassinating Kennedy, a conclusion also reached by prior investigations carried out by the FBI and Dallas Police.

This is the current version, including the edit.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Harvey_Oswald

In 1964, the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald acted alone in assassinating Kennedy, a conclusion reached previously by the FBI and Dallas Police. In 1979, The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations agreed that Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, but also concluded it was probably as a result of a conspiracy. The members of this probable conspiracy were not identified.

This is the version after they watered it down again, the version they want to reinstate.:

In 1964, the [[Warren Commission]] concluded that Oswald acted alone in assassinating Kennedy, a conclusion reached previously by the FBI and Dallas Police. In 1979, [[united States House Select Committee on Assassinations|The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations]] (HSCA) agreed that Kennedy was assassinated by Oswald, but also concluded that Oswald was probably part of a conspiracy. The HSCA did not identify any other individual or group of such a conspiracy, and the acoustic evidence it relied on for its findings of a probable conspiracy has since been contested. Some of the evidence gathered by the four investigations is still classified, and the circumstances surrounding Kennedy's death continue to be the subject of debate.

(Near the bottom of the page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Lee_Harvey_Oswald#Third_break

...Again, I have made a reasonable, well supported argument for leaving the third paragraph of the Lead of the LHO article just the way it is now. If you insist on adding a disclaimer to it concerning the HSCA finding of a conspiracy, then accuracy and fairness to the readers of the Lead require similar disclaimers be displayed next to the descriptions of the WC and FBI investigations and findings. Xxxxx (talk) 03:54, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

I have to concur with SBHarris here. I have no idea what the point of this is. We know about Hosty, we know he destroyed the note. There's no need to go on about that for screens and screens. The question you aren't answering is: so what? Gamaliel (talk) 20:30, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

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Over the years, I have come to realize that 'getting your message out to the world'--the Internet version of a rags to riches story--is highly unlikely regardless of your style, energy, or quality. Like any other similar endeavor, it takes a LOT of hard work AND a lot of luck. The former is hard enough, but the latter is totally out of your control.

I think a better strategy, although equally hard, is to really play power politics. If you can get a real political movement going, you can use that to push through any kind of reform you want. The media becomes your ally and/or pawn. Those in control understand this equation as well, which is why the false Democrat/Republican "choice" is all you're going to get. The Libertarian Party has a relatively good platform, some decent financial support, and they're hardly radical in any major way. However, they've been around since the 1960s and have continually failed to rise about the noise level. Topping their performance is key to reforming the system, but the status quo is on the lookout for you and will attack the moment you stick your neck out.

Jesse Ventura said in his latest book that after he was elected governor of Minnesota, a large contingent of intelligence officers came to visit him at the capital and asked him all sorts of questions (in a private meeting) about his political strategy to get elected. He truly caught them off guard and they didn't anticipate how a rogue independent could have won such a major election. This story is interesting because it not only proves how guarded the status quo is but also that it is possible to win despite their efforts. Ventura clearly isn't a pawn of those in control.

Getting back to Wikipedia, this site is a good example of the false promise of the Internet in general. Did people think the Internet, once popular, was really going to be some bastion of free speech? If you study the trends and where the politicians want to take the Internet, it's clear that it will soon be 100% locked up with controlled content (soon = <5 years). First of all, there are practically no anonymous entry points; every IP address has a paid/identified account behind it. Second, ISP consolidation has led to larger companies that love to play ball with the government (Cf. AT&T, Verizon, etc.). Third, movements such as universal ID, net neutrality, and anti-advertising, each have aspects that will guarantee each person is identified online at all times and that smaller sites will be pushed to the corners of the ecosystem. Part of this is natural capitalism as work, but a lot of it doesn't just happen without a political strategy behind it.

Don't count on a major site like Wikipedia suddenly becoming something different. However, I think that since John has such a good start at Spartacus, that another viable option would be to expand it and then encourage readers to link to it as much as possible. If it keeps showing up at the top of search results then this is about as good as your're going to get for "free".

Tom, I agree with a lot of what you say but I am more optimistic than you. That comes from fighting to provide an alternative view of history for 47 years. You just cannot go on for that length of time without being a very optimistic person. Up until 1997 I was involved in the alternative press. Although we had some success, we were fighting a losing battle. The main problem was economic power. The internet has undermined that because it is possible to produce information to a mass audience at a very low price. Look for example how Rupert Murdoch has struggled to use his position in the mass media to become a major influence on the web. As most people get their information today from the web, the problem is not Murdoch but Wikipedia and Google.

In 1997 I argued that the web had the potential to completely undermine the dominant political ideology. It has not happened yet but we are still going in the right direction. The main problem is one of organisation. Those who are aware of the way that the dominant ideology works, are not very good at working together.

Spartacus Educational is a one-man operation but virtually everything that I have written about, ends up in the top five of Google searches for that particular subject. Research shows that most people who are really interested in that subject will take a look at those five pages. Many people get very angry at my interpretation of the past. For example, it is amazing the number of emails I have had about my Klu Klux Klan page. However, this information is available to those with open minds. If anybody has written anything about the subjects where I am highly ranked, I am more than willing to incorporate it into my text or to add a link from my page.

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Guest Tom Scully

Wow. That is all he has to say about the flaws in the FBI inquiry, Jim Hosty?

But if he is saying Hosty, then what about the second Oswald wallet at the TIppit scene that Hosty mentions in his book?

That's not important?

The fact that Todd's initials are not on the bullet or that he got the bullet at the White House AFTER Frazier checked it in at FBI HQ, even though Frazier said he got the bullet from Todd?

Or that the Mexico city tapes the FBI heard with Oswald's voice allegedly on them did not have Oswald's voice on them?

We can go on and on. Gamaliel is in the bag for the WC. In this day and age, that is not credible.

My new thread on a young Republican governor, http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=16282

who compromised his political career to investigate the soundness

of a jury conviction of a high profile subject on the charges of murder and kidnapping, gave me a new method

of demonstrating how Wikipedia article content restriction need to be reconsidered.:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Lee_Harvey_Oswald#Fourth_break

I have to concur with SBHarris here. I have no idea what the point of this is. We know about Hosty, we know he destroyed the note. There's no need to go on about that for screens and screens. The question you aren't answering is: so what? Gamaliel (talk) 20:30, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

"So what?" Before I made the first edit in the lead of the Lee Harvey Oswald article, the impression a reader received was that there were three investigations, concluded by 1964; they all determined Oswald was the lone assassin of president Kennedy. There was no mention in the three paragraphs of the lead that the investigation was reopened in the 1970s and a new conclusion, that Oswald was a part of a conspiracy, was determined. Is there a goal our policy of Wikipedia article uniformity, when an article is about a suspect in or convicted of a sensational murder or other crime of great interest? Oswald received no trial, no lawyer was appointed to represent his interests in any of the government investigations described in the article lead. Testimony was taken in secret in those investigation with no provision for an Oswald advocate to cross examine anyone who testified, or to examine and challenge any of the evidence presented. The Wikipedia article on Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a man who was convicted in an open court of kidnapping and murder in a crime of comparable notoriety. He was provided with attorneys who cross-examined witnesses and conducted discovery and examined and challenged evidence presented to a jury of Hauptmann's peers. Hauptmann was afforded appeals of his conviction all the way to the U.S. Supreme court, and after Hauptmann's conviction in court, Gov. Henry Hoffmann of New Jersey independently investigated the issue.

Yet, even after Hauptmann, (unlike Oswald, who receive none) received every opportunity to defend against the criminal charges against him in court, and then in appeals, this huge section describing the controversy over Hauptmann's guilt or innocence or participation in a conspiracy, is included in the Wikipedia article about him.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruno_Hauptmann#Hauptmann.27s_guilt_questioned

Why are the standards of what can be include in the Oswald article so much more restrictive than what has been permitted to be included in the Hauptmann article, related to similar controversies?

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