Bombing for Choice

We did it before, and we can do it again.

While doing a bit of Googling for a citation of the decision in Roe v. Wade, I was reminded of a rather unpleasant fact: anti-abortion nuts have, up to this point, done a pretty good job at getting their agitprop ranked above factual information about Roe v. Wade and abortion in web searches. (On a related topic, see Crisis Pregnancy Centers Move Online.) As of 1 February 2005, the top search result for “Roe v. Wade” on Google (the one you’ll get from “I Feel Lucky”) is not the text of the case; it’s an anti-choice advocacy site called RoevWade-dot-org (I won’t link it here, lest it throw off the Google Bombing) — a one-stop shop for anti-abortion myths such as Post-Abortion Syndrome, the abortion-breast cancer link, and more, along with a heaping helping of wit and wisdom from everyone from Feminists for Life to Dr. James Dobson. You can find similar wingnut sites at the top of many other abortion-related Google searches.

Therefore, I propose that we do something about it. Specifically, I suggest we start throwing bombs.

Google Bombs.

Here is how you do it:

  1. Go to your webpage, weblog, LiveJournal, or anything else that Google can see. If you don’t have one, get one. Just sprinkle it with a bit of personal information (or put up that huge site you�ve always dreamed of), and remember to add the Google bombing code somewhere on your page (see below).

  2. Somewhere in the HTML on your site, include the following snippet. You can either include it in the HTML of updates themselves, or in the linkroll, or (best of all) both:

    <a href="http://www.tourolaw.edu/patch/Roe/" title="Touro Law Center: Roe v. Wade (1973-01-22)">Roe v. Wade</a>

    And while you’re at it, add the following snippet too, to help women who are considering abortion find useful information on where to go, instead of political harangues and anti-abortion deception:

    <a href="http://www.gynpages.com/" title="GynPages.com: Abortion Clinics Online">abortion</a>

    If you want a quick-and-dirty cut-and-paste that you can add to your web page without the trouble of editing, here you go:

    <p>Anti-abortion ideologues beware: I'm promoting objective, factual information on:</p>
    <ul>
    <li><a href="http://www.tourolaw.edu/patch/Roe/" title="Touro Law Center: Roe v. Wade (1973-01-22)">Roe v. Wade</a></li>
    <li><a href="http://www.gynpages.com/" title="GynPages.com: Abortion Clinics Online">abortion</a></li>
    </ul>
    <p>You can too. Join me in <a href="http://radgeek.com/gt/2005/02/01/bombing_for">Bombing for Choice</a>.</p>

    The more pages on your site you include these snippets on, and the more frequently you update your site while the HTML snippet is present on it, the better the results.

  3. If you want to be extra helpful, you can help spread the idea further: provide a link back to this page to explain what you’re doing, or provide your own explanation of what the GoogleBomb is and how people can get involved.

  4. Add your site to Google, if you haven’t already.

And from there, watch the magic of precision GoogleBombing do its work!

Once you’ve joined in the bombing campaign, let me know about it (by e-mail or by TrackBack), and I’ll be glad to give you a shout-out in a later update on the campaign.

Bombs away!

P.S. This is not a meme. Please don’t call it one. Thank you.

Update 2005-02-02: I made a mistake in the cut-and-paste option below: I accidentally used a relative URI when I should have used an absolute one; this means that if you cut-and-pasted from this page before this notice went up you’ll have a broken link. You can fix it by getting the new cut-and-paste below and replacing the old one with it.

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40 replies to Bombing for Choice Use a feed to Follow replies to this article

  1. your name

    In your code, I think the “Join me in Bombing for Choice” link has a problem. Shouldn’t the URL be http://www.radgeek.com/gt/2005/02/01/bombing_for ? The radgeek.com is left out of the code. I’ve seen a few sites that just copy/pasted without looking at it so it’s turning up 404s for them.

  2. haymarketeer

    what an eager young programmer type guy like yourslef should do is build a googlebombing sidebar service for bloggers. something akin to blogrolling, except you select from a bunch of pre-submitted bombs.

    or maybe that’s just a bad idea….

  3. Discussed at www.feministe.us

    feministe:

    Bombing for Choice

    Obligatory disclaimer: I am not Ms. Lauren, nor was meant to be; I am Charles Johnson, guest blogging on Ms. Lauren’s behalf while she takes a much-deserved break. You can normally find me at Rad Geek People’s Daily.

    While doing a bit of Googling …

  4. Rad Geek

    In your code, I think the Join me in Bombing for Choice link has a problem. Shouldn’t the URL be ?

    Yep! My bad. When I’m writing here I normally use relative URIs to link within the site. Being a creature of habit, I forgot to stop writing them that way when I was writing HTML to go on other people’s sites. D’oh.

    Anyway, it’s been fixed now. I’m e-mailing folks who I know got the wrong code; if you see anyone’s page with a broken link back, just e-mail them a note about the fix.

    Thanks!

  5. Discussed at caughtupinareverie.blogspot.com

    In a Reverie:

    Bombing for Choice

    Because it’s a good cause…

  6. Discussed at www.unbsj.ca

    scribblingwoman:

    Bombing for Choice

    Just came across this, via feministe, and have added it to the sidebar: Anti-abortion ideologues beware: I’m promoting objective, factual…

  7. Discussed at aptenobytes.typepad.com

    Aptenobytes:

    This is not a meme. This is infowar.

    Radgeek is calling out for people to make sure that Google accurately reflect the most informative pages on searches for Roe vs Wade. Anti-abortion ideologues beware: I’m promoting objective, factual information on: Roe v. Wade and abortion. You can too.

  8. Discussed at blogger.xs4all.nl

    target=:

    Googlebomb

    Googlebombing for objactive, factual information on abortion.

  9. Discussed at toyblog.741.com

    toyblog:

    Bomb the Conservatives’ Propaganda

    No one likes abortion…there is no culture of death…unless you’re talking about U.S. foreign policy. This is meant to increase the odds that factual information will rank higher than crap sites.

  10. Discussed at www.skyseastone.net

    All The World's A Stage:

    Linky linky to my causes

    So I’ve decided to take part in Bombing for Choice and you’ll catch new links under politics and religion - but it got me wondering - I’m sure gay rights have the same kind of search problems. Does anyone out…

  11. Discussed at elb.typepad.com

    Half Changed World:

    Thoughtful discussion of abortion

    Via and I wasted all that birth control, I found this truly thoughtful discussion at Arwen/Elizabeth’s site about a key question behind the abortion debate, namely when does a fetus become a human being with rights of its own. I’m

  12. Discussed at www.mountebank.org

    Mountebank:

    Googlebombing for Choice

    My blogroll now includes links to help with the project of Googlebombing (the accepted usage is two words, I think—but I prefer it as one) the terms “Roe v. Wade” and “Abortion Clinics.”

    The idea comes from Rad Geek People’s Daily—with this…

  13. Discussed at amerikat.blogspot.com

    An American Kat in London:

    Someone set us up the bomb

    I’m promoting objective, factual information…

  14. Discussed at joanne.typepad.com

    journalesque:

    Bombing For Choice

    Roe v. Wade Abortion Via Rad Geek. Also, I have a WHSmith gift voucher from Christmas (that I had totally forgotten about, which was a cool surprise) that I’m going shopping with tomorrow, so I need some book suggestions. With

  15. protected static

    Ironic that the GoogleAds that are being served (at this time, at any rate) are all anti-choice…

  16. Discussed at cepetro.blogspot.com

    Thoughts of An Average Woman:

    Bobming for Accuracy on Abortion

    Via Philobiblon, I found Rad Geek has created a google bomb to promote accurate information to be displayed at the top on a google search.

  17. Discussed at greengabbro.net

    green gabbro:

    Roe v. Wade: Googlebombing Abortion

    It’s unfortunate that the top Google result for Roe vs. Wade is a site full of anti-abortion propaganda. Following RadGeek’s…

  18. jane

    done - great idea!

  19. Discussed at www.commonman.org.uk

    the common man:

    More Bombs!

    Some time back I informed you of my invovement in a campaign to Googlebomb anti-Semitic hate sites off the Google…

  20. Discussed at www.powerfulpen.com

    GreenInk:

    Doing my part…

    Rad Geek is one, uh, radical geek. And he’s got a great idea: Google bombing with actual info regarding abortion to counter the misogynistic misinformation ministers out there. So…Anti-abortion ideologues

  21. Discussed at www.sennoma.net

    Malice Aforethought:

    googlebombs for good

    Amp points to Rad Geek’s bombing for choice campaign. I have done this sort of thing before, and I agree with Rad Geek’s analysis of the results of that campaign, including Google’s response. The answer to hateful free speech is not censorship but bett…

  22. Discussed at aptenobytes.typepad.com

    Aptenobytes:

    More bombing for roe vs wade

    hehe looks like we’ve done well…but maybe we should double up with the phrase “Roe vs Wade”

  23. Discussed at blog.ssokolow.com

    Stephan Sokolow's Blog:

    New batch of links, some Google Bombing, feminism, and Walmart

    Have you ever heard of Google Bombing? Neither had I. (Well, it sounded familiar) It turns out that Google Bombing means to legitimately exploit the fact that google treats links to pages as popularity votes for those pages. So, I’ve added a google bo…

  24. Anonymous

    It’s also a good idea to give a good title to your blog post when doing this. Google often weights page titles when indexing results. IOW, don’t title your googlebomb post something like “I’m Googlebombing for choice”, title it “Information about Safe, legal abortions and women’s health and rights.” (Or something more grammatically correct…)

  25. Discussed at www.heyotwell.com

    heyblog:

    Roe v. Wade, Women’s Health, and Googlebombing for Choice

    Bombing for Choice: Geekery Today 2005/02/01 :: Rad Geek People’s Daily Anti-abortion ideologues beware: I’m promoting objective, factual information on: Roe v. Wade abortion You can too. Join me in Bombing for Choice….

  26. Discussed at www.hemmungen.com

    hem|mungen:

    My body, my googlebomb

    It’s time to play dirty: Anti-abortion ideologues beware: I’m promoting objective, factual information on: Roe v. Wade abortion You can too. Join me in Bombing for Choice….

  27. Discussed at www.girlwonder.com

    girlwonder:

    Googlebombing for choice

    Via heyblog: Anti-abortion ideologues beware: I’m promoting objective, factual information on: Roe v. Wade abortion You can too. Join…

  28. Discussed at www.girlwonder.com

    girlwonder:

    Googlebombing for choice

    Via heyblog: Anti-abortion ideologues beware: I’m promoting objective, factual information on: Roe v. Wade abortion You can too. Join…

  29. Discussed at www.rochuswolff.de

    [i:rrhoblog]:

    our blogs, our bodies, ourselves (or something)

    now, dis is � small contribution by an old european for all dose americans oud dere: Anti-abortion ideologues beware: I’m promoting objective, factual information on Roe v. Wade and abortion. You can too. Join me in Bombing for Choice. so…

· April 2005 ·

  1. Hippie

    Great idea. I’m Bombing for Choice now too :)

· June 2005 ·

  1. Khali

    there should always be a choice when it involves our bodies. I’m bombing…

· August 2005 ·

  1. Too many anti-choice activists are crazy

    Since your bombing for choice campaign started because anti-choice roevwade.org was the first google result .. I thought you’d be intereted to know that roevwade.org has apparently been cybersquatted by a poker business.

· September 2005 ·

  1. Richardson Stephanie

    They also have the rigt to tell what they think ahbout abortion…and it’s their business. We have democracy in the world. I hope.

· November 2005 ·

  1. Discussed at www.tuckle.net

    tuckle rori:

    Join me in the Bombing?

    Anti-abortion ideologues beware: I’m promoting objective, factual information on:

    Roe v. Wade
    abortion
    
    You can too. Join me in Bombing for Choice.
    

  2. Discussed at wyrdworld.orangeblogs.ca

    It's a Wyrd World:

    Google-Bombing for Choice

    Here’s my Google-Bomb to promote factual information about abortion and choice on the Internet: Anti-abortion ideologues beware: I’m promoting objective, factual information on: Roe v. Wade abortion You can too. Join me in Bombing for Choice. Check ou…

— 2008 —

  1. Francois Tremblay

    Since when do Anarchists lobby for federal laws?

  2. Rad Geek

    Francois,

    Since when do Anarchists defend state abortion laws?

    The correct answer is that they do neither. The purpose of this GoogleBomb, back when it was launched, was not to lobby for federal laws. It was to promote factual information about abortion, and the relevant Supreme Court rulings, at a time when the top search results provided not accurate information, but rather deceptive anti-choice polemics.

    As for my position on Roe, specifically, I’ve said a bit about it in comments on my International Women’s Day post and more recently in my reply to David Gordon. If you have any worries about the position as expressed, those threads would probably be a better place to raise them.

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