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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

User accuses YouTube of censoring video questioning 9/11 story

Another claim of YouTube censorship--this time claiming that the censorship efforts are targeting controversial 9/11 theories.  In the video below, a user calling himself FederalJacktube6 breaks down the fact that a previously posted video of his, which questioned the official account of 9/11 by running a clip of an NBC News story describing the breadth of the debris field for Flight 93 was tagged by YouTube as "Video blocked worldwide."

FederalJacktube6 also demonstrates that many other videos reproducing NBC News broadcasts dealing with other issues were not blocked.  This proves that NBC and YouTube are not simply tagging all NBC News videos for copyright reasons.  It is not clear whether he is accusing YouTube or NBC of taking the actions that target controversial, anti-establishment videos.

The user explains that to avoid a penalty against hisYouTube account, he is forced to delete the tagged video.

Monday, May 28, 2012 Could Revolutionize Internet Debate

New Website Analyzes Controversial Issues
There is a powerful new tool in the Internet's search for truth.

Is fluoridation of water a health risk?  What really brought down Building Seven on 9/11?  Is Barack Obama a natural born citizen of the United States?  What caused Junior Seau to commit suicide?  A recently launched website has created a user-friendly digital battlefield for the debate over these types of controversial and fiercely contended issues. has developed an innovative, open-source "vetting" software, designed to break through the Internet clutter and force both sides of an issue to engage in a fair fight and show all of their work.

The term "vetting" comes from the horse racing requirement that a horse be thoroughly examined by a veterinarian before a race.  IssueVet's vetting software attempts to give the same treatment to controversial issues that a veterinarian gives to a racehorse.  Issues are divided into opposing proposed conclusions and passionate, intelligent people from both sides are invited to systematically lay out all of the evidence supporting their conclusion and attacking the evidence opposing their conclusion.  Then, each item offered in support or opposition is added, analyzed and scrutinized.  And so on.  No piece of support is too minor to avoid the world’s scrutiny.  IssueVet's developers believe that the result will bring users closer to the truth as any site on the Internet has ever come.

For example, the IssueVet community has begun vetting the issue: Is Marco RubioConstitutionally eligible to be President (or Vice President)?  This controversial issue is broken down into two proposed conclusions: Marco Rubio is not Constitutionally eligible to be President and Marco Rubio isConstitutionally eligible to be President.  Proponents of Rubio's ineligibility have begun to make their argument and have added three items of support: a conclusion page proposing that Marco Rubio is not a natural born citizen, a page stating that the rule is that a President or Vice President must meet birthplace and parental citizenship requirements and an evidence page attempting to prove that Neither of Rubio's parents were U.S. citizens atthe time of his birth.  Each of these pages of support also have their own items of support broken off into pages and anyone with knowledge can go to these pages, click on the EDIT button and add further support or add opposing issues and pieces of evidence (which can then also be vetted).  IssueVet reviewers are already patrolling pages to prevent vandalism of another side's argument and to perfect the formatting and content.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Church Sues Woman for $500k Over Negative Google review

Odd story about a church suing one of its former parishioners for defamation after she posted negative comments about the church in a Google review and on her blog.  I will be interested to see how the Beaverton Grace Bible Church in Beaverton, Oregon will be able to prove that her statements that the church was "creepy" and used "control tactics" were known to be untrue.  I am also curious how the church will attempt to justify the $500,000 in damages  it seeks.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Google's New Knowledge Graph Could Affect Traffic To Certain Sites

Marie Curie search with Knowledge Graph
Google has started to roll out its new Knowledge Graph, which will change the way that many searchers receive results.  Once Knowledge Graph is launched, in addition to the traditional search results listing websites where relevant information can be found, a searcher will also "instantly get information that’s relevant to your query."  That information will be received without having to click on any other website.

For example, if you search for "Barack Obama" today, you will get a list of websites that have information about Barack Obama, including his campaign page, his Wikipedia entry and his page at  If you want to know where he was born, you click on one of the websites and get the information.  And that website gets a visitor.

Following the launch of Knowledge Graph, when you search at Google, in addition to the usual list of websites, you will get a box on the right-hand side of your screen that already contains a mini biography, including several of the most-searched biographical facts.  If you were seeking information about Obama's birthplace, the information may already be there on screen without you ever having to leave Google.

While this might be convenient for the user, it could be a major blow to the sites that used to get traffic from such searches.  In the above Obama example, Knowledge Graph probably just cost Wikipedia or traffic because the searcher never needed to click on either of their links to get the information they were seeking.

Websites that depend on traffic from searches should consider whether the information they present is the type that Google will be able to shorthand in a little box with Knowledge Graph.  If so, they may need to reconsider their approach to information to ensure that they are providing value to the user beyond a simple answer.  For example, Knowledge Graph would probably not affect a site analyzing Obama's election strategy or delving deep into whether Obama was actually born where his biography says he was.  In each case, Knowledge Graph would have a hard time summarizing the complex information into a little box that would rob either website of a visitor.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why Duplicate Content is NOT Bad for Your Blog Ranking

Wiki image
J.P. Hicks
Blog Tips

All SEO pros say to stay away from duplicate content. And most, if not all, blogging tips websites will only accept guest posts that are original content.

As far as I know, Blog Tips is the only blogging help website that allows syndicated material from outside sources.

It’s widely accepted that original material is by far superior to any other form of content. I’d be a fool to dispute that. However, is the negative stigma that comes with duplicate content as bad as pro bloggers make it out to be?

The short answer is, NO. Let me explain.