Malacañang’s moves to reverse the “pekeng pangulo” Googlebomb campaign against Arroyo had failed, according to the Youth Demanding Arroyo’s Removal (Youth Dare).
“Apparently their efforts and abundant resources were not enough to reverse the overwhelming response and support of Web users and bloggers on our ‘Pekeng Pangulo’ campaign,” Youth Dare spokesman Raymond Palatino said.
Googlebombing is a technique used by webmasters and bloggers to influence the ranking of Google’s search results. Using this method, Youth Dare and the Young Radicals blog recently succeeded in placing KGMA.org, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s website, on the top of the search results for the phrase “pekeng pangulo.”
“Even in cyberspace, Mrs. Arroyo is not winning the battle. She may have the control of most of our democratic institutions and processes but she can never manipulate public opinion in her favor,” Palatino said.
Palatino said Arroyo’s spin doctors were quick to retaliate after the Googlebombing became successful and employed the same tactics used by Youth Dare and the Young Radicals’ blog to discredit the group. Hours after the news came out, Malacañang tried to alter the search results for the word ‘sinungaling,’ redirecting the link from the personal information webpage of presidential spokesperson Ignacio Bunye to the Young Radicals blog.
The campaign also targeted the Department of Justice website with the keyword “sira ulo”; the official government portal with “gobyernong bulok”; the personal profile of National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales with “bugaw”; and the profile page of Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio Bunye with “sinungaling.”
Palatino also called on all Filipino bloggers and Internet users to continue to support the “pekeng pangulo” campaign as their “contribution to the growing anti-Arroyo movement.”
Goolebombing was also employed by activists during the peak of the anti-Iraq war protests in 2001, and the result of this online campaign is still in effect. When Internet users search Google with the key words: “miserable failure” and then click on “Im Feeling Lucky,” the biography page of US President George W. Bush shows up.
Meanwhile, before the 2004 presidential elections here in the Philippines, webmasters who feared the possibility of having a President Fernando Poe, Jr. also used Googlebombing against the late movie actor. A search for the phrase “bangungot ng bayan” led to a webpage with the picture of FPJ and his supporters.