What happens if a Google search result comes up with negative and vulgar definitions when someone types in your name? Now wonder if the first two search results were directed to Web sites that attack you on a personal level? Such is the case for a former Senator who has aspirations to run for President of the United States. His name is Rick Santorum and he is a former Senator from Pennsylvania, who is hoping that people don’t do a Google search of his name.
His problems began back in 2003 when Mr. Santorum made some remarks about the gay community, that some in the gay community took exception to. In particular one gay activist, Dan Savage, began a crusade of sorts to mock the Senator and his views about gays. Mr. Savage set up a web site in which he asked readers to post their definition of what the word ‘santorum’ meant to them. The resulting comments from readers were not flattering and with such a large volume of replies, the former Senator’s name soon shot to the top of the Google rankings.
So now Rick Santorum has a problem when some one does a Google search of his name. He is being associated as a bigot and anti-gay candidate. I am not here to argue who is right and who is wrong. I have my opinion and I would hope that others would respect my opinion as I would respect their opinion. But I am wondering if there should be some type of appeal process at Google where one could have the results of searches deleted or given a lower ranking.
I understand that this might be unfair depending on which side of a cause you choose to associate yourself with. I also understand that this could also be a violation of one’s right under the first amendment of free speech. So it looks like the man is stuck with those vulgar comments and the high rankings Google search comes back with his name is typed in the search box. Or is there a fair and equable solution?
The former senator could have launched is own campaign long ago to counter the rankings. I am sure he could have garnered support for his own views and may have been able to change the rankings. But to do nothing and not at least try to counter the remarks seems silly if this man has any hope of becoming president. I am sure that people will be searching his name on the Internet and what comes up may not be to his liking.
What do you think? How world you counter the search results if this happened to you?