Kottke's messing with the system, man!
May 19, 2001 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Kottke's messing with the system, man! He wants to push this picture to the top of Yahoo's most popular pictures list. Personally, I would never condone or support such an abuse of the system.
posted by dogwelder (14 comments total)
I will.
posted by Hjorth at 11:18 AM on May 19, 2001

Go Jason! It's a harmless diversion...and who's to say that this has not been done before by others, with less-honorable intentions? It's just a popularity contest, and the pic in question is banal and routine, so I figure no harm, no foul. Gotta go now - time to click "Reload" in my other window about 25 times.
posted by davidmsc at 11:18 AM on May 19, 2001

already back up(down?) to 6th... we're a busy lot.
posted by techgnollogic at 11:36 AM on May 19, 2001

okay, I did my part, which led me to the most popular page, which led me to the most popular story for today:

"A woman walked into Chicago Police headquarters early on Friday and handed over a pair of testicles she said she had bitten off a man who had sexually assaulted her, police said."

posted by rebeccablood at 11:51 AM on May 19, 2001

Actually, I don't think simply viewing the photo brings it to the top of the list. The Most Popular page says that they are "the most-emailed photos and stories by Yahoo! News readers in the last 6 hours."
posted by waxpancake at 12:21 PM on May 19, 2001

Oh, my mistake. There are two pages, one for most viewed and one for most e-mailed.
posted by waxpancake at 12:23 PM on May 19, 2001

haha, it's number one on both pages now.
posted by register at 12:33 PM on May 19, 2001

"It's a harmless diversion...and who's to say that this has not been done before by others, with less-honorable intentions?"

It has. MSNBC had a poll on the best pictures of 2000, and this image of a frightened Palestinian boy, Mohammed Aldura, hiding behind his father Jamal, was nominated. A few seconds after this picture, Mohammed was fatally shot, his father Jamal seriously wounded.

This image jumped out to an early lead in the poll, but an e-mail campaign from an Israeli diplomat, Meirav Eilon Shahar, changed that. "To us, this photograph epitomizes everything tragic about the present violence: Children led into the cross fire by their own parents for publicity purposes," reads his e-mail.

Soon, there was a mobilized attempt to vote for a different photo... the winning photo for the poll? This one.
posted by markkraft at 1:01 PM on May 19, 2001

Kottke says jump, people say how high.

posted by justgary at 1:09 PM on May 19, 2001

Kottke's messing with the system, man!
Oh, THAT Kottke. I thought... 'What? he switched from guitar-playing to photography?'
Never mind.

posted by Twang at 2:29 PM on May 19, 2001

As of 5:43 EST, it's the most-viewed and most-emailed picture. See, world, I'm no slacker. look what I did today!

Re: that woman-bites-man story, it's by far the #1 emailed story. The entire world is going [Beavis:] heh heh, heh heh...they said "testicles"....
posted by jpoulos at 2:46 PM on May 19, 2001

markkraft, to be entirely fair, you should note that after Israeli readers began voting other images up, an Arab campaign was waged to keep the Palestinian photo at the top. The competition became so fierce (and, apparently, so riddled with script-based fraud) that MSNBC changed the rules and the focus of the contest mid-stream. They also made the "controversy" a featured story of its own.

Also, there's no evidence that the Palestinian photo would have won on its own regardless. Indeed, before the campaign began, there was a marked preponderance of "cute" and "funny" photos in the popular-vote category (as opposed to the ones the journalists chose to represent the year). Note: even the journalists chose two other images ahead of the Palestinian child in the spot news category: Elian and the Concorde.

In fact, one could convincingly argue that a contest which mixes cute pictures of dogs with real-life people getting shot is at best pointless and disingenuous, at worst ... well, that's probably at worst.

I don't think I have to point out that MSNBC is a United States based news organization, which brings in a whole 'nother level of bias and viewpoint.
posted by dhartung at 3:46 PM on May 19, 2001

dhartung--Only the organized attempt by Jewish organizations to tilt the vote was mentioned when I first saw a story on it. It's worth pointing out that not only did Arabs respond to the original story, so did human rights activists through maillists, USENET, etc.

Rightfully so, I would say. The idea that anyone would accuse the boy's father of intentionally bringing their kid into a gunfight (that took place within Palestinian territory) is repugnant.

I'm sure the media must have reported it as the Arabs engaging in "vicious online terrorism", while the Jewish organizations were merely doing a "retaliatory strike"...
posted by insomnia_lj at 5:34 AM on May 20, 2001

I would venture to say that placing that picture, being the single violence related picture amongst the dozens of pictures there, stank mile high.

The competition was tainted.
posted by AdK at 5:32 AM on May 21, 2001

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