UC Davis spent $175,000 to scrub pepper-spray references from Internet

So I'm sure that went really well.

UC Davis contracted with consultants for at least $175,000 to scrub the Internet of negative online postings following the November 2011 pepper-spraying of students and to improve the reputations of both the university and Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, newly released documents show.

The Nevins proposal for UC Davis stated that it would [...] counter negative search keywords for UC Davis by using a "surge of content with positive sentiment and off-topic subject matter" about the university.

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9 Responses:

  1. Mints, Jr. says:

    ...And now there are going to be a bunch of new articles about how UC Davis tried to hide all those other articles about that asshole officer who peppersprayed peaceful protesters with his own, homemade pepperspray.

    And then was awarded more money in legal damages than the kids he peppersprayed in the face.

    If they'd googled "Streisand Effect" or "how do search engines determine relevance", they'd be $175,000 richer right now.

    (Why did I give a synopsis of the original story here? Because fuck that cop and UC Davis' intentional attempt to clutter the internet with yet more bullshit.)

  2. jwz says:

    And now there are going to be a bunch of new articles about how UC Davis tried to hide all those other articles about that asshole officer who peppersprayed peaceful protesters with his own, homemade pepperspray.

    And I am proud to do my part. Counterinsurgency begins at home.

  3. Ben says:

    Why is a 700x1100 image 1.7 MB?

    • jwz says:

      Because Sacbee fails at internet?

      After all, they're the kind of site that intercepts copy and paste to insert an ad in any text you copy.

  4. MattyJ says:

    They missed the entry an knowyourmeme.com, not to mention every other article on the 'net that references it. That might have been the most important one to scrub (as if that is a thing that can happen.)

  5. I am grateful to UC Davis for leading me to find out that Reverse SEO is a thing that exists. New career opportunity for all the people who are really bad at regular SEO?

  6. Joe Luser says:

    The actual news here is that Katehi may be on her way out. Everyone hates her but through the magic of politics she has been utterly untouchable. Including having the pepperspray incident do the water-off-a-ducks-back thing. Now someone has taken this three year old information and is getting some traction with it. If you read down far enough, the real meat is she's on the payroll of textbook companies. Which is about the most conflict-of-interesty thing a chancellor can do. With any luck, she'll be gone soon.

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