the rape of Google September 14, 2008 12:50 PM   Subscribe

An unfounded rumor about Carl Jung is now on the front page of Google, thanks to Ask Metafilter.

I don't know what the original poster was thinking or where their idea came from - possibly from the Korean named Jung who was in fact a rapist, completely unrelated - but now if you Google "jung rape" you get this nasty rumor about Carl Jung, because AskMe results are rated so high in Google's page rank. Here's how it looks on Google's Page 1:
Say it aint so, C.G.: What kind of man was Jung? | Ask Metafilter
Sep 14, 2008 ... I recently heard a rumor that Carl Gustav Jung would rape female patients and hypnotize them so they would have no memory of the attack. ...
You have to click on the link to see that in fact this is totally specious. I suggest manually adding a 'noindex' tag to this question.

Also, what's to stop someone from generating an AskMe to say "What kind of a man is [a professional rival]?" I heard a rumor that [rival's name here] was a rapist who does rapy rapy rape on all his patients." Google would snap that right up.
posted by ikkyu2 to MetaFilter-Related at 12:50 PM (39 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

what's to stop someone from generating an AskMe to say "What kind of a man is [a professional rival]?"

Me.

Otherwise, it's not our job to do rumor control for people who can't be bothered to even click a link. People seeing that thread will understand that it's not the case. Adding no-index to random questions based on their perceived truth value is a path we're not going to go down.

I had the same problem with the Palin issue last week on my own blog. People saw a comment about a possible list of banned book [yes the list is a list, no it has nothing to do with Palin] and started spreading it willy-nilly without even checking into it.

Searching Google that way also clearly shows that the question is someone checking out a rumor. The thread makes it clear that the rumor isn't true.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:55 PM on September 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


There's nothing Metafilter can do about the amount of credibility the Google search index algorithm places on posts here. You'd probably be better served by pointing this out to them instead of us.

As for the smearing of Jungian character, anyone who looks past the index result and actually reads the page will see that the false assertions are immediately refuted.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:58 PM on September 14, 2008


Right, you can't arbitrarily prefer that pages not be indexed because they trigger certain keyword results; moreso in this case, as the resource that "wins" serves to *refute* the keywords in question. If I had heard a similar rumor and wanted to see if anyone was mentioning it, why wouldn't we want Ask MeFi as a top result, where the page serves to refute the rumor?
posted by disillusioned at 1:08 PM on September 14, 2008


Damn, I was hoping it turned out that 'Jung' was pronounced with a hard J after all.

I was just a kid who had only read his name; if I had never actually heard it spoken out loud, how was I to know? The shame, it still burns!
And don't get me started on Wagner...

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:09 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Adding no-index to random questions based on their perceived truth value is a path we're not going to go down.

Yeah, actually, that makes good sense. I'm annoyed to see a great thinker's name besmirched but you guys still have to run a website here. Thanks for the quick answer.
posted by ikkyu2 at 1:16 PM on September 14, 2008


Carl Jung's opinion on Sarah Palin has not yet been ascertained.
posted by ardgedee at 1:22 PM on September 14, 2008


What's wrong with that question being on the first page on Google for [jung rape]? What web page would you rather see there?
posted by Nelson at 1:27 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


May Matt, & Jess keep you always,
May your post to the blue,
May you always comment for others
And let others comment for you.
May you favorite total reach to the stars
And not be you not out be flung,
May you stay forever Jung,
posted by jonmc at 1:33 PM on September 14, 2008 [8 favorites]


I'm not sure I know how I feel about you searching Google for 'young rape'.
posted by item at 1:33 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Actually, that's a very interesting point -- none of the other results on the front page have anything at all to do with the psychologist. It does seem odd that you stumbled across this search phrase and happened noticed that Ask Metafilter ranked so highly.
posted by Dave Faris at 1:39 PM on September 14, 2008


not be you not out be flung

*hugs jonmc*

I haven't boggled like that for a week.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:48 PM on September 14, 2008


If you google various names and rape, Metafilter shows up at the top. Especially if you use user names.
posted by acoutu at 1:56 PM on September 14, 2008


I was just a kid who had only read his name; if I had never actually heard it spoken out loud, how was I to know? The shame, it still burns!
And don't get me started on Wagner...


Don't feel bad, Alvy; it was years before I learned that Yeats and Keats don't rhyme (thankfully before I declared my English major in college, however).

posted by scody at 1:59 PM on September 14, 2008


It does seem odd that you stumbled across this search phrase and happened noticed that Ask Metafilter ranked so highly.

You don't try to answer many AskMe questions, do you, Dave? If it's a relatively obscure topic, a well-chosen Google search phrase will always bring the AskMe question up on the first page, even if the question was posted 3 minutes ago.

I knew this would be on the Google first page when I saw the question. I then confirmed it by actually doing the search before posting this MeTa.

You could get nearly anything on the Google first page by posting an AskMe, if it gets past the moderator vetting. Google really ought to have cortex and jess on salary.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:03 PM on September 14, 2008


JESSAMYN WEST REFUSES TO PET BABY BUNNIES

Just testing
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 2:07 PM on September 14, 2008


Carl Jung's incredibly dead, I think he can take it.
posted by selfnoise at 2:08 PM on September 14, 2008


I really didn't relish busting out the Ben-ya-meen in front of some very timid and embarrassed film theory newbs in class the other day. The jury's fully out on that one, I think.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:09 PM on September 14, 2008


Also, what's to stop someone from generating an AskMe to say "What kind of a man is [a professional rival]?" I heard a rumor that [rival's name here] was a rapist who does rapy rapy rape on all his patients." Google would snap that right up.

It's called Google-bombing, and the moderators have promised to come down hard on anyone who practices it.

Some questions you might think about: Do you honestly think there is an organized campaign to impugn Jung's good name? Is the impugning of others something that AskMe does on a regular basis?

As to whether or not Jung was a rapist, someone who searches Google for those terms has already got some interesting issues that would need to be addressed with a different and more entertaining AskMe thread.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:10 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


We like to fire up our Veber grill, cowboy charcoal only of course.
posted by fixedgear at 2:14 PM on September 14, 2008


I imagine if you add the word "rape" to any random search phrase you'd get some pretty interesting results. I certainly won't be doing that experiment.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:15 PM on September 14, 2008


Jung Myung Seok's wikipedia page appears as the third result for your search (and yes, "jung rape" is indeed creepy) the askme thread comes up farther down, so it's not like it's the first result. also, the thread refutes the "rumor" -- it's not a rumor, the asker mistook Jung Myung Seok for Carl Gustav Jung (sad, I know, but those foreigner's names all sound alike if you ask me). so there's no problem there. it's not worthy of a snopes page because it isn't even a rumor, it's mistaken identity


Also, what's to stop someone from generating an AskMe to say "What kind of a man is [a professional rival]?"

you can't possibly think that such a thread would stay up -- you can't be that dumb -- so your meta thread boils down to "shit, askme is really popular, isn't it?". which should make you very happy since the medical advice you liberally give here to your Internet patients is -- and will remain -- available to the general Internet-reading public.
posted by matteo at 2:18 PM on September 14, 2008


Carl Jung's incredibly dead, I think he can take it.

My sentiments exactly. Being dead, he's got worse things to worry about than his Google search.
posted by jayder at 2:54 PM on September 14, 2008


You don't try to answer many AskMe questions, do you, Dave?

Well, perhaps I don't try to answer questions that require me to consult google ... questions I don't necessarily know the answer to. But I will admit, I was under the impression that you'd linked to an old question, and it never occurred to me that a question posted today would already be indexed and on the first page of google results. I apologize for insinuating some perverse motives.
posted by Dave Faris at 2:58 PM on September 14, 2008


f it's a relatively obscure topic, a well-chosen Google search phrase will always bring the AskMe question up on the first page

So what you're saying is you crafted a Google search to find this Ask Metafilter thread and now you're unhappy that the search you crafted found the thread?

My point is that the search results for [jung rape] is just not something very interesting. Google's a very, very large haystack. If you go in there looking for a specific needle you will find it.
posted by Nelson at 3:01 PM on September 14, 2008


A rumor? On Google?!


OH NOES!!!!!!!!!
posted by DU at 3:03 PM on September 14, 2008


To counter the general anti-ikkyu trend in this thread: I was bothered by what he found as well; just because Jung is dead doesn't mean it's cool to link him publicly with rape. But jessamyn's explanation makes sense, ikkyu accepted it, the issue has been raised and dealt with, can we move on to the alcoholic beverages now?
posted by languagehat at 3:10 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


it's not a rumor, the asker mistook Jung Myung Seok for Carl Gustav Jung

Someone suggested that in the answers, but it's not at all clear that that's actually what happened--the asker hasn't come back to talk about it.

I can imagine how the Great Game of Telephone could turn "Jung slept with patients" (true) and "Jung was fascinated by hypnosis" (true) into the "omg hypnotic raping!" scenario.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:13 PM on September 14, 2008


Yes, more discussion of spirits, please.
posted by fixedgear at 3:13 PM on September 14, 2008


Also, what's to stop someone from generating an AskMe to say "What kind of a man is [a professional rival]?" I heard a rumor that [rival's name here] was a rapist who does rapy rapy rape on all his patients." Google would snap that right up.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention! I now have an idea for my next AskMe question coming up in a few days!
posted by sixcolors at 3:32 PM on September 14, 2008


I now have an idea for my next AskMe question coming up in a few days!

You know, I can hear you!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:06 PM on September 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Carl Jung's incredibly dead, I think he can take it.

My sentiments exactly. Being dead, he's got worse things to worry about than his Google search.


I challenge that argument. I bet he's probably got all kinds of time to worry about that sort of thing now.
posted by blue_beetle at 4:15 PM on September 14, 2008


I now have an idea for my next AskMe question coming up in a few days!

I don't mean to single you out, sixcolors, especially since you're joking, but this is an attitude that, in my view, isn't good for AskMe. One-question-a-week is the maximum limit, not a goddamn goal to aspire to. If your normal behavior is posting a question a week, every week, I would gently encourage you to consider whether you're taking more than you're giving.
posted by box at 4:42 PM on September 14, 2008


Well, perhaps I don't try to answer questions that require me to consult google ... questions I don't necessarily know the answer to.

There's both sense and silliness to this line.

We definitely don't want people regurgitating the first thing they find on google as an authoritative answer to a question on a subject with which they're unfamiliar, yeah. Pretending you know doesn't help anyone.

But using google to (a) help hunt for a bit of trivia or ephemera or (b) verify/bolster remembered information or (c) assist a not-so-google-savvy asker by pinning down resources? These are all useful, legit parts of providing a good answer to questions.

Finding, in the google results, the question for which one is doing some research is at this point a pretty well-attested phenomenon.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:53 PM on September 14, 2008


I think the whole thing was just a Freudian slip.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:08 PM on September 14, 2008


Our test was successful.
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 7:51 PM on September 14, 2008


To be fair, if you were googling Jung rape, you already thought some Jung (Korean or Swiss) was a rapist.

It's not really a search term one stumbles upon when bored, unless they're spending time going through google for rape rumours on any famous person.

But I'm glad the mods are ever-vigilant for googlebombing the names of rivals. Yay!
posted by flibbertigibbet at 4:56 AM on September 15, 2008




To be fair, if you were googling Jung rape, you already thought some Jung (Korean or Swiss) was a rapist.

No, actually, this is wrong. CG Jung wrote quite a bit about the psychology of rape.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:35 PM on September 15, 2008


No, actually, this is wrong. CG Jung wrote quite a bit about the psychology of rape.

He did? That sick fuck!
posted by shmegegge at 1:05 PM on September 15, 2008


« Older Palin thread ate my browser   |   Email harvester Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments