Story Archive

Google — the World’s Memory

Remember when a California university police officer sprayed down a line of peaceful demonstrators with military-grade pepper spray? Well, the University of California at Davis doesn’t want you to remember: it paid search engine consultants “at least” $175,000 to “scrub the Internet” of negative publicity resulting from that November 2011 incident. The university also paid out over $1 million in settlements, including to Lt. John Pike, the police officer involved, who was awarded $38,055 — for his “psychiatric injury” resulting from the outrage over his actions. The contract with the consultants specified that the purpose was the “eradication of references to the pepper spray incident in search results on Google for the university and the Chancellor,” Linda P.B. Katehi. That was part of what the school paid for by boosting the budget of its “strategic communications office” from $2.93 million in 2009 to $5.47 million in 2015. As a public university, the money comes from California taxpayers. (RC/Sacramento Bee) ...Sure Barbra Streisand could have told them that wouldn’t work — but she would have charged more than $175,000.
Original Publication Date: 01 May 2016
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

Is There a Problem on This Page? Let Me Know using the Help button lower right, and thanks.

I believe humanity is held back by the lack of thinking. I provoke thought with examples of what happens when we don’t think, and when we do. This is True is my primary method: stories like this come out every week by email, and basic subscriptions are free. Click here for a subscribe form.

Search for: