Using Disco To Displace A Hate Group On Google
A group of equality-loving (and mischievous) friends in England are turning an inside joke into a real campaign to knock a hate group out of the top Google Search results. The English Disco Lovers are seeking to reclaim the acronym EDL from the far-right nationalist group the English Defence League.
Formed in 2009, the EDL is known in the UK for often violent Islamophobic protests.
The Disco Lovers are not coy about their intentions. Their official website clearly states their goal to become more popular online than that other EDL, and to have fun while doing it:
Our aims are very clear – we want to accumulate more likes than the English Defence League on Facebook as well as outranking them on Google. By doing this in a light-hearted way we aim to show them for what they really are – racist, outdated and the type you wouldn’t invite to your disco.
These kinds of online re-appropriations and protests are becoming more common. The practice of using links and popularity to redirect a search term to an off-topic location is known as “Google bombing;” it’s best known for its use by gay rights activist Dan Savage to turn the last name of conservative then-Senator Rick Santorum into a graphic sexual term.
This isn’t the only time the Defence League has seen their online presence claimed by pranksters. Last spring, EDL leader Tommy Robinson used #creepingsharia on Twitter to denote things he thought represented a covert Islamist presence in England- namely, a photo of a mosque on the Twitter homepage. Twitter users responded by tweeting sarcastic examples of “creeping sharia,” like pulling a scarf over one’s head to avoid the rain, or a Muslim man walking on tip-toe.
What do you think? Can disco overpower hate, at least online?
[via The Guardian]