Dutch News Again Confirms Police Have Been Looking For Youtuber Exurb1a While Google And Youtube Bury The Story
It has been public knowledge for over 8 months, and Dutch news confirmed it again last week: the police have been looking for youtuber Exurb1a, but can’t find him. Google and youtube don’t care.
Google News and Youtube show unrelated ‘false allegations’ articles and videos when you search for the rape case against the British ‘space tortoise’ youtuber exurb1a. Articles and videos shown are about different cases, but for some reason they are promoted instead of actual articles about the man who’s been sought by the Bulgarian and Dutch police, who can’t find him.
Last week the Dutch media published about the Exurb1a court case (again).
RTL Nieuws, Hart Van Nederland and Reformatisch Dagblad confirmed the Dutch police have been looking for British youtuber Exurb1a to question him in a police investigation, but that police can’t find him. This all has been public knowledge for over 8 months, but few people actually believed it.
I already made it public 8 months ago in a recorded phone-call with the Dutch police, but the majority of exurb1a’s fans didn’t believe me.
Anonymous accounts have called me a liar, said I hadn’t been to the police, that I faked the call, and that I was an attention whore who should die.
Youtube even blocked my rape story where I warned people about Exurb1a.
Below some examples of some of the online abuse I received since I spoke out to warn others.
It seems that as a victim of rape, you are not taken serious and your evidence is marked as fake, unless the media confirms it. But what if the media and news are controlled by an algorithm run by an inhumane bot system?
However, for some reason, when you search for ‘Exurb1a+rape’ in google, a newspaper article shows up about a case neither Exurb1a or I Myself is involved in and isn’t about the court case. This search result doesn’t just show up on my phone alone.
The title describes how a girl apparently made allegations against her ex-boyfriend who turned out to be false. The girl’s name is mentioned in the article and she’s clearly not me.
I asked a friend in another country to search for it in Google. When searching for ‘exurbia’ without a 1, she didn’t find anything. When she used the same keywords as me, where exurb1a was written with a 1, she found the same article on top.
How is it possible that Google News shows this article unrelated to Exurb1a, when searching for ‘exurb1a+rape’?
When you look at the Page Source of the article, you soon find out the word ‘exurb1a’ can’t be found in the keywords at all.
Keyword ‘exurb1a’ is not to be found in the Page Source of the article.
Then how is it possible the article shows as top result, instead of any of the multiple articles about my court case people have linked online, even though exurb1a wasn’t mentioned in them for legal reasons?
A student journalism had some ideas about this, and shared them with me:
I've spent the last two hours searching for the page with the backlink and the keyword (what makes the false accusation result show up when you google "Exurb1a rape"), but regardless of what I did, I couldn't find anything.
That's when I tried other search engines, and guess what? Nada. This only happens with Google. Then I went on to search Exurb1a followed by other words in the article, and they all showed the article as a result. This means the problem is with Google (someone must've found a way to link that keyword to that article using some google tool).
So what I realized I could do was send Google a feedback from the search and politely ask them to remove anything that links exurb1a to that article. Apparently, Google couldn't care less, right? Almost. Remember how I said the article is wrongly displayed as a result when you google "Exurb1a" + any word in the article? This means I can report all the searches that lead to that article, which means I can report it to Google as many times as the number of words (422) in the article. Times that by the number of accounts I have, and we got ourselves enough to make Google consider fixing their own damn search engine.
The idea that someone could have maliciously done this on purpose, is terrifying. How many people actually read articles? People might search Google for news, see that article pop up, and instantly assume it’s about the Exurb1a court case.
What would be the result? People might target me on purpose due to ‘fake news’ showing up.
I discussed the search results with someone else who had some knowledge on search engines. They shared their thoughts as well:
I couldn't say. It's totally possible that it's happenstance. It's also possible it's not. I don't think it's an unreasonable concern. It's orders of magnitude harder to prove than it is to do. [nb: I'm not an expert on SEO, someone who knows more could lay out your options much better than I could.] If the result was changed AGAIN, then you could be certain someone else was manipulating the engine. Two main sources of signal strength search engines use to know what to list, are 1) connection of links, and 2) how widespread/respectable it's algorithms think the website that mentions those links is.
For instance a link on 4chan would be ignored. A link on reddit would not. Also, if YOU link to any of the false positive results, it will see you have and that will confirm for it that it is a good search. So it would be good if you never directly linked to those stories on anything public. (…)
You may find this option distasteful, and I respect that entirely. But just in case, the easiest way to deal with it would be to hire someone to SEO that search to a different result. With low traffic it should be low cost.
The classic example is if you made 5 webpages that all talked about Underwater Basketweaving and then linked to your twitter, a search engine would start putting up your twitter as a result to Underwater Basketweaving searches.
To change it, you do the same kind of thing but to promote what you want. The illicit method is spamming links in blogs and the like. When you see all that spam it's mostly for SEO, not for clicks.
I believe and support you. If you need anything in the future let me know. Take care.
At any rate, the problem first of all seems to be with Google. Guess who’s owned by Google? Youtube.
If you search for ‘exurb1a rape’ on Youtube, for some reason an unrelated video from years ago pops up, which is about false rape allegations, and again, isn’t about the Exurb1a rape case.
Youtube actually pushes the unrelated video above my own videos which are actually related to the topic.
Again, these search results don’t just show up on my computer alone. When people use different IP addresses on youtube, the same thing happens.
Youtube’s notorious algorithm is complicit in feeding viewers unrelated or sometimes even radical content that’s the complete opposite of what the viewer was actually looking for. This isn’t actually news, since people have been writing about it for months.
Writer Zeynep Tufekci wrote about her own experience with Youtube’s algorithm in a New York Times opinion article:
When a social platform like youtube can influence public opinion by feeding viewers radical or unrelated content which may result in death threats, discrimination, racism and radicalisation, it’s time we start asking the question I’ve been repeating for almost a year:
Who runs the bots?
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