TechnoRacism: White Supremacist Site Hijacks Dr. King’s Legacy with SEO Chicanery

MLK Memorial

Over at the Click the Toad Blog, the Chief Toad explains how the MLK Jr. official legacy site was outranked by white supremacists with a good grasp of SEO:

My hands are shaking with anger as I type this. A sick, cowardly, and racist website (hereafter referred to in insult-laced bold type) that trashes the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr is outranking the official Martin Luther King Jr website on Google. I will not provide a link to the racist site, as I will not directly contribute a single visit to them. However, I will show exactly how the official Martin Luther King website (found at got beaten in the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) battle. My dream to improve The King Center‘s SEO and Google Rank may not be as lofty and inspirational as Martin Luther King Jr’s, but I do have a dream. […]

One of the best ways to beat a web competitor is to look at their metadata and their successful keywords… and then outdo them at their own game. So here is what The Racist Pukes have going on for their SEO (and the official Martin Luther King Jr website could simply borrow and improve upon all of these):

Racist Pukes’ Homepage Title: Martin Luther King Jr. – A True Historical Examination
Racist Pukes’ Meta Description: The truth about Martin Luther King: Includes historical trivia, articles and pictures. A valuable resource for teachers and students alike.
Racist Pukes’ Meta Keywords: Martin Luther King Jr, Civil Rights, Black History, Slavery, Reparations, Kwanzaa, Anti-Defamation League, ADL, anti-Semitism, racism, bigotry, hatred, prejudice, bias, Holocaust, Israel, democracy, terrorism, militia, Jews, Jewish, diversity, anti-Semitic incident, racist, discrimination, Holocaust denial, neo-Nazi, Nazi, Nazis, tolerance, civil rights, Black, extremism, extremist, hate crimes, skinheads, Middle East, Islamic Extremist, education, White supremacy, minority, bias, religious freedom, tolerance, religious right, Martin Luther King Jr., free speech, MLK, school prayer, religion, justice

We often talk about the legacy of civil rights being hijacked to suit the needs of those who would undo those gains in a heartbeat – this is a literal manifestation.

Activists need to up our tech game. Because this is just ridiculous.

(Spotted on Chris Rabb‘s facebook wall)

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  • Digital Coyote

    This is part of a larger white supremacist strategy–along with mainstreaming their image (e.g. looking more innocuous so they aren’t spotted at 50 yards like skinheads and the dudes in white sheets)–to gradually introduce people to their cause with slanted information.  Like the frog in the boiling water, people tend to flee if the rhetoric on these sites is at full boil as soon as they’re introduced.  It’s obvious what it is and what people will think of them should they be discovered reading it.  When it’s presented this way, people can argue that this is a more “objective”  presentation of MLK’s legacy and get acclimated to their racist ideas in a fashion that makes them look like a natural progression after learning they were “lied” to in school.

    • Daniel Graham Clark

      I’ve been reading some of the post-white-sheets poison. True, it’s not wacko-sounding “hate speech,” and it’s a far cry from our grandparents’ innocent prejudice. What’s creepy is the beguilingly reasonable tone.

      • Anonymous

        Just an FYI – we don’t provide linkouts to white supremacist sites. I appreciate you providing context, but it just ends up boosting their traffic and search rankings.

  • mischiefmanager

    I just googled “Martin Luther King, Jr” and the King Center’s site was the first choice on the list.  Looks like we’re fighting back!

  • Tammi L. Coles

    Rank is also about “reputation.” A long-term and well-connected hate site (that is, with lots of inbound links to their hate pages) will outrank a new site. It helps to know how search engines work.

    • Nanook155

      As Tammi mentions, links are an important aspect of search engine results.  In the case of this infamous white-supremacist MLK website, libraries throughout the world have been linking students to the website as an example of why everyone needs to thoroughly evaluate all online content.  We’ve always been aware that our linking (and visiting) helps keep it high in the search results, but it’s one of the best examples we have to make our point.

      Here’s another interesting historical fact about the website.   The basic design of the white-supremacist website was based on an older version of a legitimate MLK website (I don’t remember which one).  People looking for the legitimate one would come across the other and think it was the right one.  I believe something similar happened with a few years ago when (a male’s rights website) designed their page after the original.