How (Not) to Hide a Scandal

Ellen Wexler, Inside Higher Ed, Apr 20, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

You probably remember the images from 2011 of a police officer walking up and down a line of seated student protesters at UC Davis, casually dousing them with pepper spray. But until last week, you would not have seen the image when searching for UC Davis. As the Sacramento Bee, reported: UC Davis spent thousands to scrub pepper-spray references from Internet. That all changed this week as activists countered the SE to bring pepper spray and UC Davis back together again in the public consciousness. I took part in it. I'm glad this particular incident has been rescued from obscurity. But I wonder how many similar incidents, perhaps not as widely remembered, have been spent their way into algorithmic oblivion.

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