Historical Bias: Google is on our side!

This is something that Travis and I were talking about in the channel yesterday, but after a nice long conversation with Kelley this afternoon it’s back in my head. One of the more interesting things that have occured as part of the continuing saga of the Jux Entente is that we place rather highly in the Google searches for almost anyone who name we mention on the site.

For myself, Travis, Peter, and Kenny this is obvious. Searching for our names immediately brings up The Jux Entente as the first relevant result. But this also applies to Rebecca Traylor, Ryann Frye, Jayde Avakian, and pretty much anyone else we’ve ever had romantic involvement with, among others.

Why do I think this is hilarious? Because, as a historian, I know that this means that in the battle for what “really happened” in events involving a Jux member and one of the above, we have “won.” A third party who knows none of us is going to find the Jux version first. Googling someone you just met? The Jux Entente is there. Now, any good historian or other person who really wants to know the truth is going to search deeper, but in some instances, there is no deeper. We are the web presence for the above.

Of course, we have our own biases and slants, intentional (rarely) or not (commonly). We think we’re in the right of most of these debates, if not all. The very asynchronous nature of the web can come back to haunt us sometimes, too; this was also part of the discussion yesterday.

Let me explain this a bit: Let’s say, correctly, that Travis publishes a feature in 2002 that casts some disparaging words on Jayde. He last had any real involvement with Jayde in 1998, at the most recent. Four years is a long time, but I think it’s still within the statute of limitations to be a bit pissy.

Jayde, however, doesn’t find that article in 2002. She searches for herself and finds it today. (Note: when this story actually happened, she found it in 2004) She’s pretty pissed at being represented this way, and to her, this is brand new. Travis has now been holding his grudge for 9 years in her mind, well beyond what could be expected. She doesn’t bother to look at a timestamp or anything, and even if she did it might not matter, because this is still brand new in her head.

It’s an interesting consequence of having a moderately popular and well-linked website. Our stamp on the history of events, at least as far as the web is concerned, is far greater than those who might challenge us for whatever reason. An unintended consequence to be sure, and not one that I feel will ever affect editorial policy here at the Jux Entente, at least on my end, but one that’s important to be aware of in some situations.

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