Sunday, January 04, 2009

The wrong kind of terrorist

Ian discovered last night that the Met Police were buying ads encouraging the public to report suspected terrorism. 

Unfortunately, he discovered this when he noticed that the ads were being placed on his own site. The working assumption is that the police may, scandalously, be buying keywords as broad as "right wing".

I guess a Freedom of Information request might answer that particular question.

However, a more worrying observation was made by a commentator on Iain Dale's site: they seem to have a very specific idea about the kinds of terrorists they're looking for.

I typed the following four searches into Google. Try to guess which ones triggered the ad...

Right wing extremist

Left wing extremist

Muslim extremist

Animal extremist

Here are the results:

Right Wing Extremist

Ad appears in line with the search results and is highly visible:

Left Wing Extremist

No ad:

Muslim Extremist

Ad appears - but is way over to the right. I almost missed it


Animal Extremist

No ad


So I guess the implication is clear:

If you're worried about right-wing or religious extremists next door, the Met wants to hear from you.

If you live next door to a mad animal-rights lunatic, don't worry about it.

As for the last case, I guess it's rational for the Met not to waste money advertising on Google.  I mean, if he lives next door to a crazed loon intent on wrecking the economy, Darling only has to step outside and tell the bobby guarding the entrance to No. 10 about it...

No comments: