We've all chuckled to ourselves as the slashdot effect has brought a server to it's knees and wondered if the site operator made enough money on advertising impression views to counter act the down-time. One good submission to slashdot, usually in a political or ecological hot-button issue is enough to make the servers strain and the pages of comments swell past three or four hundred in what seems like a blink of an eye. What if people started doing this on purpose, to push their political agenda, in a systematic and organized manner? That's what Give Israel Your Support or GIYUS.org seeks to accomplish by enlisting 100,000 people to download and install their client software Megaphone which will alert the users to the existence of on-line polls and comment enable articles so they can voice their opinions en mass. The Register is reporting the GIYUS.org has caused the BBC to modify its polls
"The long-running BBC History Magazine poll posed the question: "Do you think holocaust denial should be made illegal in Britain?" Soon after it was targeted by Megaphone, the poll was pulled."
I have not had an opportunity to test the Megaphone software as its a Windows only solution right now; but I did notice on the GIYUS.org is that the software uses a lot of libraries with varying degrees of openness in their licenses but there is no link to any sources to share back to the community or for security audits. While this seems to be strictly legal, Captain Hook would call it "bad form". GIYUS might be afraid of opposing groups using "their" software to mobile their minions, the reality
- is there probably isn't much that can't be put together using the typical OSS toolkits in a matter of days or weeks,
- any Anti-Israeli types could use the Megaphone just as easily to disseminate their opposing views.
The generation of opinion is important as GIYUS recognizes,
Today's conflicts are won by public opinion. Now is the time to be active and voice Israel's side to the world. Now is the time to be active and voice Israel's side to the world.
" What happens when an issue has to melt servers to be considered topical, and social networking sites explode into flame-wars and news site opinion polls get hammered into the dirt? Is this a proper use of the Internet or have they created the new Internet version of WMD? On the lighter side, we could all get free hosting, Google Ad-Sense and learn to use words and terms like "nigger-jews" "kikes" then report ourselves to GIYUS.org to generate some traffic!