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I've always admired clever monkeywrenchers, and I've started a new monkeywrenching tactic that I thought I'd share with this community.

I do a lot of research on global warming stories as part of a Web project I do with an old friend. And on story after story, blog after blog, I noticed how often, associated with some story (about, oh, the 2500 scientists who gathered for an emergency meeting in Copenhagen last week), there are associated Google ads for "Global Warming Hoax" and the like. The drek from the absurd deniers.

I routinely ignored them before I realized how foolish I'd been.

See, Google ads (and other ad services) operate on a "pay upon click" basis; companies bid on a term (say, "climate change"), and associate an ad with it. Google's amazing magic displays those ads on a blog's page, or on search results, if that term is contained within the Web page.

The fee to the advertiser is only charged if someone clicks it, not for displaying it. That's the revolutionary approach that made Google billions.

I suspect most of you have figured out, from the title of this little diary, what I've begun doing. I now click on those ads.

I then remain on the page I get to, even go one or more pages deep (to demonstrate that I'm "interested").

That is likely to cost the advertiser (in this case, the global warming deniers) twenty, thirty, even fifty cents every time I do this.

About half the clickthrough fee goes to the originating blog (say, dailykos, or the Washington Post, or whatever), and half goes to Google.

So by clicking, I'm helping support the media reporting on what horrors we're doing to our planet, and costing the deniers a bit of change.

Every time. It makes me go all warm and fuzzy inside.

Join with me, won't you? I do look at the denier pages -- they're often pretty funny -- so I'm not really cheating.

Originally posted to mwmwm on Sat Mar 14, 2009 at 12:58 PM PDT.

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