July 25, 2021

'Voldemorting', so call the practice to avoid being found by Google | Trends

'Voldemorting', so call the practice to avoid being found by Google | Trends


Posting something on the internet is sooner or later becoming the victim of search engine spiders, especially those of Google. A practice that is daily occupied by legions of professionals who dedicate their lives to optimize texts to make them visible.

However, more and more there are uses in which users choose the opposite: deform words or use keywords to prevent their conversations from being found by search engines, by the different algorithms that provide content to the alerts that warn when someone uses a certain word or simply, by people outside the circle. Obviously, this practice has always been with us and it becomes logical in times of jaws laws, of massive surveillance, of data leaks and scandals of fraudulent use of data by Facebook.

An Australian researcher who is an expert in pseudonymization and in social media culture and identity. Emily van der Nagel launched a paper last June in which he named this practice: voldemorting, according collects Wired magazine.

For those who do not know, Van der Nagel refers to the universe of Harry Potter created by J. K. Rowling. The bad guy in the saga is Lord Voldemort, a name that everyone (except the great magician Dumbledore and Harry himself) avoid saying. Instead, the characters come to circumlocutions as Who-You-Know or The-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named. It seems a superstitious practice. However as the book progresses[Attention[atenciónspoiler]it is discovered that naming Voldemort serves to release a spell that discovers the situation of good magicians, framed in the Order of the Phoenix.

On the internet there are no magic spells. But there is something equally effective for these purposes: search algorithms. A) Yes, do a voldemort (on the internet, because in juvenile street other meanings which is not worth remembering), is to use circumlocutions, word games, metaphors or anything else that serves to dodge the relentless stalking of machines and unwanted eyes, avoid incessant advertising of mattresses once we have sent the word mattress in an email or avoid the response of community managers when we criticize the company for which they work. Wired even points out that this practice can serve not only to prevent the aforementioned from finding out, but also to restrict a specific message to a group.

That is, something we have all done in one way or another in our activity on the Web, but now studied by experts in the language. And with a much cooler name, everything is said.

The Harry Potter characters used two formulas, basically (those referred to Who-You-Know or The-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named). On the internet, however, the options are endless. The Wired magazine, on the contrary, explains that the human imagination is endless and that the options are endless and go from inventing words to name the president, to social networks … "Voldemorting is the anti SEO, the anti keywords, the anti hastag ", as the linguist says, Gretchen McCulloch in the magazine.

In Spain, we practice voldemorting every time there are elections: The electoral law prohibits in a categorical way the publication, diffusion or reproduction of polls or polls of any kind from five days before each election. But it does not say anything about reporting the price of fruits. Thus, a Andorra greengrocer that informs of the prices of the foods whose colors (surprise) coincide with those of the parties.

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