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Washington Post: Why Dinesh D’Souza was able to manipulate Costco and Google to boost ‘America’
Washington Post ^ | 07/11/2014 | Alyssa Rosenberg

Posted on 07/11/2014 12:12:56 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

As Dave Weigel reports in a tart blog post today, conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza recently managed to pull off an impressive marketing feat.

D’Souza and his lawyers claimed that despite the hit status of his new book and movie, “America,” Google was deliberately downgrading the project in its search results and Costco had removed the book from shelves for politically motivated reasons. The result? Google bumped “America” up in the rankings and Costco restocked the book.

Of course, as Weigel explains, “D’Souza’s book, like his movie [which made $2.75 million in its first weekend], is no runaway hit. According to Nielsen’s Bookscan, which tracks sales, D’Souza’s latest has sold 23,000 copies. That’s not bad — my publisher would call it a win if my upcoming book sold that much in a month — but it’s 139,000 fewer copies than Ben Carson’s latest, ‘One Nation,’ has sold.”

D’Souza can get away with this not just because claims of political oppression work – neither Google nor Costco wants to be on the receiving end of conspiracy theorizing – but because it has become increasingly hard to define what constitutes a hit in any area of pop culture.

It is one thing to say that a monster blockbuster like “Avatar” or an absolute runaway best-seller like “Fifty Shades of Grey” is a hit. It is quite another to figure out where the border lies between hit and modest success.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: costco; dineshdsouza; google; manipulation
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1 posted on 07/11/2014 12:12:56 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Manipulate??

Costco didn’t manipulate?


2 posted on 07/11/2014 12:17:25 PM PDT by stanne
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To: SeekAndFind

I think that the little princess, Alyssa, has confused D’Souza with Hillary Clinton.


3 posted on 07/11/2014 12:20:52 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (The future must not belong to those who slander bacon.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Re-writing history is typical of the left leaning commentators of Wash-Po. It was the many customers of Costco that changed the companies directive.


4 posted on 07/11/2014 12:23:23 PM PDT by VRW Conspirator (Global Warming is caused by illegal immigrants!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Meanwhile Hard Choices continues to plummet costing the publishers millions.

Customer Reviews
(1,308) 2.2 out of 5 stars 5 star 333
4 star 45
3 star 33
2 star 48
1 star 849
See all 1,308 customer reviews

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha


5 posted on 07/11/2014 12:23:54 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: stanne

Yes, Costco opened the door, started the game. Dinesh D’Souza is smarter, faster, and had enough fans to slam the door in Costco’s face.

Nicely played!

We need more masters of this art.


6 posted on 07/11/2014 12:24:53 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: Balding_Eagle

Dinesh doesn’t care what his detractors say about him and his work.

Republicans could take a lesson.

Paging Rick Perry


7 posted on 07/11/2014 12:25:55 PM PDT by stanne
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To: SeekAndFind

Wasn’t it already states that America is in the top 10 best performing political documentaries of all time. Yeah, thats a hit, Compost


8 posted on 07/11/2014 12:27:10 PM PDT by Viennacon (Rebuke the Repuke!)
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To: VRW Conspirator
Re-writing history is typical of the left leaning commentators of Wash-Po.

All the lamestream media are lying about daily events on-the-fly, much less re-writing the history books.

I was not alive during 1937 through 1940 but all this getting in line behind whatever the government says reads like news reports of certain Deutschland regime of that time. Very much so.
9 posted on 07/11/2014 12:31:08 PM PDT by Resettozero
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To: Responsibility2nd

Don’t forget to post Amazon reviews for:

America:

278 Reviews

5 star:
(240)
4 star:
(9)
3 star:
(4)
2 star:
(2)
1 star:
(23)

Here are some one star comments:
‘I just heard about this book, haven’t had an opportunity to see/read it yet. But judging from the overview on Amazon, it sounds like the author is simply traipsing down the same tired conservative road of tirade and conspiracy talk against Obama, what Fox and Tea people keep pumping out, false as it is. That is truly sad, to say that America is worse off now given that GW Bush blew everything out of whack.’

‘Maybe it got better in the second half, but I had to stop.’

‘if you already hate the President despite all of the good he is doing, you will love this hardbound slop of a book’

‘My husband has a phD in history and teaches American history at a prestigious private college. He says this book is so full of “it” that it is laughable. I am inclined to agree. Don’t waste your money on purchasing some malarky written by a convicted felon.’


10 posted on 07/11/2014 12:32:49 PM PDT by stanne
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To: stanne

Sure, Costco did, but the google claim was just hogwash.


11 posted on 07/11/2014 12:34:42 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: FlingWingFlyer
I think that the little princess, Alyssa, has confused D’Souza with Hillary Clinton.


https://twitter.com/AlyssaRosenberg

12 posted on 07/11/2014 12:44:24 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: cynwoody

LOL! Dang! That’s the biggest front tooth I’ve ever seen!


13 posted on 07/11/2014 12:45:35 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (The future must not belong to those who slander bacon.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Nice formula:

If they smash you and out of pure dignity you do NOTHING, well…you stay smashed.

If instead you fight back?

Ah, well, NOW you have pulled off a MARKETING TRICK..! Much stinky chicanery…!

See?

I say it’s best —best not just for Dinesh but for the whole country— to go for MAXIMUM CASH.

They prefer the “silent dignity” route, where you stay poor and unknown.

Dinesh is correct —the REAL reason why they’re having a tizzy is not really the book; it’s the MOVIE that reaallllly bugs them because for over 50 years The Left has been totally unchallenged, there.

“FILM IS **OURS***” —this is the view of the left.


14 posted on 07/11/2014 12:46:33 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: SeekAndFind

Alyssa Rosenberg is the Features Editor for ThinkProgress.org. She is a columnist for the XX Factor at Slate, and a correspondent for TheAtlantic.com.

*ThinkProgress - Its President and chief executive officer is Neera Tanden, who worked for the Obama and Clinton administrations and for Hillary Clinton’s campaigns

15 posted on 07/11/2014 12:50:38 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: SeekAndFind

It doesn’t have the same cachet as “Banned in Boston!”; but, “Banned by Costco” probably didn’t hurt sales.


16 posted on 07/11/2014 12:54:02 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: kcvl

Oh dear. How unfortunate.


17 posted on 07/11/2014 12:54:45 PM PDT by fhayek
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To: SeekAndFind

JournoList - David Weigel

On June 28, 2010, Weigel did a segment on Keith Olbermann's show, which was followed by Olbermann's announcement that Weigel had joined MSNBC as a news contributor

In 2000, Weigel voted for Ralph Nader, and served as a Delaware college elector for Nader. In 2004, Weigel voted for John Kerry

In 2008, Weigel voted for Barack Obama

18 posted on 07/11/2014 12:55:44 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: Boogieman

The google claim?

Whether it was or wasn’t, Costco can manipulate but D’Souza can’t...Why?

When conservatives quit bringing knives to the gunfight, the truth will come out.

I don’t suppose you read or saw Dinesh’s movie


19 posted on 07/11/2014 12:57:35 PM PDT by stanne
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To: kcvl
Alyssa Rosenberg is the Features Editor for ThinkProgress.org. She is a columnist for the XX Factor at Slate, and a correspondent for TheAtlantic.com. *ThinkProgress - Its President and chief executive officer is Neera Tanden, who worked for the Obama and Clinton administrations and for Hillary Clinton’s campaigns

In other words...a leftist tool.

20 posted on 07/11/2014 12:57:58 PM PDT by EinNYC
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To: kcvl

What’s with the pimples?


21 posted on 07/11/2014 12:58:26 PM PDT by WashingtonSource
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To: Viennacon

Box office Mojo has it 9th in political documentaries and 29 in all documentaries.

Should move up several spots in the next two weeks or so.


22 posted on 07/11/2014 12:59:19 PM PDT by morphing libertarian ( On to impeachment and removal (IRS, Open Borders, pro-terrorist, Fast and furious, VA, Benghazi)!!!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Jealous much, Aylissa?


23 posted on 07/11/2014 1:14:06 PM PDT by ozzymandus
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To: kcvl

Creepy rapist vibe from that photo. Serial killer material?


24 posted on 07/11/2014 1:15:45 PM PDT by ozzymandus
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To: SeekAndFind

I saw a book that is taking up some serious shelf space at COSTCO but not selling anything. Did the author of that book “manpulate” the company to keep the book on the shelf? Who did the author have to not sleep with to keep it on the shelf when it isn’t even in the top 100 on Amazon? It was called “Hard Choices” or something....


25 posted on 07/11/2014 1:24:29 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: SeekAndFind

Screw Costco.

I just got home from seeing the movie.

Very well done - Dinesh hit another home run.

It is chilling to say the least.

I am going to see it again and organize as many friends and relatives as I can to go with me.


26 posted on 07/11/2014 1:24:48 PM PDT by Iron Munro (The Obamas Black skin has morphed into Teflon thanks to the Obama Media)
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To: GeronL
"It was called “Hard Choices” or something....

Subtitle: "Dead Broke In Bush's Evil 'Merika"


27 posted on 07/11/2014 1:30:26 PM PDT by Iron Munro (The Obamas Black skin has morphed into Teflon thanks to the Obama Media)
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To: kcvl
Alyssa Rosenberg is the Features Editor for ThinkProgress.org. She is a columnist for the XX Factor at Slate, and a correspondent for TheAtlantic.com

So, she's a pathological liar.

28 posted on 07/11/2014 1:34:04 PM PDT by Fido969 (What's sad is most)
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To: stanne

“Whether it was or wasn’t, Costco can manipulate but D’Souza can’t...Why?”

Did I say that? I just said the google claim was bogus.

“I don’t suppose you read or saw Dinesh’s movie”

Nope, I am not a fan of his style.


29 posted on 07/11/2014 1:37:50 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Iron Munro

lol


30 posted on 07/11/2014 1:38:14 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Boogieman

Didn’t think so.

All the critics on Amazon who commented on hating his book did not read it.


31 posted on 07/11/2014 1:39:37 PM PDT by stanne
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To: stanne

“All the critics on Amazon who commented on hating his book did not read it.”

What does that have to do with me?


32 posted on 07/11/2014 1:44:01 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Boogieman

Oh, nothing at all.

Sure.


33 posted on 07/11/2014 1:44:45 PM PDT by stanne
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To: stanne

Ah, I see. You are one of those people who like to imply things but are too damned cowardly to come out and say it. Good to know.


34 posted on 07/11/2014 1:53:54 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Boogieman

I am not a coward, and I am done with this conversation.

I will comment on your nasty accusation, however, by stating that I don’t want to attempt logical debate with you. Just for the record, as you’ve falsely accused me, I will say this: What I stated was not insinuation but obvious fact about which nothing needs to be explained

This is the kind of propaganda conservative politicians and Dinesh himself, must endure. accusations for not being perfect.

BLECHH!!

Here’s a comment from above on the movie from someone who has seen it:

“Screw Costco.
I just got home from seeing the movie.
Very well done - Dinesh hit another home run.
It is chilling to say the least...”

You, on the other hand, are busy detracting Dinesh for something that has nothing to do with Costco.

And you haven’t even seen the movie.

Like it or not, agree or not, it is logical that when one has not examined what one is criticizing, the value of the criticism is very discredited.


35 posted on 07/11/2014 2:04:32 PM PDT by stanne
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To: Boogieman

the Google claim was hogwash?

Care to provide some documentation on that?


36 posted on 07/11/2014 2:07:42 PM PDT by stanne
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To: SeekAndFind

I don’t care who it is, when I go to the theater to see a movie, I don’t want to hear about politics. Everybody’s different, of course, but I want to be entertained at the theater.


37 posted on 07/11/2014 2:09:12 PM PDT by Tau Food (Never give a sword to a man who can't dance.)
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To: stanne

” Just for the record, as you’ve falsely accused me, I will say this: What I stated was not insinuation but obvious fact about which nothing needs to be explained”

If that’s true, then you could point out the post where you stated the “obvious fact”, instead of just insinuating.

“This is the kind of propaganda conservative politicians and Dinesh himself, must endure. accusations for not being perfect.”

What is “the kind of propaganda”? What exactly are you taking issue with? That I said one of the claims he made was bogus? That is not propaganda if it is true, it’s just a statement of fact.

“You, on the other hand, are busy detracting Dinesh for something that has nothing to do with Costco.

And you haven’t even seen the movie.

Like it or not, agree or not, it is logical that when one has not examined what one is criticizing, the value of the criticism is very discredited.”

I haven’t said a single word to criticize the movie, have I? Why should I have to see his movie to make a statement about him that is unrelated to the content of his movie?

Do you have to go out and watch all of Michael Moore’s movies before you can state that he is a slovenly hypocrite?

Or is it just that you think I am not allowed to say a critical word about someone if they are on our side of the political spectrum?


38 posted on 07/11/2014 3:51:50 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Boogieman

“That I said one of the claims he made was bogus? That is not propaganda if it is true, it’s just a statement of fact.”

No one is stopping you from proving your ‘fact’, which you have not done.


39 posted on 07/11/2014 3:54:37 PM PDT by stanne
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To: stanne

“Care to provide some documentation on that?”

Sure, here are 2 separate FR threads from the day the claim was made, where multiple FReepers, including myself, tested the claim independently and verified that it was not legitimate:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3177471/posts

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3177532/posts

Besides which, google, like most other search engines, customizes search results by user, meaning what is ranked high in results for one user is not universal for everyone. That fact alone debunks the kind of blanket claim D’Souza made.


40 posted on 07/11/2014 3:56:31 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: stanne

Well, check my last reply. I can’t be expected to post responses simultaneously, I am not that good.


41 posted on 07/11/2014 3:57:08 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: SeekAndFind
I hope all freepers reading this purchase Dinesh's book this weekend....then gift it to one of your "moderate" friends instead of letting it collect dust on the shelf.

The price is worth it to add to his sales numbers, thereby sticking it to the faggy metrosexuals writing the reviews in the print and PC media.

Leni

42 posted on 07/11/2014 4:02:57 PM PDT by MinuteGal
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To: Boogieman

“D’Souza and his lawyers claimed that despite the hit status of his new book and movie, “America,” Google was deliberately downgrading the project in its search results and Costco had removed the book from shelves for politically motivated reasons. The result? Google bumped “America” up in the rankings and Costco restocked the book”

You are claiming THIS is bogus?

Based on a few searches done, after the claim, by some people posting on FR?

It’s D’Souza and his Lawyers making the claim.

You’ll have to come up with equal documentation, lawyers from the other side.

Wrongo.


43 posted on 07/11/2014 4:03:42 PM PDT by stanne
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To: stanne

“You are claiming THIS is bogus?

Based on a few searches done, after the claim, by some people posting on FR?”

Yes, myself and others tested this independently multiple times on the day the claim was made, and it just wasn’t happening. Also, you’ve ignored my other point, which undermines the claim completely, that being the nature of google’s personalized search results.

There’s a third point I can make as well that shows how the claim is bogus. This article says that google corrected the issue, but do you know what that correction was? It was not to go into their search algorithm and modify it to increase the rankings for this film in searches. They simply gave D’Souza a free “sponsored link” ad at the top of the search results, so it comes up on top when someone searches for certain keywords.

If there was really a downgrading going on in their algorithms, they would have fixed that, but instead they just gave away a premium ad to shut him up. It was not there in the morning when the story came out, but by the afternoon, google had put it up there.

“It’s D’Souza and his Lawyers making the claim.

You’ll have to come up with equal documentation, lawyers from the other side.

Wrongo.”

I don’t have to come up with jack. I know the claim is bogus from testing it and seeing the results with my own eyes, as well as from simply knowing how search engines function. You might want some other documentation, to satisfy yourself, but that is not my problem.


44 posted on 07/11/2014 4:13:09 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Boogieman

Its not logical

D’Souza and his lawyers have made a claim

It is now in the hands of the court in which it was paced to decide whether it is bogus


45 posted on 07/11/2014 4:28:11 PM PDT by stanne
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To: kcvl
Wow, the first time I've seen a caricature that looks BETTER than the real person.

The cartoon at least has bottom teeth. Alyssa apparently has none.

I'm no prize, but why are 96% of leftist women ugly?

Statistically that shouldn't be the case.

It should run about 50% average, 40% above/below average, 10% at the extremes.

46 posted on 07/11/2014 5:28:41 PM PDT by boop (I just wanted a President. But I got a rock.)
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To: kcvl

I’m not surprised.


47 posted on 07/11/2014 5:30:53 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: stanne

I don’t need to wait for the courts, since I know it was bogus from my own first-hand experience. If you need the courts to tell you what is true or not, that’s your problem.

If you witnessed a traffic accident, would you need to wait for the courts to tell you who was at fault?


48 posted on 07/12/2014 6:33:37 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Boogieman

The article states that D’Souza and his lawyers are citing Costco as well as google

You are saying that they don’t have a case against google, yet his lawyers have filed the case against google

It is now in the hands of the courts, not like witnessing an accident, where I could be called as a witness

If the court calls you as a witness, due to your after the fact experience on google, after they allegedly fixed the search, and the court finds D’Souza to then be erroneous, at that point we’ll be able to factually say it was bogus, IF, that’s the finding

Until then, the google claim is in the court system. D’Souza’s lawyers say they have a case.

Call them if you have an argument. I’ll wait for the courts to figure it out


49 posted on 07/12/2014 7:13:36 AM PDT by stanne
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To: stanne

“You are saying that they don’t have a case against google, yet his lawyers have filed the case against google

It is now in the hands of the courts, not like witnessing an accident, where I could be called as a witness”

You’ve missed my point. I know the claim is bogus. I have no need to wait for the courts in order to know the claim is bogus. I don’t need a court to tell me the sky is blue either.

“If the court calls you as a witness, due to your after the fact experience on google, after they allegedly fixed the search, and the court finds D’Souza to then be erroneous, at that point we’ll be able to factually say it was bogus, IF, that’s the finding”

It wasn’t “after the fact”, after google applied their fix, it was both before the fix was applied, and after the fix that we tested the claim. Secondly, there is no “we” here. I already know what the truth is. If you want to wait for the courts to tell you what the truth is, that is your problem, not mine, and not ours.


50 posted on 07/12/2014 8:55:46 AM PDT by Boogieman
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