Ultimately, I think this comes down to whether or not you see the web as first person plural or third person plural. Is the web “we” or “they?” Is it something you can hold at arms length and cluck over its shortcomings? Or is it where you live? The webs problems are my problems, and they are your problems. It isn’t someone else’s job to fix them, it is everyone’s. That’s what Alan November should be teaching people. In particular, blogging is a form of gardening on the web, and PageRank is our fertilizer.
The web is definitely where I live and I do subscribe to the idea that the problems of the net belong to everyone who does.
I also respect Tom’s call to do something about this particular piece of crap. But it’s far from the only nasty stuff that our kids might find on the web.
So, can the problem of students finding hate sites on the web be resolved by manipulating their page ranking?
For me, that approach still feels like hiding the nasty stuff rather than confronting it.