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A possible Google hack?
March 11, 2003 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Use Google to search the term "french military victories", then press the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. This certain result happens every single time. Is this a hack, a joke, a tragic diplomatic slip up for a international companny or just bad programming?
posted by BrodieShadeTree (32 comments total)

 
Google-bombing at it's most sublime.
posted by smackfu at 10:36 AM on March 11, 2003


Just a humorous emergent behavior.

One guy makes a fictitious serach result page, and it starts getting play on weblogs, with people linking to it using the words 'french military victories'.

Soon it's self-fulfilling, and google rates it as the top response for that request.

It's a joke that turned into a societal hack.
posted by kfury at 10:37 AM on March 11, 2003


Almost got me, but the big ol' pop-up gave it away.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:39 AM on March 11, 2003


it's got the "copyright" right on there: Parody transcripted ©2003 Albino Blacksheep which links to here.
posted by folktrash at 10:40 AM on March 11, 2003


The number two result.
posted by timeistight at 10:42 AM on March 11, 2003


Although oddly enough, Google claims there aren't any pages linking to it.

Granted Google may have not spidered some of the people linking to the site, but if it hasn't spidered them, how does it know to put this one at the top?

Unless of course a search for "french military victories" gave you nothing before the site went up - which is a possibility I suppose.
posted by ralawrence at 10:43 AM on March 11, 2003


Pop-up? What pop-up? Waddaya mean, you're not using Mozilla?

This is a good idea, well executed. It's similar to the "WMD" page not found we saw a couple of weeks ago. I'm getting really tired of the "French military surrender" meme, though. It was neither funny nor accurate when it first appeared, and it's got more irritating each time I've seen it.
posted by salmacis at 10:46 AM on March 11, 2003


Pop-up? What pop-up? Waddaya mean, you're not using Mozilla?

If you can't stomach the download size and time of Mozilla, at least download and install Crazy Browser.

It's got a rubbish name, but allows for pop-up blocking, uses the IE rendering engine (so all pages work, even the badly coded ones), has tabs and allows you to have groups of pages which open in one click.

Plus it's less than 700k.
posted by ralawrence at 10:57 AM on March 11, 2003


Pop-up? What pop-up? Waddaya mean, you're not using Mozilla?

Draconian rules/settings at work. I probably couldn't change mice without permission. I use the lizard at home though.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:03 AM on March 11, 2003


slow news day eh?
posted by Satapher at 11:15 AM on March 11, 2003


a tragic diplomatic slip up for a international companny

I choose this option. Tragic, indeed. Wars have been fought for less, by god!

Google's international diplomacy skills are clearly lacking. It needs to fire its ambassador and get on the horn to Kofi Annan, asap!
posted by pardonyou? at 11:17 AM on March 11, 2003


Wow! That Crazy Browzer is awesome. Thanks!
posted by phatboy at 11:19 AM on March 11, 2003


The same thing happens when you type in the word "Weblog" It keeps bringing up the Google Weblog page which happens to be the number 1 entry for weblog. Guess it isn't supposed to be random.

I just tested it with other phrases, weblog review, indiana, mojo and junk. All with the same results each time.

Anyone have any luck with a word that doesn't generate the same result each time?
posted by thebwit at 11:20 AM on March 11, 2003


The "feeling lucky" button grabs the number one result for your keywords every time, regardless of what you're searching for.
posted by danwalker at 11:20 AM on March 11, 2003


For those of you who want a refutation to the France MIlitary Defeats meme, check out Jeremy Hart's Refutation. I too grow very tired of the xenophobic and often racists remarks against the French.
posted by plemeljr at 11:26 AM on March 11, 2003


A few points to clarify on my post:

1. I knew it wasn't Google's page. The question I try to raise (ironically) is, is this sort of result gerimandering a good idea to allow to happen?
2. I am not trying to propogate IN ANY WAY, the anti-french meme.
3. I am a closeted Francophile actually. If asked today, I'd go with their diplomacy over ours.(USA)
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 11:49 AM on March 11, 2003


While I consider the French government's behavior in this crisis disgusting, I too, have hit my gag limit with 'surrender monkeys' meme. One month in 1940 does not cancel out centuries of martial valor, and nobody, - not even, astonishingly the United States - has anything to teach the defenders of Verdun - or Dien Dien Phu - about bravery and tenacity against great odds.

Waaay off topic: why it that tedious lefties always want to pin 'racist' on anything they don't like? Here's a clue: after three thousand years of invasions and intermarrying, nobody in Europe is a race. Save the epithets for real racism.
posted by mojohand at 11:51 AM on March 11, 2003


thebwit, generally Google will always give you the same results for a word or phrase (within a reasonable time frame)

This is from a /. post regarding differences in hit numbers but the answer also applies to result sets
posted by bitdamaged at 11:52 AM on March 11, 2003


Hmmm. I just got an unpleasant "Access restricted. This has been logged" from my employer's proxy server.

Was this NSFW?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:03 PM on March 11, 2003


Merriam-Webster defines racism as:
a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

The line about WWI hit a chord:

Sadly, the American fascination with personal hygiene (a fascination totally foreign to French women) incites widespread use of condoms by American soldiers, thus precluding any improvement in the French bloodline." - emphasis mine [source]

While racist may or may not be the right level of adjective, these remarks are certainly xenophobic, and racist in the classical sense. Arguing that all French smell bad and are inherently sissies - that is what this whole argument is about anyway - treads a fine line into racism. Because we all know that we are way better then those damn cheese-eaters.
posted by plemeljr at 12:09 PM on March 11, 2003


How 'bout the nice, all-encompassing, "bigotry"? Can we all agree on that?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:12 PM on March 11, 2003


Sounds good to me PinkStainlessTail, onto Freedom Fries!
posted by plemeljr at 12:21 PM on March 11, 2003


For sale: one "France surrenders" meme. Never fired. Dropped many times.
posted by RylandDotNet at 1:15 PM on March 11, 2003


Waaay off topic: why it that tedious lefties always want to pin 'racist' on anything they don't like?

Simply do a MeFi search for "racist" for a good giggle. There are a few nameless users who use the epithet so much as to resemble a nervous tic.

I think the Googlebomb is funny, but not out of any animosity toward France. It's like any other smug joke that has gotten a bit stale, but then it gets cleverly remixed when you least expect it. No need to make it political, though. Cultures have had fun at the expense of other cultures since the beginning of time. Every now and again it becomes fashionable to prune the language a bit to appear more enlightened or politically correct.

I actually think that despite all the criticism it takes, the US does self-deprecation pretty well. See some of our most popular media (Simpsons, The Onion, etc). Maybe the French could learn from this?
posted by dhoyt at 2:11 PM on March 11, 2003


I always thought Google should have an "I'm Feeling Listless!" button. It takes forever to for a page to load -- so long in fact it gives up in the end because it can't be bothered ...
posted by feelinglistless at 2:15 PM on March 11, 2003


How many got sucked in when they first saw the page and thought it was a real Google results page? I am brave enough to admit that I was fooled at first glance. I don't see this as particularly racist and it is no different to jokes that we make about nationalities everywhere all the time - meant in fun and should be taken that way.
posted by dg at 2:26 PM on March 11, 2003


The Gauls sacked Rome.
William Conquered England.
There would be no United States without French military aid.

I have no use for this meme.
posted by linux at 4:35 PM on March 11, 2003


I get nothing when I try to access the link. MeFied, or just down, I don't know -- could someone describe what I would have seen?
posted by litlnemo at 4:44 PM on March 11, 2003


Strangely, I Google on the term "french military victories", then press the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button and I get:

"The page cannot be displayed",

and that's within Google!
posted by DBAPaul at 4:56 PM on March 11, 2003


thebwit, generally Google will always give you the same results for a word or phrase (within a reasonable time frame)

To clarify I tested this out on 3 different machines, all of which have different IP numbers.
posted by thebwit at 8:05 PM on March 11, 2003


mojohand: after three thousand years of invasions and intermarrying, nobody in Europe is a race. Save the epithets for real racism.
After 100,000 years of invasions and intermarrying nobody in the world is a race. That didn't stop Hitler f.e. from exterminating Jews and Slavs as inferior "races".
dhoyt: I actually think that despite all the criticism it takes, the US does self-deprecation pretty well...Maybe the French could learn from this?
What makes you believe that "the French" don't do self-deprecation?

BTW this kind of nonsense is world-wide... over here in Greece, Turkish coffee was renamed Greek coffee after the Turks invaded Cyprus. The new name stuck, unfortunately.
posted by talos at 4:54 AM on March 12, 2003


Oops... the last paragraph of my last comment belonged to a different thread.
Too many browser windows open- not enough sleep.
Sorry.
posted by talos at 5:40 AM on March 12, 2003


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