Following up on this previous BoingBoing item
about "Good word algorithms gone bad," one reader suggested that I type the word "dead" into Google. I did, and received this interesting AdWords recommendation (Link
to 70k GIF screenshot, sweartagod it's not altered):
Sexy Dead Singles
Free photos, personals and hot
profiles of local singles.
Emboldened by this success, I searched for the missing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and sure enough, eBay had 'em! Why didn't those pesky world leaders look here? Link
to screenshot of the text ad suggested for a Google search on "WMD.".
Brand new and used. No bidding.
Buy Wmd at eBay! (aff)
Reader Matt Baume says,
I enjoyed your post about the apocalypse and devasation on ebay. Thought you might like to know, i've stumbled across two other unsettling algorithmic hiccups: searching for "11-year-olds" gets you ebay ads for children, and searching for "ringworm" results in "sexy ringworm singles." i've got screenshots of each on my blog: one, two.
I attempted to repeat Matt's results, and got even worse returns on "11-year-olds" from Google. Not only did AdWords suggest "Great deals on new and used 11 year olds now!" from eBay, but "7 Year Olds at Amazon.com" were also indecently proposed in the same breath as "Sexy Adult Personals" and "Photos of Hot Local Women Who Want to Find Sex Partners." Link
to screenshot. Well then.
Reader Larry Swanson says,
Couldn't resist playing along. These are all actual AdWords results from today:
Find Everything You Want at Ebay
It's Fun, Quick & Easy to Buy! -aff
We have what you're looking for.
Drought & much more!
600+ Popular Stores - One Website &
One Simple Checkout - Shop Now!
Lint for sale. aff
Check out the deals now!
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
SitePoint Premium is the ultimate e-learning library for web developers, designers, and digital professionals. Famous for their web development books written by industry leaders, they’ve expanded their content library to include in-depth video courses and short, handy screencasts partnering with A Book Apart and UX Mastery. Whatever you want to achieve in your web career, […]
Skip the technical jargon and get right to taking amazing, professional-quality photos with this complete training. The Hollywood Art Institute Photography Course includes 22 modules filled with tutorials on how to profit off of your photography, or simply capture your memories in the manner they deserve.Accredited by the Photography Education Accreditation CouncilDive into this 22 […]
Power up your gadgets in the most unexpected places with the extremely compact SolarJuice battery pack. SolarJuice charges up at home like your average battery pack, but also lets you add extra juice on-the-go using its built-in solar panel—so you’ll never be left unplugged from the digital world.4.5 Stars on Amazon!Simultaneously charges 2 devices at […]