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!
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
The Avantree Powerhouse 4 Port Fast USB Charging Station brings high quality, high power, and still keeps your work space or home looking neat and organized. The best part about this charger is its capacity. It comes packing 4 USB charging sockets and a powerful 4.5A/22.5W output.. Its smartport technology means you don’t have to worry about frying your battery, either—it […]
With this comprehensive course in App & Game Development for iOS and Android, you’ll be able to take full advantage of this career opportunity without committing to going back to school full time. You’ll learn how to build immersive, interactive games and apps from start to finish using Python, C#, Unity, and HTML—some of the most in-demand programming […]
CloudPress is a responsive WordPress theme builder that allows you to create a whole site in less than 30 minutes. CloudPress comes with tools like pre-built headers, content blocks, and footers—all you have to do is pick what you like, and drag and drop. With your subscription, you get access to 13 professionally designed WordPress themes, over 80 […]