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France

French president is butt of new joke on Google

Text by Sébastian SEIBT

Latest update : 2010-09-07

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is the latest political to be "Google Bombed". Just type in the French word for a**hole, "trou du cul," to see the president’s Facebook page come up as the number one search result.

For several days now, beginning over the weekend, the French words “trou du cul” (a**hole) have been atop the list of Google’s most popular search terms in France. The surge of interest in such salty language is courtesy of none other than the French president himself. There it is, right at the top of the results in the number one spot, Nicolas Sarkozy’s very own Facebook page.

Google Trends graph that highlights a surge in the requests for the phrase "Trou du cul" that leads to Sarkozy's Facebook page as the #1 result.
Google said it has nothing to do with this schoolroom prank. Instead, the company contends that a group of internet hackers are behind this attack on the French president. "In this specific case, a certain number of webmasters used the expression in question to link to Nicolas Sarkozy's Facebook page, thus moving it up the list of search results associated with this search term," the company said in a statement.  
 
"Sometimes, using this technique known as 'Google bombing', jokers can generate strange results," the company added.
 
This so-called “Google bombing” does not just happen organically.  It requires
considerable coordination among hundreds of webmasters across the internet to all work in concert with one another. By associating the search words “trou du cul” with the president’s Facebook page, it steadily moves up Google’s page rank. The more hits that search result gets, the higher it goes, all the way to its current number one spot.
 
Nicolas Sarkozy is not the first controversial politician to be the victim of Google bombing. In October 2003, the search for “miserable failure” led to the official biography of former US President George W. Bush and in 2005 the word “liar” had former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in the top spot.
 
Nicolas Sarkozy is a particularly savory target for online activists who have opposed the president for his strong stance on illegal file sharing. Last June, during a heated debate over a controversial anti-piracy law, the president was “Google bombed.” The query (in French) “a**hole of the Web” led to the president’s then official campaign site www.sarkozy.fr (now redirected to his Facebook page).

 

Date created : 2010-09-07

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