26th February 2024 10:17 am
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If you Google “new director of FBI” a picture of Vladimir Putin with a badly drawn moustache pops up

On Tuesday US president Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey with Andrew McCabe taking up the role of acting director for the time being. Well, not according to Google Images.

If you search the phrase “new director of FBI” and go to images, you’ll be greeted by a picture of Vladimir Putin with a poorly drawn moustache and glasses as the very first result.

The image seems to come from this tweet by Toby Earle who refers to his creation as Chet Americanman. The picture in Google Images leads to this Imgur Post which was popular yesterday. The fact that it rose to the first image search was also confirmed by another Imgur post.

This type of joke, where Google’s results are based on popularity and user engagement, has been done before. It’s the reason that looking up pictures of the US telecoms company Comcast will result in images of the Nazi flag.

Posts on sites such as Reddit usually read “upvote this post so Y will appear in the results for X“. It looks like it’s not just us South African who are upset over poor internet connectivity.

Unfortunately the trick is easy to sidestep, Googling more coherent questions will give you real results, but we think Vladimir Putin Chet Americanman will be around for a while.

 

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