Activists Manipulate Google Search to Link ‘Idiot’ with Images of Trump

Anti-Trump activists apparently managed to manipulate Google Images search results, causing images of Trump’s face to appear as the top search results for the term “idiot.”

The Guardian was the first to report the prank on Thursday, which appeared to begin with Reddit users, as well as an initial campaign aimed at getting the 2004 Green Day song “American Idiot” to the top of the British music charts during Trump’s visit to the U.K. last week.

According to Fortune, media coverage of the campaigns also re-enforces the search results by associating the terms Trump and “idiot.”

Several discussions on Reddit with tens of thousands of upvotes promoted the stories associating Trump and “idiot” on Thursday as well as the effort to manipulate the search results.

Google Images search results are gathered and presented in order of relevance so high-popularity posts on Reddit, one of the internet’s most popular sites, often appear at the top of Google searches.

Google does not interfere in offensive or controversial search results. The company has instead opted to explain some questionable search results through advertisements that appear to users of relevant search terms.

“A site’s ranking in Google’s search results relies heavily on computer algorithms using thousands of factors to calculate a page’s relevance to a given query,” the company explained in 2004. “Sometimes subtleties of language cause anomalies to appear that cannot be predicted.”

The company’s algorithm results in frequent changes to the most popular results.

Reddit regularly uses their ability to manipulate search results for other causes. Previously, they manipulated CNN’s logo with “fake news” or a Nazi swastika with Comcast during the battle over net neutrality.

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