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Yahoo’s Accidental Adult Images

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Yahoo’s Accidental Adult Images

Is it possible that employees laid off from Yahoo’s staff will sabotage the search engine results? Perhaps a better question is whether or not someone already has. On December 14th, the same date the company announced that it would be cutting about four percent of its work force, Yahoo’s image thumbnails were having a unique kind of error: the kind where every click was redirected to filthy, filthy porn.

According to an MSNBC report, any visitor attempting to find an image through the thumbnails displayed on the Yahoo home page were directed to a close-up of a man and woman “in the act,” rather than the the expected image. Though the exact time the issue started is unknown, it lasted for several hours after first being spotted.

Yahoo’s response, of course, was to quickly prevent any image thumbnails from importing to the home page. They accompanied this shift by an announcement that they were “experiencing issues with some of our image search results. We are working with Microsoft to correct the issue as quickly as possible. We understand that this may have caused some inconvenience and apologize to users who have been affected.” While their rapid response is admirable, it’s questionable whether the terms “experiencing issues” or “caused some inconvenience” are quite appropriate in this scenario.

Prior to this pull-down, every image, without exception, linked to one graphic picture from the site “Dunia Upload,” an Indonesian file uploading site designed to make media easier to link.

Responses to the adult-image snafu have been varied, although the community seems to have chosen amusement rather than offense at this unique Yahoo glitch. And while some suspect that this may have been a purely accidental error, others wonder if this isn’t just the most colorful way a soon to be ex-employee has ever “gone postal.”

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Rob D Young

Rob has been insatiably obsessed with Google, search engine technology, and the trends of the web-based world since he began ... [Read full bio]

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