For 30 minutes Saturday morning, Google displayed the warning "this site may harm your computer" with all search results, including its own home page. Normally, the warning only appears on sites that Google suspects to be infected with malicious programs such as viruses. A data error flagged every site on the web as potentially harmful, as thousands of people noted on Twitter.
The situation became so desperate that people began using Yahoo Search.
Even though the problem lasted just a half-hour, that was enough time for the conservative blog American Thinker to uncover a vast left-wing conspiracy. In a story headlined "Google Blocks Conservative Web Sites," Rick Moran writes:
The blocks appear to be temporary -- more a nuisance than a threat. But this morning, websites for the Republican National Committee, Real Clear Politics, and Pajamas Media were all blocked with the caption:
Warning -- visiting this web site may harm your computer! ...
The potential for this gigantic corporation to game the free flow of information to suit its own ideological ends is frightening. Everyone -- liberals and conservatives -- should be concerned when ideological attacks like this take place.
Since the problem affected billions of pages in Google's search database, it appears that the writers at American Thinker don't get out much beyond right-wing sites. Color me shocked.