Not So Noble Savage: Columnist Creates “Google Problem” for Santorum With Campaign To Link Name To Graphic Sexual Term

On shows like The Daily Show, people have chuckled that former Senator Rick Santorum’s name is synonymous with a graphic sexual act. Gay columnist Dan Savage launched a campaign for people to link the name to the act on Google. This prompted Santorum to contact Google and complain that the company is “spreading filth.”


Savage asked readers to link the name to an act described as “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.” I understand Savage’s outrage over Santorum’s views which include not only anti-homosexual positions but an attack generally on the right of privacy for all adults. However, this campaign degrades the debate and makes the opponents of Santorum appear juvenile, crude, and petty. It matches the hateful and unhinged rhetoric of the far right with graphic and shocking rhetoric for the left. Who wins in such a contest? I expect it is Santorum who wins by showing that the left engages in sexually crude tactics — fulfilling his stereotypes of the alliance in favor of gay rights.

Santorum is going on the offensive, contacting Google and crying foul:

“I suspect if something was up there like that about Joe Biden, they’d get rid of it. If you’re a responsible business, you don’t let things like that happen in your business that have an impact on the country. To have a business allow that type of filth to be purveyed through their website or through their system is something that they say they can’t handle but I suspect that’s not true.”

Google’s spokesperson explained that “Google’s search results are a reflection of the content and information that is available on the web. Users who want content removed from the Internet should contact the webmaster of the page directly. Once the webmaster takes the page down from the web, it will be removed from Google’s search results through our usual crawling process.” However, the spokesperson added that the company does not “remove content from our search results, except in very limited cases such as illegal content and violations of our webmaster guidelines.”

While I expect some may rejoice in the controversy created by this campaign, it has further degraded an already degrading campaign for the entire country as candidates fight to overdo each other in headline grabbing rhetoric and extreme positions.

Source: Politico

84 thoughts on “Not So Noble Savage: Columnist Creates “Google Problem” for Santorum With Campaign To Link Name To Graphic Sexual Term

  1. I don’t have a dog in this race, but Google apparently does cull out some search returns.

    I was once ego surfing a search of my own name, and each page had one or two returns that just said the search result was masked due to a complaint. The link ultimately led to http://www.chillingeffects.org/, where I searched my name and found nothing.

    I emailed Google to ask what kind of complaint my name or content had caused. I got back a boiler plate reply that if Google receives cease and desist letters – usually about intellectual property rights – it complies by redacting search results from the protested URL, and then by reporting the episode to http://www.chillingeffects.org/, who apparently list and track such things. The email assured me that my name had probably just appeared on a directory, for which there was a complaint to Google, and that I was most likely not the source of the complaint.

  2. Swarthmore mom
    1, September 22, 2011 at 11:24 pm
    This week the audience booed a gay soldier. Last week they cheered about an uninsured man that died. The week before that they cheered executions.
    =========================================================

    just wait until the next debate, maybe somebody’ll bring up witch burning.

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