Lifestyle & Belief

Google mistakes satirical April Fool's Day story for news


U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), at the Republican Presidential Debate debate at Saint Anselm College January 7, 2012 in Manchester, New Hampshire.


Win McNamee

Google may be ranked as the world's most popular website, but even the search engine's sophisticated algorithms aren't immune to a good April Fool's Day prank.

On Sunday, posted a satirical story in honor of April Fool's Day. The story claimed that Mitt Romney dropped out of the presidential election and is instead endorsing Rick Santorum.

"I don’t want to wait until 2020 to get my party back. I’m all about efficiency. Let’s get our butts kicked now and move on," Romney is quoted as saying in the fictional piece

The headline, "Romney Drops out of Race, Endorses Santorum," was then placed as a top breaking news item on Google News, according to a screenshot taken by Gawker.

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Forbes editors removed the story about 30 minutes later, the Washington Post reported.  

The blog post's author is not happy.

“It’s kind of baffling,” Len Burman told the Post. He wrote a follow-up story on Forbes explaining that there had been “an unannounced ban on April Fool’s Day humor." That post was also deleted.

The story is still available on Burman's personal blog, but it is now introduced with a bitter sub-headline:

"I posted this on my blog on and they censored it."