Rumors are starting that a new breed of Google bomb is brewing and one of its first iterations has lead to an Anti Microsoft image being displayed as the top result on Google Maps.
Yelp.com, a review site that delivers content to Google Maps, was the soapbox that SarahB, a prolific Yelp user chose to share her sentiments. Attached to her review was an anti-Windows image, which just happened to be the top organic result for Microsoft in Google maps. At the time of posting, the image has since been removed.
While SarahB probably had no intentions of her image’s impact being so high profile, it does highlight a system loophole that more malicious netizens could exploit.
At this stage there are no restrictions on who can upload an image for a particular business review on Yelp (not sure about other review sites). But imagine if a competitor uploaded some negative media about your business – even after the images were reported and removed, the damage might have already be done.
I am a strong supporter of consumer generated media and the social web, but as with all things, some level of control is required. While web 2.0 purists believe the community should self regulate, it begs the question – Do Yelp or Google have some responsibility in the results they display?
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