'Blacklist' Christmas Card Is Not Safe For Google

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Forced to work during the holidays? Or looking for a time-suck that might also improve your vocabulary? Then allow us to present the (unofficial) Google Blacklist Christmas card. Some NSFW lingo, assuming you know what the words mean.

Using "words stolen from the 2600," a list of terms that will not appear in Google Instant's appear-as-you-type results due to their XXX-mas nature, London-based design studio Nation has given us a gift that keeps on giving. The card allows for so many combinations of words that I was laughing throughout this little exercise.


At the initial page for the card, you'll see this message:

You are about to construct a lovely Christmas message from all the words Google has blacklisted (typing them into Google will yield zero search results) It will almost certainly be offensive.


And with clicking "Hit Me," the hilarity begins.

Using my arrow keys (choose a word by using the up and down keys; click on a word and then use the right and left arrows to find alternatives), I kept on switching up the words and phrases trying to find the least offensive combination that I could include in an image with this post. (It took awhile.) I came up with the combination above: "The holidays, always a nice time for some Bicurious, NSFW images, scissoring and lashings of submissive amateur. Heartfelt regards, Athima."


At the very least, the site serves as a kind of exercise in sex-ed. Before today, I did not know what figging, shibari, pegging or bastinado meant. Now I do. I can't say it makes my life any better. I know because the words actually are listed in Google.

It's a little misleading to say these words are blacklisted by Google, because they do actually show up, but, as 2600 explains:

Give it a try. Go to the Google home page. Type in "puppy" and see the many results that fill your screen. Now type "bitch" and admire the blank screen. In this case, the two words could mean the exact same thing. But Google Instant is erring on the side of caution, protecting the searcher from seeing something they may not want to see.


But this shouldn't stop you. All you have to do is hit enter to get results for the "blacklisted" items, which is something we've always been able to do.

Here's where it gets really interesting, though:

Even when your request isn't blacklisted, the Google Instant results are not the same as the ones you'd get by hitting return. Entering "murder" into the search bar and hitting the space bar gets you suggestions of mostly band names. It's only after you hit return that you can learn the other sinister meaning of the word. What we have here is a demonstration of how content can be filtered, controlled, and ultimately suppressed. It's a good thing that Google isn't evil, right?


One word that did not make it onto my card: corprolagnia, which made me think of lasagna, until I read the search results and realize it's so NOT lasagna-like. (Trust me on this. But you'll see for yourself if you look it up. But you can't un-know it once you do!)

But no judgments. I used to vet articles in the Village Voice, so really, very little shocks me. To each, his/her own.


Now, you go and waste some time, if you want. And as a side benefit, you may send some people a card they definitely won't expect for the holidays!

This article has been republished with permission from MSNBC.com.