Wednesday night, a number of Twitter aficionados noted that when you search “asshole”—as well as “fascist,” “bigot,” and “racist”—on Twitter, the first result is the account of none other than our president, Donald J. Trump. Sad!
Although Trump is the top result for “asshole,” when you click the people tab, you’ll notice that his profile is not like the others that come up.
Trump’s account it seems, is the only result that lacks the rectal keyword. We reached out to Twitter to ask about this glitch, prank, or whatever it is, and a spokesperson declined to comment about how the search algorithm works.
One possibility is a Bush era-style “googlebomb.” Thanks to SEO-gaming pranksters, the then-president’s official biographical page began popping up when you searched for “failure” or “miserable failure” on the search engine. In 2005, Marissa Mayer, a Google executive at the time, explained how the practice works in a blog post:
In this case, a number of webmasters use the phrases [failure] and [miserable failure] to describe and link to President Bush’s website, thus pushing it to the top of searches for those phrases. We don’t condone the practice of googlebombing, or any other action that seeks to affect the integrity of our search results, but we’re also reluctant to alter our results by hand in order to prevent such items from showing up.
Twitter-bombing Trump in this fashion could very well hurt the president’s feelings. It’s been widely reported that mean tweets stating facts about his inauguration crowd size ruined our supreme leader’s special weekend. And today, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman wrote on Twitter that Trump woke up at 7 AM Saturday morning and angrily called a number of aides and advisors about the National Parks Service retweeting images of Trump’s small inauguration crowd.
Seems like owning this guy online actually gets to him. Your Twitter is a sword. Use it wisely.
Update 9:00PM: A reader pointed out that when you search “Putin” on Twitter, Trump also comes up. If you spot more of these, tell us in the comments or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update 9:32PM: “Dickhead” too.
Update 9:42PM: “Asshat” is on the board.
Update 9:53PM: Also, “#SnowflakeInChief.”
Update (1/26/2017 1:08 PM E.T.): The first result of the search term “asshole” no longer directs people to Donald Trump’s Twitter account.