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France

Sarkozy linked to obscene phrase in 'Google bombing' hoax

media Embattled French President Nicolas Sarkozy Reuters

The joke is on Nicolas Sarkozy – not that he’s likely to find it very funny. The French president has become the latest “google bombing” victim, with internet pranksters using the search engine to link his official Facebook webpage with the French term for "arsehole".

In linking a series of sites with the term "trou du cul" to Sarkozy's Facebook profile, Google's search motor was confused into into making the site its top result for anyone hunting for the obscene phrase.

Sarkozy's office had no immediate comment on the prank.

Google bombing also linked former British prime minister Tony Blair's official website to the word "liar" and former US president George Bush’s site to "miserable failure".

Releasing a statement, Google conceded that the Google bombing technique meant jokers had the power to “generate strange results".

"We don't support this practice, nor any other aimed at altering the integrity of our search results, but this in no way affects the general quality of our search engine, whose impartiality is at the heart of all we do," the company said.

Among other famous Google bombs, US webusers sent searchers for the phrase "French military victories" to a site reading "Google cannot find any French military victories, did you mean French military defeats?"

Meanwhile Immigration Minister Eric Besson has also been the victim of internet plotters, who used Facebook to rally members of the public to disrupt Besson’s wedding nuptials.

But Besson, who is 52 and divorced, is having none of this, and on Monday announced he was postponing his marriage to 24-year-old art student Yasmine Tordjman.

He said the event, which was to take place on 16 September in the town hall of Paris’s 7th arrondissement, was a “purely private matter”.

He attacked the press for publishing the details of the ceremony, saying the media refused to respect divisions between public affairs and private business.

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