Faulty Google Result Caused Suspect Google Buying 4Chan Story?

A curious news story recently surfaced about Google possibly buying a well known website 4Chan. We did some digging into this to get to the bottom of this and found that this may have been the result of a faulty Google news result.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

The news story surfaced on MarketWatch, a website that covers stock market related news stories among other things. The news story seemed to cover a wide variety of things supposedly happening. What caught some people’s attention was the following paragraph:

Meanwhile, Google continues to work hard to stay ahead, finding new and growing areas to expand into. Most recently the company has begun discussions to acquire the website 4chan which would bring with it a large user base. Register now at to have free access to our reports on the Internet Information Providers industry.

Hours later, BuzzFeed picked up the news story, but when they went asking around, it became really clear that the story was highly suspicious – especially with one person from 4Chan ridiculing the credibility of the story. So, we started looking in to this story ourselves to trace the source. Turns out, the source could easily be traced to a Google news result. Here’s what we were able to find when we went searching:

The story seemed to originate from a news story from a site called ScrapeTV. Yet, when one clicks on the search result, we find out that the news story was posted on September 30, 2008. to our knowledge, Google didn’t buy 4Chan in 2008.

This actually isn’t the first time ScrapeTV had an old news article hit Google news. I actually personally noticed this happening this Sunday after another article from 2008 hit Google news as if it was published that day.

So, if you get a Google news search result from ScrapeTV, double-check the date because the websites articles are somehow being re-posted as if they are breaking now.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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