Website Gets Google Blacklist; For a Brief Period

April 21, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Heard about this? A news post that appeared on a fake website has created much hue and cry. The post remained for two hours before being pulled. But the website was blacklisted by Google making it clear that the post was a hoax.

The website was temporarily blacklisted by Google alleging a potential “phishing scam”.

Web users who tried to load were warned that the site may be “dangerous” by Firefox and Google Chrome. Gmail account users who got mails containing the site’s URL saw their reply mails bouncing.

It looks like the Bank of America might have reported the site to Google as a phishing scam and that must have been reason why the web search engine blacklisted it. However, the website was soon taken off the blacklist, when thousands of volunteers complained to Google.

According to Jane O’Heely of the Yes Lab, one of the creators of, the site is a forum for people to imagine what they could do with the bank.

He elaborated by saying that the ideas they have received so far from the people already show that “we all know as much as bankers about how a bank ought to be run and the site creators wanted to get people thinking about how they would run banking differently”.

Pointing out that the idea was not any attempt to fool anyone, he said the press release that got posted on the site was just a way to publicize the whole idea and get people posting ideas and ads.

Now, that makes us wonder if such pranks – if we may call it so – make its right even in forums where public opinion is king.  Even as Healy says the ideas was not aimed at fooling anyone, the impact the idea has made was huge, and could have been higher if Google had not acted promptly. Don’t you also think so?

[Editor’s comment: I believe this is clearly covered under the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights.  I think that the way this was done could even be thought of as a public service.  Now if I was running a bank, imagine all the loans for those new devices and gadgets out there… Free tablets for anyone opening a new account, anyone?]


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