Google fixes image search after 'car crash' bug

Summary:UPDATED. The search giant said it wished it served up "micropigs" instead, after a Russian car crash image dogged users of its image search engine.

Even "Hello Kitty" isn't immune from the car crash cache bug. Image: ZDNet/CBS Interactive

If Google Images was throwing up some interesting, albeit perhaps worrying results, you were not alone.

Early on Tuesday, numerous reports began to flood Twitter, Reddit, and other social sites, including Google's own support forums, from concerned Google Images users that an issue was causing nearly every image pulled back to be an apparent car accident in Russia.

Users on Reddit suggested it was not an isolated incident, while others on Twitter were also seeing the repeated image of the apparent crash.

It was widespread, affecting all Google encrypted searches (which is now turned on by default) across multiple domains, including and, among other English-language sites.

People from Canada, Germany, and Brazil cited similar issues, suggesting the problem was centralized and not a geographical issue.

Not everyone was affected, however. 

Google said in an emailed statement to ZDNet early afternoon: "Oops."

The issue is now fixed, the company said, calling it an accident. "The least we could have done was show everyone micropigs instead."

For now, it's not clear exactly what the issue was, but Google hinted that it was a bug, rather than anything else.

Google's own status site did not show any outages or issues, even after the bug was fixed in the early afternoon.

Topics: Google, Security


Zack Whittaker is a writer-editor for ZDNet, and sister sites CNET and CBS News. He is based in the New York newsroom. His PGP key is: EB6CEEA5.

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