A Google tutorial for Rick Santorum

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
(CBS) - Rick Santorum is making headlines again, but this time he's going after Google for - well - being Google.

The Republican presidential candidate attacked the search engine for not pulling down search results for a sexual term that was invented by gay activist Dan Savage and his readers. The top Google result for "Rick Santorum" is a site called Spreading Santorum, which is a blog owned by Seattle-based newspaper, The Stranger.

The site's landing page defines "santorum" with a digital rendering of what it might look like, FYI. So, tread lightly. If you haven't Googled "santorum" by now, we discourage eating while doing so. We can only describe is as the thing that you get after the thing that happens when the two things come together. Get it? Eek.

Dan Savage threatens Rick Santorum with another "Google bomb" (NSFW)

Santorum believes it is Google's responsibility to take down references to the other definition of his name. In a statement given to Politico Santorum said, "To have a business allow that type of filth to be purveyed through their website or through their system is something that they say they can't handle but I suspect that's not true."

We contacted Google for a statement and spokesperson Gabriel Stricker said, "Google's search results are a reflection of the content and information that is available on the web. Users who want content removed from the Internet should contact the webmaster of the page directly."

We can't see that happening, unless Santorum and Savage kiss and make up. Savage was the editor-in-chief of The Stranger for years and his popular column, Savage Love, is a major draw to the website.

For all the talk of freedom, free market and so forth, this is serious Big Brother territory. The idea that Google should censor search results because it offends an individual is ridiculous.

As much as we personally dislike having a unique Google-able name, the idea of the search engine censoring their results is scary. Now we're flirting with net neutrality, which is a whole other can of worms.

Google is the world's largest search engine. Imagine if they changed their results to appease every politician that was offended. How would Googlers make time for ping pong at the Googleplex?

Rick Santorum began a contentious battle with the gay community when he compared homosexuality with beastiality and incest.

Dan Savage is a gay activist and sex columnist for the Seattle-based newspaper The Stranger. In reaction to Santorum's attack on the gay community, Savage challenged his readers to re-define "santorum." The campaign was a success and enough references and links pointed to Savage's site that it is now the top Google result for "Rick Santorum."

In good faith, we want to post this tutorial on how Google works because it's not a conspiracy, Mr. Santorum, it's an algorithm.

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