Mystery Porn Bug Stumping Google

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A Google search bug that returns pages of pornographic results when users enter certain equations or search strings has the experts stumped.

A user on Quora uncovered the bug by accident in January, but Google is still trying to eradicate the problem.

Australia's Fairfax Media tested the glitch, typing in a Google search for "-4^(1/4)" which revealed the result on a calculator but below listed several pages of porn links with titles such as "four guys and a hooker" and others apparently that needed censoring.

According to Fairfax, other search strings that return mostly adult links include:

"1 2" -1
"1 2" -2
"h 3" -h
"1 4" -4
"apple 1" -apple

The glitch continues to appear when the search engine was asked to solve multiple equations.

Meanwhile, Google engineer Jeremy Hoffman gave this explanation on Quora:

As a web search query, [-4^(1/4)] is interpreted like [-4 "1 4"], as in "Find me pages which contain a 1 next to a 4, but which do not contain a 4." This should return zero results, because it is impossible to satisfy both requirements. However, we have uncovered a bug that causes some web pages to "match" these contradictory queries. Since these are the only results that "match" the query, they are the results that get shown. We are working on a bug fix. Thanks to the Quora community for bringing this to our attention.

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