White people stole my car
The phrase white people stole my car went viral in 2010 due to an accidentally racist google search bar malfunction causing Google to suggest “did you mean: black people stole my car”.
A common racist stereotype against black people is that they are often involved in theft and crime.
Because of this, people were enraged over the phrasing suggestion that came as result of writing “white people stole my car”, as it seemed that Google was implying that it is more likely that black people would steal the car than white.
Google has now fixed this malfunction, but some claim that it never really happened at all, and that someone made it up to cause outrage.
Origin of the term
The phrase became a big search on Google in August, 2009.
It all started with a chain-mail including a cropped image of the google search bar with the phrase in it, and the suggestion underneath.
The email went viral, and the searches begun. The suggestion does not exist anymore, and some doubt it even existed from the beginning.
Spread of the term
As the phrase was one of the most-searched-for terms during 2010, malware and spam sites made sure to associate themselves with the sentence, leading to an instant virus infection on your computer if clicked on.
Hence, the phrase became clickbait.
The rumored suggestion “did you mean: black people stole my car” caused outrage amongst black people and anti-racism activists and stirred hatred towards google, but as no one can prove that it happened at all, apart from the one cropped image (which may have been edited), the damage didn’t last long.
- Search Engine Watch – Google Gets Spammed with Searches for “White People Stole My Car”