Sep 26
While perusing Yahoo News this morning, I decided to add a few of their scummy advertisers to my block list. I right-clicked on the page and began scouring the code for the offending ad URLs. As I scanned down through the page, I came across a block of javascript (code for a programming language that makes web pages more interactive), that Yahoo News uses for pictorial links. The links each had a comment at the top describing what the link was for. Most had normal comments, like... 'Stephen Colbert', "Click image to see more photos of Stephen Colbert" 'Lindsay Lohan', "Click image to see more photos of Lindsay Lohan" 'Chinese Goddess of Mercy', "Click image to see more photos of luxury funerals" 'Balmoral Castle in Scotland', "Click image to see photos of Queen Elizabeth II" However, the one that caught my eye was a link to a pictorial on Christine O'Donnell, The comment above which said... 'Have you ever looked at a monkey', "Click image to see more photos of Christine O'Donnell" I know it's in reference to Bill Maher asking her the question, but this pictorial isn't about that. It's just a pictorial of Christine O'Donnell. There's no mention of Bill Maher, there aren't any pictures of him in the 54 images of the news articles around Christine O'donnell. A chunk of the javascript block is reprinted below. Tell me what you think. Is this a case of bias among the people who write the code that runs the Yahoo News website? I already think I know the answer. The page I found this in is here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100926/ap_on_re_as/as_philippines_us_inverted_flag On line 1337 interestingly enough. For the n00b5 out there, 1337 is hacker terminology for "leet" which is short for elite. Could a Yahoo developer with a hacker bent have done this as a prank? My opinion is that the item showing up on line 1337 is just a coincidence. It would be terribly difficult for a developer to make that happen; especially since the page in question is highly dynamic. Screenshot of the O'donnell script. Whether or not, it's terribly unprofessional and shows Yahoo's blatant disregard for objectivity, or their lack of ability to train and maintain a professional development team. ----- [ [['Have you ever looked at a monkey', 6]], 'http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Del-Senate-Candidate-Christine-ODonnell/ss/events/pl/091510codonnell', "Click image to see more photos of Christine O'Donnell", 'http://d.yimg.com/a/p/ap/20100919/capt.afae966a579149ceba47c5bae6931767-afae966a579149ceba47c5bae6931767-0.jpg?x=400&y=299&q=85&sig=8.uJos66iaKwdmweHesgiQ--', '400', '299', 'AP Photo/Jessica Kourkounis' ], [ [['Stephen Colbert', 9]], 'http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Comedian-Stephen-Colbert/ss/events/en/092410colbert', "Click image to see more photos of Stephen Colbert", 'http://d.yimg.com/a/p/ap/20100924/capt.7e12c118f77b40a593232c9c3b2fdc9a-7e12c118f77b40a593232c9c3b2fdc9a-0.jpg?x=400&y=279&q=85&sig=89Y5ITeohFME9uBCGbxYIg--', '400', '279', 'AP/Alex Brandon' ], [ [['Lindsay Lohan', 9]], 'http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Lindsay-Lohan/ss/events/en/072905lindsaylohan', "Click image to see more photos of Lindsay Lohan", 'http://d.yimg.com/a/p/afp/20100924/capt.photo_1285346028643-1-0.jpg?x=241&y=345&q=85&sig=L6TExSGPaJvMrQGqEoZrcw--', '241', '345', 'AFP/Robyn Beck' ], [ [['Chinese Goddess of Mercy', 9]], 'http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Luxury-Funerals/ss/events/wl/092410luxuryfuneral', "Click image to see more photos of luxury funerals", 'http://d.yimg.com/a/p/rids/20100924/i/r3924997768.jpg?x=400&y=266&q=85&sig=kbs8tRDAH4g7kkN6ZeNs1g--', '399', '266', 'Reuters/Bazuki Muhammad' ], [ [['Balmoral Castle in Scotland', 5]], 'http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/British-Royal-Family/ss/events/wl/031802royalfamily', "Click image to see photos of Queen Elizabeth II", 'http://d.yimg.com/a/p/afp/20100924/capt.photo_1285324979193-1-0.jpg?x=275&y=345&q=85&sig=Tnv__Dz1wcKMhjbhkyJkXQ--', '275', '344', 'AFP/File/Adrian Dennis' ], [ [['Mark Zuckerberg', 5]], 'http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Facebook/ss/events/tc/031708facebook', "Click image to see photos of Mark Zuckerberg", 'http://d.yimg.com/a/p/net/20091202/capt.681b4f20caea83330332840343a4a027.jpeg?x=400&y=284&q=85&sig=TJ.aeOvRpQSjQ2D.jm.1Og--', '399', '284', 'AP/Paul Sakuma, File' ], [ [['Eddie Fisher', 9]], 'http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Eddie-Fisher/ss/events/en/092310eddiefisher', "Click image to see photos of Eddie Fisher", 'http://d.yimg.com/a/p/ap/20100924/capt.9d7a1b064e394a39970a6f601b7f213c-9d7a1b064e394a39970a6f601b7f213c-0.jpg?x=266&y=345&q=85&sig=u.Swyx3IfdHIX5dW1AageA--', '266', '344', 'AP, File' ], <... snip ...>