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Google says: Obama is a Socialist

Bear with me on this one because it is a bit odd.

Someone typed in Barack Obama’s Chicago address (5046 Greenwood Ave.) into Google and got a  Google map, labeled with the name Barack H. Obama and a telephone number (415-821-6171). (Don’t bother to try it today, because this won’t happen, but there are images of it on Texas Darlin.) The phone number displayed is strange in that it is a California phone number, not one for Chicago.

Now here’s the truly odd part. Typing that phone number into Google returns the name of  The Party for Socialism and Liberation.

I note also that there is a Chicago office of The Party for Socialism and Liberation, albeit at a different address and phone number (3334 W. Lawrence #202, 773 920-7590).

Best explanation I’ve seen came from a TD commenter, John Cain who said:

There’s a lot of problems with this analysis. First off, Google doesn’t keep a listing of phone numbers like the phone company does. Any phone number listed with an address is the result of Google search, which is not official and certainly open to error.

Secondly, two seconds of searching brings up this page, which is an FEC list of candidates posted by the lieutenant governor of Utah. On this list, the PSL (with that phone number) is listed directly above the Democratic party (with that address but no phone number). This is literally the only result that comes up when searching for that address and that phone number. This is fairly conclusive proof that the FEC list is Google’s reason for listing that number with that address.

Thirdly, those screaming that whitepages.com has “scrubbed” this info are being ridiculous. The Obamas’ home phone number is not listed, so you’re claiming something has been scrubbed that never existed in the first place.

This analysis, like the rest of this site, resulted from poor critical thinking and confirmation bias run amok.

I’ve tried a few addresses in Google, including my own, but I haven’t seen anybody’s name or phone number listed.

Cee Cee in comments here suggests that the phone number was the result of vandalism by somone using the Google Maps “Edit” feature. I agree that is more plausible than John Cain’s idea. It looks like the Edit feature has been changed and now only allows moving the address marker a short distance (or longer only with moderation). The “history” that commenter George Orwell III describes has been expunged (along with the name and telephone data itself).

My own pet theory is:

The Google search of 5046 Greenwood Ave no longer shows Obama or the phone number.

I think the most plausible explanation for the suspicious phone number is vandalism. The way I believe it happened was that someone went into Google and added a business at that address through their Google Local Business Center web site.

I conclude this because after checking many addresses in Google, only businesses have phone numbers listed.

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6 Responses to Google says: Obama is a Socialist

  1. avatar
    Cee Cee January 10, 2009 at 2:44 am #

    Anyone can edit Google Maps. You will have to add your own phone number personally or someone who knows you can, then Google will verify it.

    If you notice the name, address, and number in that TD post it’s labeled unverified meaning it’s not real.

  2. avatar
    George Orwell III January 10, 2009 at 4:17 am #

    Cee Cee is right – Google Maps is easily manipulated. I checked this out when Texass Snarlin first put it up. A review of the entry’s history clearly showed somebody recently edited it to show the number along with the standard address info. It was then quickly followed by a few attempts to notify moderators to verify and delete the entry. I’m assuming the moderators took their sweet time to finally remove it judging by the above piece.

    As a side note: the infamous list of Obama family properties that’s been hatched elsewhere was generated by a less than accurate search result of some sort from the Huffington Posts’s Donoor Web campaign contributions tracker database & service. That service may nice and eye-catching for it’s interaction with a Google Map feature but it nowhere as near as reliable as the Federal Election Commission’s official records (FEC.gov). Well at least that’s my theory on those results generated by the LexisNexis search and the variations on a theme name list (Barac, Barrack, Obam, Sotro, etc etc).

  3. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 10, 2009 at 7:20 am #

    I went to Google maps and saw the Edit feature (described as “new”) but there is (now) no way to put in an address and a phone number. I wonder if that feature has been removed due to abuse? It was cool, though, that I could fix the location of my own address which was about 150 ft away from where it should have been.

  4. avatar
    saturdaynight February 5, 2009 at 2:18 am #

    By the way, google maps still shows obama’s address and phone number…..its on at 5046 S greenwood ave, and it shows a phone number of (312) 572-2930. that was as of 2/4/09

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 5, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    That is the phone number for Cook County Depts of, Hospitals, Provident Hospital, Ambulatory Service. Looks like another prank.

  6. avatar
    Lamarr01 November 10, 2009 at 9:52 pm #

    The name associated with a phone number doesn’t mean much. Some people put in the name of their dog in the phone book. Somebody in LA wanted to get phone calls for the “other” Barack H. Obama.

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