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California Man Gets Thousands Of Emails Due To Google Glitch

Submitted by on January 26, 2014 – 8:58 amOne Comment

Just a day after Google’s popular email product went down around the world, another much stranger glitch has surfaced. Organic search results for the term “Gmail” produced a link to a Hotmail account, flooding a California man’s inbox with thousands of unwanted messages.

TechCrunch noticed the bug after being tipped off on Saturday, and was able to reproduce it several times. Googling “Gmail” returned a first organic result reading “Gmail- Email from Google,” with a sub-header reading simply “Email.” Clicking on that sub-header would open up a Compose Email window, with a particular Hotmail address already in the address field.

TechCrunch tracked down the address to one David S. Peck of Fresno, California. Peck told the site that he had been receiving thousands of emails, most of them blank. He cleared out his inbox only to find 1,900 new emails the next morning.

SearchEngineLand had reported a similar bug as earlier as Monday. But they noted that the glitch was producing a Compose windows for a Google customer, and did not say if it was always the same one.

Google has now responded to the issue, saying only it was “technical glitch” and had been fixed.

Gmail suffered worldwide outages on Friday. The company says it was due to a software bug, and also said that the glitch causing Peck’s inbox to flood was unrelated. (However, the outages probably caused many people to Google the term “Gmail,” exacerbating the problem.)


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