Which is mightier, the pen or the search engine? On October 19, Fortune editor Andy Serwer blogged a short-lived rumor that Google cofounder Larry Page will marry girlfriend Lucy Southworth on December 7. Short-lived, because the passage about the smooch-prone couple's happy news quickly disappeared from the page:
Wedding Pages: Okay, you may have heard that Larry Page of Google is getting married. A friend of a friend of mine got this information via e-mail. The information did not include the bride's name (Lucy?) nor the location of the wedding. The wedding will be held on the weekend of December 7th. Some guests, depending on their location, will be leaving the evening of December 6th and others will be leaving the morning of December 7th. Guests will have the choice of leaving either the 10th or the 12th. A valid passport will be necessary for the event and it should be valid for more than 6 months after the event. (That last bit is a baffling.) You may remember that Sergey Brin married Anne Wojcicki earlier this year.None of that shows up on the current version of the post. And the Google cache returns the edited post. Yahoo, however, obliges. (Go figure.) A screenshot of the original post after the jump.
We haven't heard back from Serwer yet, so we're left with a host of questions: Did Google demand that Serwer take down the passage, and if so, why did he comply? Did the search engine scrub the older version from its Web cache? And why did CNNMoney, which host's Serwer's blog, not acknowledge the erasure with a correction, if it was wrong, or an editor's note?
For now, all I know is that the next time I see Larry Page on the cover of Fortune, I'm going to think about this incident — and ask myself what Fortune gave up to get him there.