Google's mission is to "organize the world's information". Unfortunately, a lot of this information is from crazy right-wingers. First came the Michelle Obama chimp picture in image search. Now, look what happens when you Google "Planned Parenthood":

Yes, that is a gross picture of a dead fetus. In September, Google introduced a new feature on Google Maps called Place Pages, where you can click through and see a little Yelp-type info page of your search result that includes reviews, hours, etc. Apparently someone has managed to get a picture of a dead fetus and a link to a pro-life website on the page for the Bleeker St. Planned Parenthood in Manhattan.

The vandalism appears only to be on the page for this particular Planned Parenthood. How did they do it? The page has been registered with Google's Local Business Center, which means only that business can edit it. So, either a pro-life person registered the page under the guise of Planned Parenthood and uploaded the picture, or it was legitimately registered by Planned Parenthood and hacked into. (The second case seems more likely, as all the other info on the page is correct.) Or maybe the Bleeker St. Planned Parenthood just felt like they were getting too busy.

This isn't the first time Google Maps has been used as the site of political conflict: Last month, the Times covered the controversy sparked when some Indians used Google's crowd-sourced Map Maker program to try to claim disputed Kashmir territory as their own. Users have become increasingly sophisticated in the ways they game an increasingly sophisticated Google to political ends; the challenge for Google is to find a way to regulate this stuff in the future and guarantee good search results without tripping the censorship wire.

We've come a long way from "Miserable Failure".