Monday, January 1, 2018

Mysteries of the Internet

Ever since Clarissa Wei wrote the first article about me, and launching a secondary career of writing about Chinese restaurant subjects, I have been regularly Googling myself (using the search term "David Chan Chinese restaurant") to see if people have been talking about me or my articles.  In so doing I have come across a number of inexplicable anomalies, such as incoherent brief references to past articles in foreign websites, Google search summaries that clearly mention me where the quoted text does not appear at all in the linked website, a linked website automatically forwarding to an unrelated random website, and on my own blog, the listing of referring websites from other totally unrelated, random websites.

However, I recently came across the most puzzling anomaly of all.  The Google search on my Blackberry Android pulled up a link to a website "" and what appeared to be a discussion of one or more Chinese restaurant articles I have written.  Typically this kind of hit links to a site which does contain "David Chan" and "Chinese restaurants", but not complete sentences, and also mentioning numerous other random people.  However, while still not a polished article, the references were semi-coherent and mostly about me.

The entire "article" was over 2,000 words long, and made reference to numerous articles about me and by me from a number of different publications, from Clarissa's initial article five years ago to an article that quoted me just a few days ago.  Indeed there were references to so many different articles that it was almost like somebody was stalking me.

But then here is where things get really weird.  The same Google search on my old Blackberry pulled up the same hit--but the link sent me directly to a porn site.  And then, the same Google search on my laptop did not provide the corresponding hit at all.   But when I went to the website on my laptop, it sent me to a website offering some kind of possibly sketchy software download.

My guess is that there are scammers out there targeting people who Google themselves either to drive traffic to particular website, or perhaps worse, to infect their computers.  But exactly what is going on is a real mystery that I doubt if I will ever solve.


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