Sex columnist, humorist, activist and gay hero DAN SAVAGE successfully Google bombs radical (now former) Republican Senator Rick Santorum with a redefinition of Santorum’s distinctive surname:
santorum: [pronunciation: san-TOR-um] Function: noun — a sexual neologism for a “frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.
The term was proposed in 2003 to “memorialize” then U.S. Senator Santorum from Pennsylvania, in response to the controversy over Santorum’s statements on homosexuality. In an April 2003 interview with the Associated Press, Santorum stated, “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery.” Santorum further stated that he believed consenting adults do not have a constitutional right to privacy with respect to sexual acts. As a result, Savage asked his readers to submit new definitions for the term. The word became a successful Google bomb when Savage created a website for it, which unseated the Senator’s official website as the top search result for his surname on the Google web search engine.
The winning definition was submitted by “Wipe Up That Santorum, Anal Pokers” in Savage’s May 29, 2003 column. Votes were collected by e-mail, and the winning definition was announced June 12; Savage concluded by asking for questions about santorum, and urged his readers to get the word out. Savage has said that the winner was a “perfect fit,” as there was no prior name for it. Santorum, he explained, is “unwelcome. If you’re doing [anal sex] right, it’s not gonna happen, and if it happens, it’s a bit of a killjoy, which is what it would be if the actual senator strolled into the room.”
Savage set up a website, santorum.com. The site, also known as Spreading Santorum, gives the definition of the term “santorum,” under which a brown, splattered stain appears on the otherwise-white page. After this…ahem…splash page, the site features letters to Savage tracking the dissemination of the term. The site includes a video of a person asking Santorum about the term at a town meeting-style forum and a letter that Santorum sent to a man in California outlining his objections to the “obscenity” of the website. Savage considered he had met his goal of “rubbing it in [Santorum’s] nose.”
Santorum ran for the Republican nomination for President in 2012 and in 2016. The high Google ranking of santorum.com in searches for his name was seen as a problem for him in 2012. One reputation management professional who specialized in helping individuals with such issues commented, “It’s devastating. This is one of the more creative and salient Google issues I’ve ever seen.” He managed to offend most voters even without the aid of Savage. His main campaign issues were opposing gay rights and opposing birth control. Nevertheless, he won eleven primaries and caucuses, which should give everyone pause, and received nearly four million votes. Santorum officially endorsed Romney on May 7, 2012 after coming in second for the nomination (he avers).
Check it out here: http://www.spreadingsantorum.com