Persian Gulf or #&#% Gulf? Iranians Prickly Over the Name

Typing the search term “Arabian Gulf” into the Internet search engine Google brings up a list of results topped by a link to what looks like a standard “page unavailable” error message.

But it isn’t an error message. Instead, the Web page says, “The gulf you are looking for is unavailable. No body of water by that name has ever existed. The correct name is Persian Gulf, which always has been, and will always remain, Persian.”

Using a method known as “Google bombing,” thousands of Iranian bloggers managed in late 2004 to manipulate the search engine results, pushing the “Arabian Gulf” search term to the top of the list — a position it retains today.


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