Matt Drudge, creator of the Drudge Report, took aim at Google Tuesday after the search giant apparently labeled his hugely popular site as "malware."
"Looks like GOOGLE doesn't like DRUDGE REPORT headlines, this morning. Be a man, Sergey!" Drudge tweeted Tuesday morning, along with the below image:
"Sergey" is a reference to Sergey Brin, the billionaire co-founder of Google. The "malware" designation is generally reserved for sites that install unwanted software on visitors' computers and engage in other shady practices, which it appears the Drudge Report likely doesn't do, as such a warning no longer appeared when clicking on links to the site in various Google search results Tuesday afternoon.
The Drudge Report was one of the first, and remains one of the most prominent, news aggregation sites on the Web, and with its right-leaning brand of politics it has helped to shape the discourse since its founding more than 15 years ago.
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Drudge shot to national fame in 1998, when he broke the story that Newsweek was witholding information about an inappropriate relationship between a White House intern (who turned out to be Monica Lewinsky) and President Bill Clinton, after which the magazine published the scandalous account.
Since then he has used his no-frills site as a jumping-off point for people interested in seeing a breakdown of the day's news as filtered through a mostly conservative lens, populating it with articles on politics, public affairs and intrigue.
The site is a Web traffic giant, generating more than 11.6 billion visits over the past year, according to a hit-couting widget on the site. It is so influential that in 2008 a former Mitt Romney presidential campaign press secretary described Matt Drudge as "an assignment editor for the National Press Corps."