Marek W., a 23-year-old Polish man from Cieszyn, is facing up to three years in prison for writing a piece of search engine optimization (SEO) software that committed the atrocious and horrifying act of insulting his president.
The software, an amateur “black hat” program used for SERP manipulation, would return a specified site in the #1 position for a given keyword on Google. The problem for Marek, according to the Polish government, wasn’t that the test site he used was www.prezydent.pl, but that the keyword which returned it in the #1 position on Google was kutas, or “penis” in English.
The Polish police found Marek fairly easily, as they traced his IP address to his home, where he had been testing the software. At the preliminary hearing, his explanation for using the presidential Web site and the derogatory keyword was “I just wanted to verify my skills and check if the software works.” Apparently it does, a little too well.
Am I the only one that thinks this whole situation is absurd? The Polish government potentially imprisoning a 23-year-old for writing some software that inferences the Polish president as a penis. Heck, if citizens could get arrested for insulting their government officials then I think it’s a safe bet to assume that half the global population would be in jail.
It’s news like this that makes you think negatively about where the world is heading, with all the war and disease and environmental problems happening around the globe, you have a government imprisoning citizens for referring to an official as a penis on the Internet.
A big thanks to Bart for pointing this out on his blog. Let me know if there is anything us fellow bloggers can do to support him.