Sunday, May 13, 2012 | 11:27 a.m.
Overnight and into this morning, Google scared Sun readers from visiting stories displayed on our homepage, displaying a screen that warned that the page had been blocked for security reasons. It allowed readers to ignore the warning, but suggested that would come at the risk of great peril. Another option for readers was to click on the button “Get me out of here!”
That was rather unsettling. With that exclamation point, who dared proceed?
But yet, Google’s own supporting information (available to readers who clicked on the button “Why was this page blocked?”) reported that in 337 random pages it tested over the past 90 days, it found no evidence of malicious software. None. Moreover, Google said that our website was not serving as an intermediary for any viruses. In other words, we were clean.
Despite this, Google was scaring our readers away. It seemed that the only piece of bad software on our site today was Google’s frightening messages. This is Mother’s Day, not April Fool’s Day.
Please rest assured that the security we employ to keep our website clean of viruses and other malicious software is state-of-the-art, and for good reason. We are a Pulitzer Prize-winning news organization and our website has been honored in four of the past five years as the best in the country. We don’t want anyone messing with us.
We are very concerned that Google could scare readers away from our stories, and we are investigating how this occurred. If you were among our early-morning readers, we apologize for the inconvenience and thanks for coming back.