Swastika Appears On Google Trends

A number of people noticed a swastika (卐) on the hot trends list of Google Trends this morning.

Google took the site down with a message that it was undergoing network maintenance and should be available again in a few hours. Then, minutes later, the site was back up, with the swastika still listed as the thirteenth hottest search term.

Google Trends says the query peaked at about 6 am Pacific. The query is actually a Chinese character, but the trends list that it shows up for is U.S. searches. It looks like a successful spamming attempt, but given the number of queries Google handles it looks to be pretty sophisticated – at one point it was the number one query. We’ve pinged Google for a comment.

Update: It’s now been removed or has fallen off the hot trends list.