Googled SDA this week? We were surprised, too.
August 31, 2018
Google search results for San Dieguito Academy were altered Sunday evening to display inaccurate and derogatory details, which included explicit language. The information was corrected and the issue was resolved Wednesday morning, according to Principal Adam Camacho. These alterations included three name changes, a profile picture change, and multiple comments along with some categorical changes.
However, as of Friday, a comment that appeared to come from the school said, “yeah we gay keep scrolling” remained in the Google knowledge panel.
“Obviously these [changes] are not our name,” said Camacho. “It’s inappropriate and embarrassing.” Awareness of the changes “snowballed” as students began posting pictures of the prank on multiple social media platforms, he said.
Camacho was alerted to the issue via an email from a concerned parent on Sunday night. In addition to inquiries from students, teachers, alumni and parents, administrators were also contacted by colleges and law enforcement.
The school district technology department was unaware for multiple years that “the ownership of our entities were released,” Camacho said, causing the information to be opened to public access. The site “works a lot like Wikipedia, where it is just open to the public,” said Camacho.”
This allowed someone to essentially “claim ownership” of San Dieguito’s Google and Google Maps information, the principal said. The administration contacted Google in order to regain control over the affected information, which normally takes up to 10 days. Thanks to a former SDA student who now works for Google, the administration regained “ownership” quickly, Camacho said.
The name changes included “gay heaven Academy,” “i hate dr mario Academy,” and “f**k blue lives Academy,” while the profile picture was swapped out for a picture of Scrat, the saber-toothed squirrel from “Ice Age.”
The situation was first dealt with as a possible threat, but administrators now consider it a prank since no one was harmed. At the moment, there is no way of tracking down the offender, Camacho said, since all connections lead to an unknown IP address. “Rest assured though, if it was anyone in our school or district, if we knew the identity of the person, we would pass the information along to law enforcement.”