Earlier this week, I decided to Google myself in case I’d become a famous writer and just not realized it. I had not. But I did make a gruesome discovery: some company calling itself “JLove” — a company I have never even heard of, much less patronized, thought of or spoken about — has chosen to use my good name in an endorsement of its alleged matchmaking services. In other words, go to Google, search for me and then scroll down to the third or fourth result. You will see the following:
To meet hot, single Jewish girls like [the brilliant writer behind the renowned WordPress blog “The Letter T”], sign up for JLove! Create your own profile and get in touch with [the brilliant writer behind the renowned WordPress blog “The Letter T”] TODAY — it’s the most dating fun you can have!
As inner rage boiled up in my throat, I went to JLove.com to see if I could determine how in God’s creation they had gotten my name. Bizarrely, what I found was basically a list of every single combination of every single first and every single Jewish last name under the sun. Along with mine, I was able to track down that of almost every Jew I knew. When I clicked on the names, nothing happened. The site didn’t seem to actually DO or SELL anything. I then Googled all of my friends to see if anyone else was cropping up in a JLove-related search result. Nope. That honor was reserved just for me! How lucky am I?!
Absolutely mortified, I called our kindly IT guy and then our kindly search engine optimization guy. We looked up a few different names on a few different computers. Each time, the name in question appeared on JLove, but only mine came up when we conducted the Google search. It was totally weird and no one could figure it out.
Now, you might be asking yourself, “What’s the big deal?” But let’s review the facts of the case. First of all, I wouldn’t want to unknowingly “endorse” ANY web site, product or service I’d never used, be it shampoo, toothpaste or a dating service. Moreover, this means that anyone out there — a future potential employer, my current boss, a catty friend of Jan’s from New Jersey — can simply conduct a quick Google search (albeit, assuming the give a rat’s ass) and mistakenly learn that I am single, Jewish and trying to experience “the most dating fun I can have” by using JLove’s “services.” The part about me being “hot” I think I can live with. But the point is, it’s a total violation of privacy! And a flat-out lie!
Anyhoo, I couldn’t let it go. I tried to get in touch with JLove to find out why they were picking on ME. Why not one of the 25 Jessica Abramowitzsmanbergs or seven Adam Kleinenfeldenshteins? Those people were probably married, carrying Kooba bags and living in giant 2-bedroom apartments on West End Avenue — they could handle this! There was no phone number listed anywhere on the site. I filled out a “Contact Us” form demanding information, but of course got no response. I found the address of their alleged HQ — one in Beverly Hills and one in Toronto — and called information for a number. No listing for JLove existed. I had the 411 chick cross-reference the addresses to see what company really occupied the sham JLove offices. In Beverly Hills, it was a film company whose name was something like “Double Buttercup Productions” and almost certainly produced the kind of cinema usually stashed in nighttable drawers. In Toronto, the operator could only say “Eh?”
My last resort was Google itself. Thanks to my ultra-impressive journalistic skills — honed on the gritty streets of the Lower East Side in the 1990s — I was able to obtain directions for informing Google about objectionable content merely by going to the Google homepage and typing in the phrase “objectionable material.”
Unfortunately, “objectionable material,” in Google’s eyes, really referred to public dissemination of bank accounts numbers, social security numbers and/or the works of Double Buttercup Productions. A curious ex-husband or boss was just not menacing enough, it seemed, to warrant an email from Google.
So, while this blog and my master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia and my press releases and my interview in The Post sit unnoticed at the bottom of the search results page, my ringing, humiliating endorsement of a sham SINGLES web site greets all who are looking for me. FABULOUS!