USA Today's "Big Black" Robot Cock-Up
You see the above headline as it originally appeared, and can at this moment still be found via the Google cache of USA Today's story about Otty Sanchez's gruesome alleged murder of her young son and attempted suicide in San Antonio, Texas.
The item has since its publication last week been taken down, leaving a mild "We can't seem to find the page you are looking for" page in its place. (You can still read the Sanchez story at USA Today under the more fitting headline, "Family: Decapitated baby's mother was schizophrenic.")
The Black Cock version was probably removed after a reader, who noticed a link from a story about Wil Wheaton and sex toys with that intriguing headline, found it and notified the paper, which wrote back thanking him for "calling our attention to the inappropriate content ," and explaining...
"We have a number of automated services that provide content to us. One of them picked up a headline from a blog that had previously featured legitimate content from an artist. Obviously that blogger has taken a different direction with his content."
Presumably they meant this Warren Ellis item about a sex toy show at Toys in Babeland, the relevance of which to the murder of Scott Wesley Buchholtz-Sanchez we can't fathom -- though USA Today's robots apparently could.
Many news organizations use automated services to find news. In this case they may have simply malfunctioned. Or it may be that, as in Capek's R.U.R., the robots have decided to pursue their own agenda.