Amazon, eBay, Raging Bull Advertising Boy’s ‘Male Equipment’

TERRELL, TEXAS ( – What began as an insecure boy’s search for self-esteem ended in shock and embarrassment for a 15-year-old Texas youth who discovered last week that Internet retailers such as eBay and Amazon claimed to have information on – and in some cases were offering to buy and sell – his privates.

According to Bobby Hanson, a high school sophomore in this Dallas suburb, last Tuesday he was searching the Net, “trying to provide some centering for my male self-esteem,” and decided to search for “Bobby Hanson’s privates” at directory site LookSmart. The hunt quickly turned humiliating. While all the supposed Web page matches for “Bobby Hanson’s privates” turned out to be irrelevant, sponsors on the site actually had much to say on the subject.
(Ed. Note: the following screen images are NOT fictional; they are real. Sites actually do this. Try it yourself.):

Actual results from LookSmart

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Hanson. “People had written books about my privates? EBay was willing to auction my privates? How come not one of them asked my permission first?”

According to search firm executives, there is a simple reason. Many search portals and directories have advertising agreements with other sites, including retailers. When a searcher inputs a term, those keywords are automatically inserted into sponsor ads that appear with search results. As a result, said a LookSmart spokesperson, “I can assure Mr. Hanson that his genitals are not being auctioned at eBay. The only reason those references show up is because he specifically typed in ‘Bobby Hanson’s privates.'”

“And it’s a good thing I did,” Hanson responded. “Otherwise, how would I have known about this widespread abuse?

“If it’s true that my privates aren’t really for sale at eBay,” he continued, “then I don’t think they should advertise that they are. As for, I’m sorry, but I’ve never met anyone there, so I don’t think they qualify as experts on my privates. I’m not even an expert on my privates.”

However, Bobby’s mother, Evelyn Hanson, questioned that claim. “Bobby spends an awfully long time in the bathroom,” she said, particularly after watching episodes of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

While unnerved by his mother’s comments, Hanson said he would save his venom for the likes of search site HotBot, where after typing in ‘Bobby Hanson’s Privates,’ he saw:


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