back to article Google defames Reg columnist Verity Stob

Google’s latest improvement to its web search has produced a catastrophic consequence. The Chocolate Factory now adds biographical information to the search result for a person, drawing on the fantastically accurate well of truth that is Wikipedia, and also adding Google’s best guess of an identifying photograph. When it works …


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  1. frank ly

    After much thought, and some Googling,

    I've come to the conclusion that Verity Stob is in fact, a concept.

    1. LarsG

      Re: After much thought, and some Googling,

      I will of course be suing Google for using my picture without consent.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'd almost forgotten about Diva, the bastard love-child of Julian Assange and Jimmy Savile by way of the Childcatcher, and now you go putting his fizzog back into the fervent nightmares of my consciousness. You utter utter bastards

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Arrrrrrrgh

      Swung around completely: from vigorously fighting one whacky cult to being the frontpiece for another.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has her real identity been put under escrow?

    It would be a pity if that mystery was never to be resolved...

  4. Pete 2

    Time to google myself (again)

    I am pleased to report that none of the Google images for "Pete 2" are me.

    Though I do like one of the Pete2b.jpg shots.

    1. John Gamble

      Re: Time to google myself (again)

      There's one image for me that is me.

      But I rather like the thought that I am a late landscape painter.

    2. KroSha
      Thumb Up

      Re: Time to google myself (again)

      A couple of my avatar pics come up, but not a shot of me

  5. My Alter Ego

    Used to be the same for Margaret Moran

    I should have taken a screen grab of the MP who was feeling too poorly to face trial for fraud (but was chipper enough to visit the local boozer 5 days after the trial ended). Anyhow, I digress - her Google biography photo had her sporting a [very badly] photo-shopped snout. It's still there (bottom right), but sadly not the primary photo.

  6. The Alpha Klutz
    Black Helicopters

    The name Verity Stob was created by the CIA

    look it up

  7. Fugazi

    Now where did they find that?

    They probably trawled it from.. err.. El Reg...

    1. Steve Foster

      Re: Now where did they find that?

      Are you suggesting that Wikipedia lift content from elsewhere? Surely not!!?!?!?!?!?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Neil Greatorex

      Re: Now where did they find that?

      Excellent spot, puts a dampener on the article somewhat..

    3. Notas Badoff

      Re: Now where did they find that?

      It would seem that a certain editor's obsessive reign of terror re WP has wrapped around into a ring of error. It could only get better if looking up said editor would begin to return that same photo.

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Now where did they find that?

      Nice to see that even with all of Google's data centres scattered around the planet they've still managed to confuse a headline with a picture and a completely different subtitle. Or maybe one of their homeworkers was in a rush.

    5. Nick Goldman

      Re: Now where did they find that?

      Which, of course, indicates to us a way that The Reg could remedy matters: I think we need a prominent article, with lots of Verity tags and a lovely new picture of our heroine's choosing.

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  8. NoneSuch Silver badge

    I protect my secret identity with a pair of thick rimmed glasses. Works for Clark Kent and Peter Parker nicely.

    1. KroSha

      Spider-Man wears a full head cowl.

  9. Tiny Iota

    Very meta

    The picture used by Google is actually taken from a previous Register article by Andrew Orlowski (“Verity Stob faces execution, Wikipedia-style” from 2010), so this is a bit of a circular reference. Also, glad to see Google correcting the “Stobb” typo.

  10. I Am Spartacus


    The link to the O'Really article states that El Reg is not only scurrilous (this we knew, it's why we are here) but is also PROFITABLE!

    Who would have thunk it.

    1. PT
      Black Helicopters


      Not only that - the linked article posts a gmail address. If genuine, that means Google knows everything there is to know about Ms Stob including her cat's name, her cell phone number and her shopping history. It also has a picture of her home from the street and a list of wifi signals detectable outside. If Google doesn't display a genuine picture of the lady, it has a reason not to, probably sinister. CONSPIRACY!

  11. Irongut Silver badge

    Yikes! Poor Verity

    That chap looks like someone I know who is usually described as "the gimp on the back of the bike in Mad Max."

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "The only picture of Verity Stob in existence is posed by a model."

    Spotted the wedding ring. My heart is broken.

  13. Mage Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Probably help Verity too.

    "This article on a computer specialist of the United Kingdom is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it."

    Someday I must buy the book.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Probably help Verity too.

      Ah, a Veritable Stub.

      How apt.

  14. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    The wisdom of the crows

    > The noir-lipsticked gent is apparently David Gerard, the erstwhile public face of Wikipedia in the UK.

    But is it ALSO the true face behind "Verity Stob"?

    Your non-denial denials won't faze me!

    1. Aaron Em

      Re: The wisdom of the crows

      Actually I incline to the theory that Ms Stob is a nom de plume for none other than Mr Orlowski himself. Has anyone ever seen them in the same room together? My point precisely!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No one cares

    This isn't a story of any value. It's no surprise google can't find an imagine of some nobody. If you want my neighbour's name then you can write a story about the lack of information on him.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: No one cares

      But apparently one Anonymous Coward cared enough to point out that "No one cares"*) and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. And yes, we know about those zebra crossings, TYVM.

      *) Which is demonstrably false anyway.

  16. An0n C0w4rd

    Rather amusingly, the 3rd link (before the image results) is now this article.

    Still with the bad picture and brief bio to the right though.

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  19. John 62
    Black Helicopters

    Verity Stob is actually...

    (based on the O'Reilly image at least)... Sarah Palin

  20. idiot stick

    Image of Christmas Past?

    Imagery gets worse. Seeking a cover picture of Verity on Amazon, I stumbled upon, which presented a picure of Jerry Pournelle.

    No lady deserves that.

    Best wishes for the Holiday Season and New Year, to both Verity and Parity.

  21. unitron

    So is it Verity or sister Parity... that 2004 encore magazine cover photo?

    And what sort of automobile is that?

  22. Dick Pountain


    Dare I point out that Verity Stob is an anagram of Toby Strive. Mr Strive is a top-secret project currently under development at Tory HQ to replace the outdated John Bull as an icon of middle-english manhood. (He looks like a toby jug wearing a Barbour and driving a white Range Rover Evoque.) Sinister I call it.

    On the other hand she's also an anagram of Tits Or Bevy.

  23. BlueGreen

    'ang on

    this from the start was never about verity but putting the boot into wikipedia - again.

    Sorry, you lost that battle already.

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