One of Google's programmers was adding websites to the malware registry when he accidentally entered "/" instead of a full URL.
Look waaaaay up at the top of your browser screen, above all those toolbars, and you'll notice an Internet address. We're willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that, whether you're reading this on Cracked or one of the many Indian blogs that steals our content, the URL contains a backslash. That's because most URLs begin "HTTP://www," and backslashes separate different segments of the address. The backslash is to URLs what spaces are to written sentences.
Or what the f-word is to longshoremen.
That means that for a brief period of time after old butterfingers' backslash key mash gaff (suck it, New York Post), Google began telling the world that every website in existence was unsafe for your computer and shouldn't be visited. The vast, dumb hordes of algorithmic slaves that handle the search engine's dirty work set out to dutifully warn Internet users of the new danger.
For close to an hour on January 31, every single website was flagged as possibly harmful, and Google blocked all users from visiting those suspicious sites. Which were all the sites everywhere, including Google's own pages. Google quickly fixed and fessed up to their goof, which helped to distract us all from the terrifying knowledge that the whole Internet is one keystroke away from disappearing behind a wall of warning messages.
"Sure, we occasionally crash the world's primary communication apparatus. At least we aren't Bing."