Is MSNBC.com Blocking Searches for WikiLeaks? UPDATE: Probably Not

We’ve been seeing on Twitter and Reddit that something fishy is going on with MSNBC’s search function: An attempt to search for “WikiLeaks” yields zero results. Searches for “Rachel Maddow” and “polar bears,” meanwhile, seem to be working just fine.

A search for “Wikileak” yields results from around the Web, but nothing from the MSNBC site.

This is odd, because MSNBC.com has a story on the video WikiLeaks published today of U.S. military personnel firing on 12 people in Iraq. The AP has confirmed the video’s authenticity with a senior U.S. military official.

It’s unclear whether this is a prank, a technical glitch or something else. We’re waiting to hear from an MSNBC spokesperson. We’ll update when we hear more.

UPDATE: Xeni Jardin at Boing Boing is all over the story, both at Boing Boing and on Twitter:

Bing itself lets you do that search just fine, so long as you don’t restrict it to site:msnbc.com. Compare to the same query at Bing restricted to Fox. The kicker: if you misspell wikileaks in MSNBC’s search box, it returns error-corrected results.

Surely it can’t be censorshop, given that MSNBC’s own Rachel Maddow posted the video on her official blog earlier today and is following the story closely!

UPDATE 2: An MSNBC.com spokesperson tells us, “We’ve discovered a technical glitch and are working on fixing it.”

UPDATE 3: A search for WikiLeaks on MSNBC.com now yields some results.