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Posted by Sebastian on Feb 14, 2009
In 2006 AOL foolishly released a text file on one of its websites containing twenty million search keywords over a 3-month period. Before realizing their mistake, the file had been mirrored and distributed on the internet.
None of the records on the file are directly personally identifiable but each user is identified on the list by a unique number, which enables the compilation of a user's search history (New York Times actually managed to identify some of the users).
Now, the history of one of these anonymous users as been made into an experimental episodic documentary called 'I Love Alaska'. The movie tells the 'true search history' of User #711391 - an obese religious woman from Texas, who is looking for a way to rejuvenate her sex life. She cheats on her husband with a man she met online but regrets her deceit and dreams of a new life in Alaska.
I Love Alaska is made by Lernert Engelberts and Sander Plug for MiniMovies - a platform for documentaries made for the digital age.