Google hands
n. Inadvertent images of the hands of scanner operators who are working on digitization projects for Google.
Also Seen As
A couple weeks ago I briefly mentioned the issue of ghostly Google book scanners’ hands appearing in digitized versions of Google’s books.
—Marlena Millikin, “the ghostly disruption of Google hands,” Future of the Book, March 11, 2016
As I was perusing the Google Book scans available at the HathiTrust Digital Library, I came across a couple of hands, inconveniently blocking the pages I wanted to read. It turns out that other people have also run into these Google hands.
—Leah Henrickson, “The Darker Side of Digitization,” Book History, Illuminated, March 20, 2014
There are several collections of Google hands around the Web, each one as creepy as the one Shaykin saw.
—Kenneth Goldsmith, “The Artful Accidents of Google Books,” The New Yorker, December 04, 2013
2009 (earliest)
A collection of problem pages found in Google Books.
—Benjamin Shaykin, “Google Hands,” MFA Thesis, January 01, 2009
The following screenshot nicely reminds us that at the root of the word “digitization” is “digit,” which is from the Latin word “digitus,” meaning finger.
—Dan Cohen, “Google Fingers,”, June 26, 2006