The Connor family may be doing a great job preventing Skynet from becoming self-aware and declaring war on humanity, but Google apparently isn’t taking any chances. The internet giant has quietly uploaded a “killer-robots.txt” Easter egg file that tells Terminators to avoid hunting down the company’s co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. There’s more to this joke text than stopping murderous automatons from the movies, of course. It’s really there to mark the 20th anniversary of robots.txt, the document you put on a site to exclude pages from Google’s search crawler. However, it does make us wonder why Google didn’t see fit to save people like Andy Rubin or Sundar Pichai, surely it would expect those behind Android to get some mercy from androids.
If our world should ever be overrun by Terminators, Larry Page and Sergey Brin may end up surviving humanity’s annihilation. The killing machines haven’t yet arrived, but Google is already taking precautions. It’s uploaded a killer-robots.txt file to its servers that instructs T-800 and T-1000 Terminators to spare the company’s co-founders — or “disallow” their deaths, to be more specific. The Easter egg’s appearance on Google’s website coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Robots.txt file, a tool created in 1994 that instructs search engines and other automated bots to avoid crawling certain pages or directories of a website. The industry has done a remarkable job staying true to the simple text file in the two decades since; Google, Bing, and Yahoo still obey its directives. But unfortunately for Larry and Sergey, there’s no telling if Skynet will be so kind. Google also forgot to mention the ruthless T-X seen in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, an omission that could prove fatal. Then again, maybe it’s not Skynet and Terminators we should be worried about. Google is already working on its own (very real) robot army, though calling it a group of “machines that kill people” seems a bit extreme — at least for now.