Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Google attacked for 'demeaning' our war dead with unspectacular Remembrance Day poppy tribute

Labour MP Gerry Sutcliffe criticised the gesture made by the search engine on Armistice Day

Is this demeaning Britain's war dead? Search engine giant Google placed a small poppy symbol beneath the search bar to mark Armistice Day.

Google has responded to criticism today after a Labour MP, along with social media users, attacked the use of a Remembrance Day poppy on its UK homepage.

The search engine giant placed a small poppy symbol beneath the search bar to mark Armistice Day.

However, the gesture came under fire from Labour MP Gerry Sutcliffe who told the Telegraph: "Around Remembrance Day it is demeaning not to have something that is spectacular.”

According to the paper Mr Sutcliffe said he hoped designers would try harder next year.

Social media users were also angered by what they saw as a disrespectful tribute to the war dead and compared it to the homepage of search engine Bing which featured a larger tribute picture.

"Compare Google's pathetic poppy with the majestic display on bing.com. I suggest searching on Bing...", one wrote.

"Really Google, a tiny, minuscule poppy?", said another.

Another added: "No way that tiny little poppy is all #google does for Remembrance Day".

Another said: “Surprised by Google. Big doodles for scientists, inventors, anniversaries etc, but teeny tiny poppy for Remembrance Day? #showsomerespect”

However, some thought the row was unnecessary and like Google's subtle tribute.

"I think Google's little poppy doodle is sweet and dignified. I think BINGs splash page is trashy and looks like a poor desktop background," one Twitter user wrote.

"What is this nonsense criticising @google for their poppy? It was understated and respectful, sorry it wasn't gaudy enough", another added.

A Google spokesman said in response: "We try to be sensitive that a doodle is sometimes not the most appropriate way to recognise certain events, especially those that are more somber in nature.

"But in cases where there are events that are important and meaningful for our users and that a doodle may not necessarily be a good fit for, we recognise such events through a commemorative graphic, which appears on our homepage."

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