Google Thinks 9/11 Is Just Another DayGoogle Thinks 9/11 Is Just Another Day
Google runs special versions of its home page to mark everything from the Persian new year to the birthday of Diego Velazquez (who?). So what's on the search giant's Web site today--the seventh anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and UA Flight 93? As of Noon Eastern, nothing.
September 11, 2008
Google runs special versions of its home page to mark everything from the Persian new year to the birthday of Diego Velazquez (who?). So what's on the search giant's Web site today--the seventh anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and UA Flight 93? As of Noon Eastern, nothing.To their credit, both MSN.com and Yahoo are running 9/11 features front and center on their home pages, as is InformationWeek.com. Google? Zip. Nada. (The automated Google News service doesn't count.)
The murder of 3,000 individuals by Islamic fanatics on September 11, 2001 is, to Google, apparently less important than the first hot air balloon flight, which the company commemorated on June 4 with a stylized logo in which a balloon replaces one of the O's. And 9/11, according to Google's worldview, is also less significant than Communist Russia's Sputnik launch, Marc Chaggall's birthday, and the idiotic "Earth Day". Google marked all of those events with special logos. It did the same for the 50th anniversary of LEGO. But the fact that more than 300 New York City firefighters and countless others died heroically on 9/11? In the minds of Sergey Brin and Larry Page, that's less important than the birthday of someone named Walter Gropius (celebrated on Google's home page on May 18th). So what's going on? Is this a simple omission on Google's part? Not likely. I've been covering big business long enough to know that, in the words of a former NYU prof of mine, the late, great Ed Diamond,"no sparrow falls by accident." Here's my speculation: The Google camp is a big Barack Obama supporter. According to Wired, Google employee contributions to Obama's campaign outpaced their contributions to John McCain by about 45 to 1 as of February. Reminding folks that the world is still full of nutcases (masquerading as political combatants) who want to destroy America, well, that's just not convenient when your candidate of choice has no foreign policy experience and less executive experience than even, say, the former mayor of a small town, is it?. C'mon Google, the day is still young. It's not too late to honor the memory of 9/11 victims. Put something up on your homepage! (I've called Google asking for an explanation. No response yet, but I'll update this blog if I hear back from the company.) Update @ 12:02 Below is Google's response, in whole: "We have a group of Googlers that select the doodles that appear on Google. We gather ideas for doodles from Googlers and from our users. The doodle selection process aims to celebrate interesting events and anniversaries around the world that reflect Google's personality and love of innovation. Although we are aware that our list of doodles is not exhaustive, we try to select doodles that show creativity and innovation in a fun, quirky way. Generally, we choose doodles from a variety of categories, such as those that celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of artists and inventors. We try to be sensitive that a doodle is not the most appropriate way to recognize certain events, especially those that are more somber in nature." That's a fair response, but it doesn't ring entirely true. For instance, why does Google commemorate Veteran's Day, a somber occasion that honors the memory of fallen servicemen and women, but not 9/11?
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