Remember Pearl Harbor, lest it become "outdated content"

I try to remember every year. And I can't think of a better reason than the fact that (unlike Bing) Google would have us forget.

So what did I do? In spite of if not because of the obvious irony involved, I promptly Googled Google on the subject and found a Google discussion -- titled "Why is there no Google Doodle in honor of December 7th? (Pearl Harbor)."

Right up at the top, a red bar warns, "This discussion contains outdated content."

As outdated as remembering Pearl Harbor, no doubt.

Like this outdated remark from a whole year ago:

12/7/09 Have we already forgotten about "a date that will live in infamy"? Then again it looks like people have already forgot about what actually happened on 9/11 as well...
Or, how about a turkey doodle day?
12/7/09 You can do "Turkish National Day" but not pearl harbor day?? The Japaneses market will probably be offended I'm sure.....I'm using Bing!
For that occasion, Google very thoughtfully turned one of their O's into an Islamic crescent.

turkey10-hp.jpg

Then there was this outdated comment:

12/8/09 They devote a week and a half to Sesame Street, yet don't observe Pearl Harbor Day, the birthday of the Constitution and the birthday's of our military branches. I'm waiting to see if they are going to observe the birthday of the Bill of Rights. I did notice that their competetion, Bing.com, is observing Pearl Harbor Day in the memory of those who lost their lives and did our nation a great service. Without them, they probably wouldn't have a job. And I may have found a new search engine. I talk loudly and proudly and my friends will get wind of what has happened today.
In memory of those who lost their lives and continue to fight each and every day!
~Jessica
One less Google user
Things were even worse than poor Jessica imagined. Google did snub the birthday of the Bill of Rights, but they didn't just leave the plain old Google logo: they substituted a special logo to celebrate the birthday of LL Zamenhof:
Today is the 118th anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Bill of Rights, but the buzz is not about the ten amendments. Instead, it is all about what search engine Google did, or rather did not do today. Internet is on fire right now with people discussing why Google chose to honor the 150th birthday of the 'father' of Esperanto L.L. Zamenhof rather than honoring the anniversary of the signing of the Bill of Rights, a milestone event in the history of the United States.
I guess now that it's a year later, that issue is "outdated content."

Why would Google think the invention of a language that faded into near total obscurity is more important than the Bill of Rights?

I think Glenn put it well.

"They're citizens of the world at Google."
I prefer being a citizen of the United States who remembers Pearl Harbor.

UPDATE: Many thanks to Glenn Reynolds for linking this post, and a warm welcome to all.

Comments appreciated, agree or disagree.

UPDATE: Co-blogger M. Simon is a veteran whose father served in World War II. Check out his Pearl Harbor Day post.

posted by Eric on 12.07.10 at 03:05 PM










Comments

Hear, hear!!

John S.   ·  December 7, 2010 5:23 PM

So they noted Turkey's national day in Turkey, with the Turkish flag.

They also did Canada day in Canada, and the Fourth of July (with the US flag!) in the US.

The problem, I am not seeing it.

(That said, I appreciate Bing's sensibilities around American history.)

Sigivald   ·  December 7, 2010 6:29 PM

i would love to leave google, but having an android and using almost their entire suite of products, sadly i don't see it happening.

kurt mueller   ·  December 7, 2010 6:31 PM
M. Simon   ·  December 7, 2010 6:41 PM

Surely someone at Google realizes there is a click for Bing behind every blade of grass.

arlo   ·  December 7, 2010 7:20 PM

Last straw. Sigh, but now I have to also move off gmail; what a pain.

Fred the Fourth   ·  December 7, 2010 7:28 PM

Perhaps Google should just skip the fun logos and stick with a simple, boring corporate image that won't offend anyone.

It's just a logo. Someone at Google has a little fun drawing up a logo that celebrates something random. Why are you looking into some deep meaning any time they miss an important day?

aragul   ·  December 7, 2010 7:55 PM

I'm curious and hope someone can provide an honest answer. Did Google do anything to mark the anniversary of Hiroshima or Nagasaki? If they did and didn't include Pearl Harbor, that would be very telling.

Larry J   ·  December 7, 2010 8:43 PM

I agree, Google has pulled too many of these little stunts, I stopped using Google a few months ago, don't miss it, there are other search engines out there.

Patrick   ·  December 7, 2010 10:03 PM

I moved over to Bing because of this. Google's motto is "Don't Be Evil", but they are developing a postmodernist idea of what that means.

Ellen   ·  December 7, 2010 10:29 PM

There is a segment of the non US Google users who are annoyed at US symbols and days of note... but on the other hand, others might be interested and 'google' them as they come up... and learn something about the US system and history... I've read about students in China who could quote Lincoln at length.. US history giving them an alternative to the ideology taught to them in school... this is a good thing. No reason for us to shy away from our history or what our revolution brought to the world. If Google employees are ashamed of it, they’re the problem… not the history…

Thomass   ·  December 7, 2010 11:23 PM

Another Google user moving to Bing. I am thinking about moving from Yahoo also. Thanks.

Zain   ·  December 7, 2010 11:25 PM

Google's motto aside, their ethos is ,"Don't be American".

ccoffer   ·  December 8, 2010 12:24 AM

Bets on whether tomorrow grants us a John Lennon doodle?

The media is doing everything in their power to convince the world that the only outrageous thing to happen in history the first week of December happened on a Manhattan streetcorner in 1980.

arminius   ·  December 8, 2010 8:22 AM

Oops, I forgot to look at the date, and no John Lennon doodle. They had one last year though. http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2010/10/googles-john-lennon-doodle.html

Anyway, the point still stands about the media generally. Far more writeups about the 1980 story over the the 1941 story.

arminius   ·  December 8, 2010 8:26 AM

I also found it curious that the National Geographic Channel chose last night to air a Lisa Ling piece on Hiroshima. Nothing on Pearl Harbor.

RickC   ·  December 8, 2010 11:05 AM

I know their servers can track IP addresses. They can tell in what city and country your request originated. So any competent webmaster can create tables that match appropriate logo cartoons for the holidays/anniversaries appropriate to each country/language. Google Corporation chooses to not do this.

We know Muslim theocracies don't celebrate Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Sesame Street, Women's rights or any other civil liberties. And I sure as shot won't celebrate ramadan. But being respectful to your customers is a basic rule of business no matter what country/language you work in.

So why is Google corporation pretending to be all International Citizen of the World. Because the clouds of SMUG are strong in their fantasyland.

Number Six   ·  December 8, 2010 11:16 AM

Why do people expect Google or Bing or anybody to put doodles commemorating anything on their search page? I haven't minded the occasional, random, doodle about some obscure or famous, meaningless or meaningful, event. But I've noticed an increase lately in the doodle nonsense
and it's getting old.
Hasn't it occured to anyone that getting search-page doodle recognition might be more commercial and trivializing than it is respectfully memorial?

Mom   ·  December 8, 2010 9:14 PM

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