Google is currently criticized for making its Doodle in honor of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month low-key. However, the gay community is probably overreacting in light of certain facts. While not to marginalize the consistent and, indeed, at times institutionalized discrimination against gays in America and in the American workplace, the fact remains that Google is one of the best employers for gay and lesbians in the country. Yet, some imply that Google isn’t doing enough? Ridiculous.
How Google Hides Gay Pride Doodle.
Google’s Doodle this month for gay and lesbian pride month is the small rainbow appended to the end of the search bar. However, the unique thing about this Doodle is that it will only appear if you type in certain gay related search terms. So, Google isn’t really educating people in the fact that it is Pride Month, since most of the people searching for these terms probably already know it is Pride Month. In fact, this Doodle won’t be seen by the majority of people searching. Even words like “dyke,” “tranny,” and “butch” don’t bring up the doodle; though “queer” and “transgender” do. By doing this, the company hides gay pride Doodles. This does admittedly seem unfair, as other major holidays simply get their own Doodle on the main page and all searches.
Google offered a recent rebuttal to the situation, stating that it is difficult to choose events and holidays to commemorate and that they would like to commemorate many events in the future. This is a noncommittal statement at best. It is likely they wish to avoid fanning the flames of the debate with a more definitive statement.
Why Did Google Hide The Gay Pride Doodle?
Google was criticized by anti-gay groups last month for its commercial in support of the It Gets Better Project, an organization that provides support for LGBTQ teens in difficulty. This may have prompted the company to be more low-key with its support for the community over pride month, only to receive criticisms from the gay community, with journalist Nicholas Jackson expressing his disappointment. Google seems to receive criticism coming and going on this issue!
Why Google Doesn’t Owe Anyone a Doodle.
Google is a company first. Why does it seem a vacillating move for Google to avoid alienating its customers? Whether people making searches on their website are right in their anti-gay views or not is a matter of opinion and ideology. The sad fact remains that there is a large subset of Google search users that would be offended by a Doodle promoting pride for the homosexual community on their search homepages. A company’s first obligation is to please its customers, clients, and users, or at least as many as possible. Hence the Gay and Lesbian Pride Month Doodle compromise.
Finally, Google Doodles were initiated as a fun gag. They became so popular with both employees and the public that they became a regular recurring feature. They tend to be creative, cool, and/or worth a laugh. Most often, they are all three. That being said, they are entirely up to the discretion of the company and its designers. As intellectual property and products of the creative process, Google doesn’t owe anyone a Doodle of their very own. Not you, not me, and not the gay community. Google hides gay pride doodles because it feels that it must placate a portion of its user community, and in every other aspect is at the forefront of companies that support the gay community. The blame for this shouldn’t be laid at Google’s doorstep. The real culprit is society at large.