Google's lack of a D-Day doodle causes outrage

Google UK caused outrage across the internet this morning by replacing the Google logo on their homepage with a doodle celebrating Honinbo Shusaku on the 70th anniversary of the World War II D-Day landings.

Shusaku, from Japan and famed for his exceptional skills at the Chinese strategy game of Go, would have been 185 today had he still been alive. Many think that Google should have paid tribute to what is generally viewed as rather more significant though.

Whilst other companies, notably Twitter who tweeted the events of D-Day at the exact times they happened live, gave their respects and were appreciated by the world, Google found themselves being bombarded with complaints about the distasteful doodle according to ArsTechnica.

Google caused controversy this morning by posting what many viewed as an untasteful tribute to Honinbo Shusaku given that today is also the 70th anniversary of D-Day

Many people took to Twitter to vent their disgust. One wrote "70th anniversary of D-Day today and Google has cupcakes as their header, shameful!" as a direct hit against the search giant.

The company quickly pulled the doodle from Google UK and reverted to the default Google logo for the occasion. A link was added entitled 'Remembering D-Day' below the search box that takes viewers to a page of historical documents, photos and maps of the landings compiled by the Google Cultural Institute.

The doodle was soon pulled and replaced with a 'Remembering D-Day' link to cover up the incident

Google has become famed for celebrating public events and birthdays with its colorful doodles. They have grown from simple images to fully-animated, interactive affairs designed by a special team within the company and are enjoyed by millions every day who like the deviation from the standard Google logo as their homepage.

Today it looks as though they just got it wrong though in terms of prioritizing the events of the day. Google have not yet commented on the incident or explained how the oversight occurred.

Source & Images via ArsTechnica

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft stock price hits 52-week high, suggests market approves of Nadella

Next Story

Apple's iWatch said to be coming in October

79 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

It's simply stupefying that anyone could presume to suggest that D-Day is not worth the bother to commemorate. The U.K. Doodle was a pretty spectacularly bone-headed move by Google, but that mistake is no more than a minor faux paux compared to anyone arguing that events leading to the liberation of the free world are somehow passe.

There is no country innocent of committing horrendous wrongs at some point in their past. War is inexcusably tragic on all fronts but, unfortunately, sometimes the only other alternative is acquiescence to evil.

WWII is an instance where the U.S. & the allied nations got it right. Evil was confronted, oppression was denied, & unfathomable scores of lives were lost in the process. Many, many of those lives were innocent ones, irrespective of nationality.

Were such concentrated forces of malevolence to challenge the free world today, Germany would be found among the front ranks of those standing in defense of liberty & humanity.

What's troubling is that these complaining about the irrelevance of D-Day commemoration are the very people that increase any likelihood that such horrific historical events be repeated. If one wants to expend energy, better to work toward rectifying the criminal overreach of those surveillance states claiming "defense of democracy & liberty" as their justification.

People of adult age pissing & moaning in public forums like so many grade school children who are feeling put upon; well it's just not a good look for anyone, including grade school children.

Strategically, the D-Day was a disaster, a pyrrhic victory.

We should learn about this day and how some politicians rushed an attack that costs thousand of life.

Brony said,
Strategically, the D-Day was a disaster, a pyrrhic victory.

We should learn about this day and how some politicians rushed an attack that costs thousand of life.

yes, many things failed that day (troops being left alone without tanks because they sunk; got stuck, etc.), but it was the beggining of the end; because of that massive operation Allied troops got deployed in France and start fighting the Axies deeply.

This was a innocent mistake and it looks very petty to me this "outrage" (didn't notice that "outrage" as well).

Google is just like our (so called) U.S. president. Ashamed of the military.
Google never puts anything but anti-American, pro communist/socialist or other left leaning "things" on their doodles. What do you expect from a San Francisco left leaning limp wristed bunch like that!

I'm from the UK and think 70 years is sufficient for companies to ignore D-day.

What they should be focused on is the proliferation of far right views that are sweeping across Europe right now.
Forget D-day as a commemoration - we should be fighting the new wave of fascists by celebrating the (relative) success of Europe. I'm not for everything that the do, but it's a better world together (and inevitable for the future).

This is why tech companies should just stick to their brand and do random playful games and creative doodles instead of promoting things that are not 'politically correct' and would 'outrage' ppl (i.e. if you're not going to promote something that's for everyone, then don't post it all).

The historical ignorance on display in these comments is just very, very sad. And why, if we had to fight the same war today, Hitler would win.

What's even worst is that could you see "20 somethings" giving up everything to fight another tyrannical world war? Volunteering? What about the public. Can you see them giving up tires, gas, autos, cutting back on food, rationing, working 24/7 to produce the things needed for the military to help us win? Fat chance! They don't teach children anything but leftist socialist crap, and how the "white man" is bad, and that the military is bad, and pretty much anything bad that has happened in the world, is the result of 1776 and on.
If WW2 happened today, if Pearl Harbor happened today, CNN, MSNBC would be wanting to understand why they don't like us, and what we can do to make them like us.
Sad...we'd lose WW2 if it were today!

Things can change rapidly.
But who can blame them. For the first time in our entire history. North-West europe has been at peace for 70 years, without the risk of one of my neighboring countries to come and invade mine for the fun of it.

We should all live like we would not expect wars, F*ck wars! I know its part of our animalistic behavior (animals fight wars too).
The more you prepare for war, the more you're looking for it, the faster you'll get a war. I for one like peace, my country still has conscription incase a war does break out. But I can walk in and out of Germany any moment I wish without anyone checking me up, even though the same bastards last century destroyed my country and are currently destroying our beaches with their weird holes.
Thats also how it can be done. Man we fought those german bastards more then the 2 world wars. But there aint no bad blood between me and a german. (Israel/Palistinia should take notes). European countries had the same grudges towards one another like north and south korea, israel and palestinia, and more bastard countries, sure they got their own reasons. But I can live peacefully with a brit, french, spanish and german (Who my country has warred with for the last 800+ years, man we're officially stil at war with Portugal for something that happen in the 16th century). Why can't you live peacefully with your neighbours.

This reminds me when Easter Sunday was on the same day as Cesar Chavez Day (March 31) last year and the stupid outrage Goggle and Obama received. Cesar Chavez Day was already state holiday in a few states and Obama proclaimed it and people went into crazy mode and saw it as a assault on their religion.

Who gives a ###### what Google does for some daily image. Jesus, some people need to get a damned life.

Question though, why do we celebrate D day and not V day? Seems a bit backwards.

92GTA said,
Who gives a ###### what Google does for some daily image. Jesus, some people need to get a damned life.

Question though, why do we celebrate D day and not V day? Seems a bit backwards.

We celebrate VE and VJ day.

Maybe to thank the hundreds of people who willingly stormed that beach believing they were going to their deaths, for your freedom.

You know, something like that.

92GTA said,
Who gives a ###### what Google does for some daily image. Jesus, some people need to get a damned life.

Question though, why do we celebrate D day and not V day? Seems a bit backwards.

Why celebrate any of them? It's completely pointless militarism and about as relevant as celebrating the end of the Thirty Years War.

jakem1 said,

Why celebrate any of them? It's completely pointless militarism and about as relevant as celebrating the end of the Thirty Years War.

Its not pointless militarism. It was a victory over a man who killed 11 million people in concentration camps and probably another equivalent amount by deliberately bombing civilians. There was only one other man worst than him, Joseph Stalin. Still liberating Europe from at least one of the two evils should be celebrated. I am proud to be American.

mattdocs12345 said,

Its not pointless militarism. It was a victory over a man who killed 11 million people in concentration camps and probably another equivalent amount by deliberately bombing civilians. There was only one other man worst than him, Joseph Stalin. Still liberating Europe from at least one of the two evils should be celebrated. I am proud to be American.

Exactly. The apathy and disrespect the millennial youth have towards those who sacrificed so much for them is repugnant.

mattdocs12345 said,

Its not pointless militarism. It was a victory over a man who killed 11 million people in concentration camps and probably another equivalent amount by deliberately bombing civilians. There was only one other man worst than him, Joseph Stalin. Still liberating Europe from at least one of the two evils should be celebrated. I am proud to be American.


Concentration camps where to Brittish example in Africa.

Also, the Allied forces bombed more Dutch cities then the Axis did. Germany got 2 of our towns, the Allied got 5.

Throughout history there have been many worse people than Hitler.
And Stalin is so bad, uhm. They're the one liberating Europe from the Nazi's.
I mean no disrespect to the allied forces oversea's (USA, Canada, Australia etc) fought for me and my families freedom and thanks to their help it was "only" 5 years.
But stop acting like our lord and savior who let us burn for the first 3 years and only got into action when you yourself got hit.
While the Russians on the other side suffered over 100million casualties and are the ones that were marching down the downtown of Berlin. Nono, Stalin is such an evil evil man.

mattdocs12345 said,
There was only one other man worst than him, Joseph Stalin.
I am proud to be American.

While I agree that Stalin are also as bad,
Stalin was heavily praised by American left wing media, please consult your New York Times archives.

mattdocs12345 said,

Its not pointless militarism. It was a victory over a man who killed 11 million people in concentration camps and probably another equivalent amount by deliberately bombing civilians. There was only one other man worst than him, Joseph Stalin. Still liberating Europe from at least one of the two evils should be celebrated. I am proud to be American.

Well they were still military nonetheless. Cold blooded murderers. What's to say they didn't kill children and rape women as well as they went about 'liberating' Europe from such a tyrannical rule? I mean I wasn't there then, but it all sounds a hell lot like Afghanistan and Iraq. And for that, the whole world was there to witness these saviors of the weak and upholders of democracy in action. Bombing civilians you say? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NaoL5YlMic

Still proud to be an American, eh?

mattdocs12345 said,

Its not pointless militarism. It was a victory over a man who killed 11 million people in concentration camps ..

At first were 2 millions, then 4 millions. Now is 11 millions. :-| In a century, it will be a billion. Lol with the revisionists.

Brony said,

At first were 2 millions, then 4 millions. Now is 11 millions. :-| In a century, it will be a billion. Lol with the revisionists.

6 Million was the number for Jews. People overlook that Cripples, homosexuals, people with mental illness, Gypsies etc were also rounded up into camps and exterminated.

McKay said,

6 Million was the number for Jews. People overlook that Cripples, homosexuals, people with mental illness, Gypsies etc were also rounded up into camps and exterminated.


Don't forget the Polish, it was a high number as well.

Less than half of the concentration camp victims were Jewish, the number of jews is either estimated to high, or the total amount of victims is estimated to low.
But they call it a holocaust even though several million homosexuals, cripples, gypsies and anyone not aryan or close to aryan was put on the auschwitz train.

One of the reasons IMO the jews should stop acting like it was specificially to them, like Hitler was the first rounding up jews (Napoleon was a famous jew hunter for one, he's famous). But they keep dragging all the attention to themselves, not that its been a picknick for them and they have no right to complain about it.
But WW2 suffered over 150million civilian casualties... AND ALL WE CAN TALK ABOUT IS "OMG NO THE 6MILLION JEWS, HITLER WAS SUCH A HORRIBLE MAN FOR KILLING 6MILLION JEWS"....

And I for one am sick of this victimizing the Jews while there have been countless times more people in the same sh*tty situation as those holocaust jews.
Like how America claims thanks to their support they beat the nazi's .the russians did, and you kept your sorry ass out of it until japan attacked you. If you helped earlier Hitler wouln't've taken down my cou ntry within 5 days because of the UK/USA being afraid to stick out their own asses until its to late.

Clearly you're a racist antisemitic piece of crap who refuses to acknowledge the fact that the jews who were murdered were many times more numerous than any other specific group (not that anyone else was any less important), and claims that Jewish people, millions of whom were murdered specifically because they were Jewish, have no right to claim there was a holocaust. Of course, you're also likely completely unaware of the countless acts done specifically against Jewish people, by Hitler and his supporters, leading to the holocaust. Go to hell.

Edited by audioman, Jun 7 2014, 1:42pm :

neko_designer said,
i think doodles commemorating such events would be in bad taste...

Well... D-Day led to the liberation of Europe and to victory against nazism

yes, but is an event where people from one country killed people from another country. the consequences of D-Day were good, but, i feel its too solemn an occasion to be remembered with a doodle...
i dont know if you are american, imagine a doodle with the battle of the alamo, the battle served to unite the texans, but the battle in itself was a massacre...
or the battle of 5 de mayo. etc

neko_designer said,
yes, but is an event where people from one country killed people from another country. the consequences of D-Day were good, but, i feel its too solemn an occasion to be remembered with a doodle...
i dont know if you are american, imagine a doodle with the battle of the alamo, the battle served to unite the texans, but the battle in itself was a massacre...
or the battle of 5 de mayo. etc

Canadian :p

why should Google do what everyone else is doing? yes, D-Day is important to remember but is it really necessary to have an image of it displayed on one's homepage?

I think if they can do a Rubik's cube puzzle tribute D-Day should be higher up on the list of importance ya think? ;)

timster said,
why should Google do what everyone else is doing? yes, D-Day is important to remember but is it really necessary to have an image of it displayed on one's homepage?

They didnt do a memorial day doodle either and didnt see dedicated posts/articles on that.

Just something to complain about for the sake of complaining. Really a non issue and just a silly thing to be upset about.

dingl_ said,
I think if they can do a Rubik's cube puzzle tribute D-Day should be higher up on the list of importance ya think? ;)

There's a D-Day anniversary every year. At some point something 'most significant' will have happened on any given day. Should days only ever be allowed to represent one historical event each?

Could Google remember it, say, 9 years out of 10, and for the remaining year do something else, and start over again for the next 10? Is it because we arbitrarily place significance on numbers that end in zero, so '70 years' is a far more 'important' anniversary than 71? 53?

This is just people being emotional and not knowing themselves well enough to know why.

IceBreakerG said,
Well, in their defense, the historian did say that the battle of schrute farms wasn't actually a battle at all, but a "love haven".

That's true it was a safe haven for poets and um artists.

techbeck said,
Its a doodle and will be gone tomorrow anyway....get over it.

People complain about the dumbest things.

D-Day was a world changing event. I can see how a lot of people might take it the wrong way if Google decides that some Japanese game player is deemed more doodle-worthy than the thousands of men and women that laid down their lives on D-Day.

Majesticmerc said,

D-Day was a world changing event. I can see how a lot of people might take it the wrong way if Google decides that some Japanese game player is deemed more doodle-worthy than the thousands of men and women that laid down their lives on D-Day.

Yes. It is terrible that people gave their lives for a good cause. However, how long do we keep dedicating time to this? Most people know about it already. I want to bet that most don't know about the game maker.

It's time to move on and focus not on war, but on the reasons we want to survive.

Majesticmerc said,

D-Day was a world changing event. I can see how a lot of people might take it the wrong way if Google decides that some Japanese game player is deemed more doodle-worthy than the thousands of men and women that laid down their lives on D-Day.

Ok, then every site should do a tribute to D-Day and all other events. I am ###### that Neowin did not put a public statement on the Front page commemorating and honoring DDay. Shame on them. I mean, they made a post about the 30th anniversary of Tetris. Come on!!

Again, it is a dumb thing to complain about. This is a day of honoring who fell and who is still living and what they did for the world. People wining over a doodle pretty much negates that and is dishonoring every person who fought in the war. Pretty much what people are complaining about Google and their doodle.

Cry me a river.

techbeck said,
Its a doodle and will be gone tomorrow anyway....get over it.

People complain about the dumbest things.

Come on, don't be that guy. It was a mistake on Google's part yes, but it's pretty incompetent to make a mistake like that on a day like today. They deserve a little chastising for it. I'm not saying people need to be fired but pay a little more attention next time.

pcweber111 said,

Come on, don't be that guy. It was a mistake on Google's part yes, but it's pretty incompetent to make a mistake like that on a day like today. They deserve a little chastising for it. I'm not saying people need to be fired but pay a little more attention next time.

Never said Google didnt make a mistake. Just not worth the attention it is getting.

nvllsvm said,

Yes. It is terrible that people gave their lives for a good cause. However, how long do we keep dedicating time to this? Most people know about it already. I want to bet that most don't know about the game maker.

It's time to move on and focus not on war, but on the reasons we want to survive.

Read a quote today, "If mankind doesn't end war, war will end mankind."

We should remember past wars and hope that we can avoid the same mistakes in the future.

I know what you said and I'm saying you're making light of it by saying people are focusing on dumb things. To a lot this isn't dumb and it's disrespectful for Google to make a mistake like that. Like I said, no one needs to be fired or anything but they deserve to be chastised a bit over it. Nothing more, I do agree we can probably move on though.

pcweber111 said,
I know what you said and I'm saying you're making light of it by saying people are focusing on dumb things. To a lot this isn't dumb and it's disrespectful for Google to make a mistake like that. Like I said, no one needs to be fired or anything but they deserve to be chastised a bit over it. Nothing more, I do agree we can probably move on though.

But, at the same time, isnt it disrespectful to complain about something like this and take attention away from what today is about? I highly doubt any of the veterans that fought at Normandy really cares what Google does with their doodle. If they dont care, really no reason for anyone else to.

pcweber111 said,

Come on, don't be that guy. It was a mistake on Google's part yes, but it's pretty incompetent to make a mistake like that on a day like today. They deserve a little chastising for it. I'm not saying people need to be fired but pay a little more attention next time.

Just curious here. Could you explain why it was a mistake? How what they did was 'wrong'? In purely objective terms.

Joshie said,
Just curious here. Could you explain why it was a mistake? How what they did was 'wrong'? In purely objective terms.
Not being conformist and not following the trending topic

Also the suffering of being given too much expectation

It's not about focusing on war. It's a memorial for the lives that were given on that day. Not just the lives of the actual soldiers but of their Mothers,Fathers,Brothers,Sisters,Spouses,Children. They all gave.

If you do not honor, and remember those that fought & died, how will you know the history of your country. How will you know how LUCKY you are to be where you are, how you don't have to bow down to a dictator, worry about being executed because of your heritage, race, skin color? We must always remember those that laid down their lives, that others do not have the worry of being slaughtered. Those that died, did so because they didn't want you to have to.

naap51stang said,
If you do not honor, and remember those that fought & died, how will you know the history of your country. How will you know how LUCKY you are to be where you are, how you don't have to bow down to a dictator, worry about being executed because of your heritage, race, skin color? We must always remember those that laid down their lives, that others do not have the worry of being slaughtered. Those that died, did so because they didn't want you to have to.

What does that have to do with a Google doodle?

naap51stang said,
If you do not honor, and remember those that fought & died, how will you know the history of your country. How will you know how LUCKY you are to be where you are, how you don't have to bow down to a dictator, worry about being executed because of your heritage, race, skin color? We must always remember those that laid down their lives, that others do not have the worry of being slaughtered. Those that died, did so because they didn't want you to have to.

I read books. Watch documentary, and I payed attention during history class. I don't need a doodle by Google to tell me and neither should anyone else.

techbeck said,

I read books. Watch documentary, and I payed attention during history class. I don't need a doodle by Google to tell me and neither should anyone else.

It seems like we're arbitrarily assigning responsibility to people based on how we feel in any given moment.

Having a system that can change an image on a daily basis, to some people, automatically creates an obligation to choose certain images on certain days.

It'd be the same as having a This Day In History website designed to share one detailed historical fact per day, but was only ever allowed to talk about the WTC attacks on the 11th of any given September, no matter what else may have happened on that day.

The irony is that all it takes to make something we HAVE TO REMEMBER irrelevant is having a more recent significant event take place on that same day. Then THAT'S what people will insist everyone has to observe and reflect on.

Joshie said,

It seems like we're arbitrarily assigning responsibility to people based on how we feel in any given moment.

Having a system that can change an image on a daily basis, to some people, automatically creates an obligation to choose certain images on certain days.

It'd be the same as having a This Day In History website designed to share one detailed historical fact per day, but was only ever allowed to talk about the WTC attacks on the 11th of any given September, no matter what else may have happened on that day.

The irony is that all it takes to make something we HAVE TO REMEMBER irrelevant is having a more recent significant event take place on that same day. Then THAT'S what people will insist everyone has to observe and reflect on.

You're over thinking it.

It's quite simple really. Out of the two events that took place yesterday, Google chose to honour the very insignificant event (by comparison). It's not hard to see why some people are put out by it.

The same thing would happen if they displayed something else on 11th September, Christmas Day or Thanksgiving.

where does it say google must use a D-Day doodle as far as I know they're free to put what ever they like on their site whenever they like don't like it tough cookies

Perhaps this your first time on the internet Sonne, welcome.
I mean I realise Linux is a bit constrained software wise, Perhaps you've been using Lynx browser all these years( text browser)? and so you're not used to Bings image of the day.
http://firefox.com/
that's a start ;)

even with slideshow on there is no bin option.

Not entirely happy with how the amazing app works, since it takes one of the background processes and just applies the background from there..