Google delivers elegant response to criticism of its poppy


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The Independent Online

The response by a Google spokesman to criticism of its Remembrance Day poppy should go down in the Spokesperson's Bible of Tactful Putdowns and Restrained Dismissiveness.

Earlier today Labour MP Gerry Sutcliffe said that the small poppy displayed below Google's search bar was an insufficiently "spectacular" tribute to Britain's war dead: "Around Remembrance Day it is demeaning not to have something that is spectacular".

Another MP, Tory Julian Brazier, praised Bing, a rival search engine to Google, for its own, larger remembrance day tribute, saying: "Well done Bing for making such a clear and unmistakeable gesture".

Twitter quickly split into critics and supporters of the Google poppy; that it is an issue at all surely demonstrates that sensitivity about the wearing and placement of the poppy has reached new heights.

The Google spokesman stepped into this fraught area with a polite, calm and marginally patronising riposte, worth repeating:

"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."

The spokesman went on to point out that graphics - like the one displayed on the homepage - are their way of covering "events that are important and meaningful for our users" that "a doodle may not necessarily be a good fit for."

Shouldn't that be that?