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Google Explains Why Churchill's Photo Vanished

Its disappearance was a tech glitch, not a statement, company says
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2020 1:29 PM CDT

(Newser) – Winston Churchill is back, and Google says his temporary disappearance wasn't some kind of political statement. As the BBC explains, images of the former British prime minister disappeared during searches of his name or related topics. Many thought there was something fishy going on, especially since Churchill's statue in London had recently been defaced with the word "racist" during protests in the aftermath of George Floyd's death, notes Newsweek. In a series of tweets, however, Google explained that it was a mere technical glitch.

"We're aware an image for Sir Winston Churchill is missing from his Knowledge Graph entry on Google," wrote the company on Sunday. "We (apologize) for any concern. This was not purposeful & will be resolved." It since has been. Google says the original photo that came up in searches, which was selected automatically, showed a young Churchill (see it here) instead of the older man most people recognized. After people complained, Google humans intervened to sub in a new image, and that's when the glitch occurred. For a while, only a gray silhouette appeared in place of Churchill. (Read more Winston Churchill stories.)

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