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Google Says It Was 'Bug in the System' That Prevented Churchill's Pic From Appearing in Search

© AP PhotoA memo from the FBI’s archives revealed that Winston Churchill urged the US to conduct a preemptive nuclear strike against the Soviet Union to win the Cold War
A memo from the FBI’s archives revealed that Winston Churchill urged the US to conduct a preemptive nuclear strike against the Soviet Union to win the Cold War - Sputnik International
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The legacy of Britain’s wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill has been widely scrutinised in the past week amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests. After Churchill’s statue in London was defaced with “was a racist” lettering, authorities decided to board it up with protective barriers, fearing new acts of vandalism.

Google said that the disappearance of Sir Winston Churchill’s image from search results for Britain’s prime minister, spotted by observers during the weekend, was not “purposeful” but rather the result of a “bug in our system”.

Google’s public liaison for search Danny Sullivan argued on Twitter that the image of British legendary prime minister had actually disappeared from search results as early as April, as many complained that it was not “representative” of him due his apparent “young” age on the photo.

The system was then expected to automatically select a new picture – something which did not happen due to an error in the system, Sullivan explained. However, the problem was not spotted until this weekend, when it was brought to public attention by numerous users amid an ongoing debate surrounding the figure of Churchill scrutinised by the Black Lives Matter campaign. According to Google, the issue has now been resolved. The company reiterated its early statement on the Google Support website that the move was not “purposeful”.

“We apologise again for concerns caused by this issue with Sir Winston Churchill’s Knowledge Graph image. We will be working to address the underlying cause to avoid this type of issue in the future”, Sullivan wrote on Twitter.

Churchill's statue in London - Sputnik International
Doctored Image of Churchill’s Boarded-up Statue With 'Racist Inside' Lettering Sparks Outrage
Many social media users spotted during the weekend that Churchill’s photo was not appearing in search results for British prime ministers and WW2 leaders, suspecting that this could have been as the result of complaints from Black Lives Matter movement. Earlier, Churchill’s statue in London was spray-painted with “was a racist” lettering, prompting authorities to install protective boards over the monument to prevent future vandalism.

The move, as well as Churchill’s image vanishing from Google search, outraged many British citizens and politicians. Prime Minister Boris Johnson even argued that it was “absurd and shameful” to have a situation whereby the monument of the wartime leader was at risk of being vandalized. He also pledged to resist any attempts to remove Churchill’s state from Parliament Square, something many BLM protesters have been calling for.

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