The picture of Sir Winston Churchill disappeared from Google search results as the wartime British prime minister became a target for Black Lives Matter supporters amid an ongoing assault on British heritage and history.
A Google search for the phrase “British Prime Ministers” yielded picture results for other former national leaders, yet the wartime premier’s picture was replaced with a black box avatar.
Searches for the phrases “Second World War leaders”, “World War 2 generals”, and so on also failed to display a picture of Churchill — although the likes of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Josef Stalin remained.
Churchill’s wartime premiership was also erased, with results only showing him as having been prime minister from 1951 to 1955 — his second term in office — although Google said this issue was “not specific” to him.
Dear UK & USA, multiple accounts have found the same results as me. I searched again just now to recheck, 1am UK time.
Churchill is missing. Why? It’s so weird!?! 🏽♂️ https://t.co/b8HB5XfDRv
— أبو عمّار (@MaajidNawaz) June 14, 2020
The seeming memory-holing of Churchill, whose statue in London has been repeatedly vandalised at BLM protests, caused an international backlash, with U.S. congressman Devin Nunes saying: “Had to check this for myself… according to Google all pics of Churchill have been wiped from the earth.”
On July 7th, Google announced their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, going on to call for “racial justice now” on their official Twitter account.
The tech giant has recently come under fire over instances of alleged political bias, for example by refusing to display homepage “doodles” for Memorial Day and the anniversary of D-Day but choosing to celebrate Yuri Kochiyama, a “human rights” activist who expressed admiration for radical Islamic terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden.
Lol, Stalin and Hitler pass the woke test? https://t.co/Zj80sQWqqs
— Sohrab Ahmari (@SohrabAhmari) June 14, 2020
His statue at Parliament Square covered and now they're removing Sir Winston's portrait on Google. pic.twitter.com/4UKQJitGmQ
— Chris Tomlinson (@TomlinsonCJ) June 13, 2020
A request to Google for information on the status of Churchill’s picture asked: “The images on the search results are taken from Wikipedia, it’s not clear to me why this would break in only the UK and the US. It’s especially interesting given the current controversy around Churchill in our countries. Even more interesting is that pictures of Hitler, Stalin and Mao are shown with no issues.”
“Can you please reinstate Churchill’s picture, and if not, can you explain why you won’t?” it concluded.
Responding to the outcry over the disappearance of Churchill’s picture, Google finally said in a statement that they were “aware an image for Sir Winston Churchill is missing from his Knowledge Graph entry on Google. We apologise for any concern. This was not purposeful & will be resolved. Images in such panels are automatically created & updated. During an update, they can briefly disappear.”
“If a Knowledge Graph image is missing due to an update, the subject will be named but lack an image in anything automatically generated from the Knowledge Graph. This is why Churchill’s image (but not his name) is missing from some lists. It is temporary & will be resolved,” the tech giant added.
Churchill’s image does not appear to have disappeared from Wikipedia at any point.
It shows how ridiculous our country has become that we're even having a debate about Winston Churchill.
He was the man who defeated Hitler and now Google have removed his picture and we've boarded his statue up.
What the hell is going on?!
— Rupert Lowe (@RupertLowe10) June 14, 2020
The wartime prime minister has recently become a target for Black Lives Matter supporters over his alleged racism, despite his being widely credited with playing a central role in defeating the National Socialists during the Second World War.
Following repeated acts of vandalism against his statue in Parliament Square in London, the leftist mayor of the city, Sadiq Khan, decided to imprison the monument to the British wartime leader in a grey box, supposedly in order to protect it — effectively erasing him from public view.
On Saturday, Sir Nicholas Soames, a former Conservative parliamentarian and Churchill’s grandson, said that the campaign against his grandfather was a sign that Britain has lost its moral compass.
“I find it extraordinary that millions and millions of people all over the world who look up to Britain will be astonished that a statue of Churchill and the Cenotaph, our national war memorial, could have been defaced in this disgusting way,” Soames told The Telegraph.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 6, 2020
UPDATE: Churchill’s image has now been restored. As of the time of writing he is still only listed as having been Prime Minister from 1951-1955.
Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka