Right-Wing Media Outraged Google Wiped Winston Churchill Off The Internet (They Didn't)
This morning, I went on over to the r/conspiracy subreddit to see if anyone had gotten around to explaining why it is that Bill Gates would want to secretly microchip everyone in the whole world. Apparently, the only way to know the answer to this is to watch a four-hour "documentary," so I am still at a loss. What I did find, however, was a post claiming that Google is trying to "rewrite history" by deleting Winston Churchill's picture in their little "knowledge graph" that comes before the search results.
Oh no, now no one will ever know what Winston Churchill looked like, unless they look at a baby!
Wow, that random person on Reddit sure is stupid. Obviously it's just some kind of glitch, thought I. I looked up British Prime Minister myself, the same search term used by u/itsmhu and got this picture of Boris Johnson.
Guess Google is now canceling all of the Prime Ministers except for Boris Johnson now. Except probably not.
Alas, it is not just some random dude on Reddit up in arms about this. Turns out, this Winston Churchill-Google-Picture-Being-Gone thing was a thing all all this morning on right-wing media and right-wing social media, and that they were claiming that it was done on purpose because Black Lives Matter activists in the UK have been calling for a bit of a reckoning, re: Churchill, because of some pretty crappy things he did. Like, uh, the concentration camps he set up in Kenya ...
The British concentration camps in Kenya was set up by Winston Churchill 1952. https://t.co/NTIzieLdqF— Don Salmon (@Don Salmon)1592063108.0
Not good, Winston Churchill, not good!
The Daily Mail suggested that Google probably banned Churchill from the whole entire Internet because Black Lives Matter protesters have called for a monument to him to be removed. Yes. Black Lives Matter protesters can't get police to just stop killing unarmed black people, but they have the power to erase Winston Churchill from history.
The news was also picked up by Devin Nunes, because of course it was.
Had to check this for myself...according to Google all pics of Churchill have been wiped from the earth... https://t.co/WEgupeUub1— Devin Nunes (@Devin Nunes)1592103961.0
The eagle-eyed reporter over at Breitbart pointed out that Google still had pictures of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. What's that about, huh? Is Literal Hitler more acceptable than Winston Churchill now?
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.
Woah, if true.
Except not true. Because just as I, and anyone with half a brain, assumed upon seeing this bullshit — it was a glitch.
If a Knowledge Graph image is missing due to an update, the subject will be named but lack an image in anything aut… https://t.co/eEEIFaX2bz— Google SearchLiaison (@Google SearchLiaison)1592121898.0
Not that this convinced anyone who was already convinced that Google had canceled Winston Churchill because Black Lives Matter said to, as you can see in the comments responding to this Tweet. You know, it's like they say, if you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras — unless you're a Republican, in which case you should always go with unicorns. But like, evil unicorns ... that worship Satan and want to take history away from everyone.
It is probably fair to assume that those in rightwing media who were pushing this bullshit also understood that it was probably a glitch and did not sincerely think that Google erased Winston Churchill's picture on purpose, to appease BLM activists. What they did know, however, is that this would get their audiences very riled up and upset. Not because anyone in said audience could tell anyone a damn thing about Winston Churchill, but because they immediately think "Winston Churchill's gone now? Am I gonna be next?" and they are afraid that things will change and they will not like the change.
They're not mad at cancel culture — for heaven's sake, the Republican Party once canceled the entire nation of France. They're not worried about "rewriting history" — Dinesh D'Souza is their number one guy. They are scared because they have never lived in a world where everyone else was not constantly being fed propaganda about the greatness of white people, straight white Christian men in particular. That is a scary, unknown world to them. They have relied on that propaganda for a very long time and they do not know how they will go on without it.
No one is going to erase Winston Churchill from the entire internet. But we're not going to keep holding the posts for the white guy propaganda safety net, either. So they will have to adjust accordingly.
Anyway, this is now your open thread!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse