IN SHORT: Is tech giant Google waging a war against Christianity, exemplified by it excluding Christian holidays like Easter from its Google Doodle feature? Quite simply, no.
If you believe a post circulating on social media in April 2023, a “war against Christianity” is being waged by tech company Google.
According to various social media posts, like this one with over 53,000 views, and others here, here, here, here, here and here, Google has excluded the Christian holiday of Easter from its “Google Doodle” illustrations used to celebrate important days on its search engine platform.
The posts claim the company has published Doodles commemorating other religious holidays like Jewish Hanukkah and Muslim Ramadan, as well as the Trangender Day of Visibility.
“It’s a good thing that as Christians we are strong in our Faith – Because the world hates us,” reads one tweet.
Another post included a link to an article making similar claims, titled Woke Google Won’t Doodle on Easter.
But did Google really exclude the Christian holiday of Easter while making Doodles for Hanukkah, Ramadan and others? We checked.
Google Doodles and religious celebrations
Google Doodles are changes made to the company’s logo that “celebrate interesting events and anniversaries that reflect Google's personality and love for innovation”, the company says.
To date, Google says over 5,000 Doodles have been created by their team of illustrators and engineers.
According to the company, a group of Google employees, called “Googlers”, decide which events should be commemorated with a Doodle, but ideas come from “numerous sources including Googlers and Google users”.
The company keeps an archived list of all their Doodles here, which can be searched using keywords.
Doing a search here is enough to see that the claim being made online is not accurate. Searching the archive for Ramadan, Hanukkah and Transgender Day of Visibility do not return the illustrations pictured in the graphic.
The claim that Easter is being excluded while other religious holidays have Doodles commemorating them is not new. Back in 2019, similar claims were largely debunked by fact-checking organisations Snopes and Check Your Fact.
In an April 2023 fact-check Reuters spoke to a Google spokesperson who said the company did not typically launch Doodles for religious holidays, and “has never created a Google Doodle for Transgender Day of Visibility”.
Some religious holidays, including Easter, have been commemorated by Google, but not as Doodles
Google told Reuters that the company sometimes creates “commemorative banners and interactive experiences” for some religious holidays. These are not Google Doodles but Easter has not been excluded from these.
Searching for Easter, Hanukkah or Ramadan returns banners or interactive experiences providing information about the event, as Reuters showed here.
According to the 2019 Snopes fact-check, which looked into the same Ramadan illustration included in the viral claim, the image was created back in 2010 as part of a campaign on social media “to convince Google to feature a Doodle for Ramadan”. But Google confirmed that they “have never done a Doodle for Ramadan”.
In specific locations and times, Snopes reported, the company does commemorate some religious events with Doodles. This has included an Easter Google Doodle for United States users in 2000, a Rosh Hashanah Doodle for users in Israel in 2006 and, in India in 2008, a Diwali Doodle.
Easter or other Christian holidays are not deliberately excluded by Google.
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.Publishers guide
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.
Add new comment