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Pakistan: “Hey! Why is Google ignoring us?”

Pakistanis are using blogs as a medium to raise their voices about an important issue regarding the biases of technology giant Google. The issue we are talking about is Google Doodles for Pakistan. Google Doodles refers to the Google's logo designs project that Google displays occasionally. Google celebrates and pays tribute to certain world festivals, events and personalities using these doodles. But never have we seen doodles for famous Pakistani or Muslim festivals. Some major festivals like Eid and Ramadan are celebrated across the entire Muslim world.

Google Doodle
Image of a Google Doodle from Flickr , by egg™: Used under a creative commons license

Bloggers are having different views and opinions regarding reasons and suggestions. The voice was first raised by Bites85 at ProPakistani, later supported by many bloggers. Let's see what Pakistani bloggers are saying:

Sohaib Athar at ReallyVirtual writes:

I personally think that Google not showing any Doodles for Islamic events has something to do with their “Do No Evil” policy ;-) Seriously though, while Google can not be forced to cater to each segment of their customer base, especially since doodling is the secondary responsibility of the guy who creates them, but given that

  • Google has doodles for other religious holidays
  • Muslims form a huge chunk of their customer base – much larger than, say, Pakistanis, or people who like Escher
  • Google has doodles for birthdays and other days that only a tiny portion of the world celebrates
  • Google is a PUBLIC company (which does matter)

… by not having a doodle for a single Islamic event/holiday so far, the message they are sending out, to many Muslims, says something like ‘We are the biggest website around and are a global company, but we don’t really care about the Muslim culture and won’t even consider it to be worth a doodle’ – really bad marketing.

On the other hand, some bloggers are bit polite and expressing their views that it might be the reason that Google doesn't want to get into any cartoon controversy.

Here is what Teeth Maestro has to say:

What has been seriously missing in its endless inventory of hundreds of Google Doodles is any logo commemorating a Muslim celebration, be it Eid or any other Islamic celebration, that said I am sure there maybe a little hesitancy on making a graphic image of an Islamic event and not fall into a potential cartoon controversy, but I assure you there are way to ensure that these innocent efforts dont back fire.
[..]
Pakistan has been on the Google map for sometime but we have yet to be honored with an Independence day Google graphic on Google.com.pk, our neighbor India has instead been on the receiving end of quite a few celebratory doodles gifts from Diwali to an 15th August doodle on Google.co.in website. But we here in Pakistan sit doodling our fingers in jittery anticipation.

I urge Google to seriously consider our humble request it wont hurt if they surprised Muslims or Pakistani with a customized doodle.

Google services have won the hearts of many Pakistani and Muslim internet users. Many prefer Google's services over its competitors. Therefore, it doesn't go with the Google's image to be biased to any community. So I hope Google will listen to us and will place an Eid Doodle this time :)

  • http://twitter.com/bites85 Bites85

    thanks for joining the revolution.please also ping back to http://www.propakistani.com/2008/09/17/google-is-biased/ ….

  • tabish

    someone created an eid doodle and proposed it to google.
    saw it here http://digg.com/design/Google_s_Eid_Doodle_Logo_A_Proposal

  • http://twitter.com/bites85 Bites85
  • BigDogg

    Muslims+Cartoons=Flag Burning and Riots!
    Dont do it google!

  • UFO

    @BigDogg: By this standard: Christians+schools=school+shooting+spree (recently 10 dead in Finland, 3 held in Canada, many dead last year in US)

    Don’t be selfish! Be respectful!

  • Canadian69er!!;)

    OK so, where im from we have a university, we have backcountry hicks, muslims, athiests, christins, budhists… the list goes on. rescent years international recruitment has went WAAAy up. people from all around the world come here and we dont have guns, or gun crime and crime is low and we dont put up with hate crime. in these rescent years I have seen that people basically want the same things, a chance to be free to believe what they want, and a chance to work at something that makes them feel useful, as well as provide for their families. If muslims are being ignored by google because google is… well…i dont really understand why… so google should honor muslim culture the same as it honors other cultures because we are equal, and the internet should be a level ground for all. Anyone who doesnt think this is the way of the future is short sighted. The internet will inevitably tie us all closer together. Anyone who thinks that a man woman or child is defined more so by their religion or race than by demographics cannot think in large global contexts and will ultimatly be left behind in society. North america is big not everyoine shares my views. but id just like to say that there are places here

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