Friday, February 07, 2014

Google's Sochi Doodle tells Russia, to 'not be evil'

"Don't be evil" is the informal corporate motto of Google, although not everyone agrees the company keeps to that slogan. As the 2014 Winter Olympics officially began on Friday, Google unveiled its latest Doodle, one which entered the discussion on gay rights in Russia.

Google's Doodle, shown above, shows a rainbow-themed sports Doodle (most know of the connection between rainbow colors and the LGBT movement) that -- typical of these Doodles -- links to a relevant query. In this case, it doesn't hit users over the head with a "gay rights" query, but instead links a query about the Olympic Charter.

Principle 6 of the charter, also displayed in italics on Google's home page, says:
The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
There have been several protests, open letters, and petitions against holding the Winter Games in Russia because of the country’s anti-gay law.

In January, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed the country's anti-gay law was not discriminatory but rather all about the protection of the country's children from "dangerous information about homosexuality and pedophilia." He said homosexuals were welcome in Russia -- as long as they left children alone.

The Russian law, enacted in 2013, bans the distribution of "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" to minors. While widely criticized, is is not the case that homosexuality has been made illegal in Russia. This differs from some 70 other countries worldwide.

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