Decision of Google: Trivial or Profound?

Where do I begin with this one? I came across this on a facebook group and I thought it was a trivial article that really doesn’t matter all that much and was completely benign. Have a quick read and see what you think.


I’d be interested to read what your initial reactions are to this.

For starters the title is a misnomer. Google hasn’t made any principled stand for veganism which could be described as ‘Google goes vegan’. And the rage surrounding the emoji change is essentially just kicking around water in the kiddie pool of moral issues–while completely ignoring a torrential undercurrent of actual moral distress.

The more I analysed this, the more the mistake of Google’s decision was clear. The key line which I caught, as telling, was this: ‘The Internet giant has removed the egg from its salad emoji–in case it offends vegans.’ This is insightful as it provides the reasoning why Google has made this decision and, more broadly, an example of how they possibly operate as a corporation.

Google decided to do this ‘in case they offend vegans’– which comes off as incredibly politically correct. The possibility of offense was enough to stop their behavior in its tracks. Furthermore, they think that vegans are the type of people to be offended by something as trivial as an emoji. A vast majority people who become vegan do so as a principled stand about the use, and horrid treatment of, animals–as well as the animal industry’s immense impact on environmental issues.

This is why I made the decision go vegan–as a person who cares about doing what is morally just in relation to a serious moral failure in our society. Naturally, I felt Google’s reasoning for this decision was incredibly patronising. I don’t find emojis offensive, I find actual suffering and harm offensive.

I was never exactly sure what the term ‘politically correct’ meant; as it was used as a slur on the news quite often. But here the issue is crystal clear for me. Let me unpack the many levels of wrong happening in this line of reasoning.

Google, a global, multi-billion dollar corporation presumes themselves as a parent to free vegan adults who, as Google predicts, will act out irrationally in offensive to their egg salad emoji. A digital egg which, to be overbearingly clear, relates to no actual animal and therefore no moral mistreatment.

To counter this prediction, Google capitulates to this expected adult temper tantrum, ahead of it happening. Now, I am not a parent; but is it not bad parenting to give into a child’s temper tantrum? One should not mitigate their behaviour around someone else’s, especially irrational, behaviour–I think this should be even more clear on how a corporation should behave. 

Google has misappropriated the moral reasoning of veganism (which a quick google search would have informed them of). And perhaps even worse, they think of the public as superficial reactionaries and furthermore, assume responsibility to coddle the ridiculous outburst of those individuals.

Google thinks they are a parent to the public and the public are children–bad children at that. So they provide bad parenting as a solution. This is total wreck. And sadly comical in discovering how they’ve arrived at this decision.

This grave sign and I hope they start to see the error of this to avoid similar decisions in the future. Google is definitely cracking up and for the Humpty-dumbest reasons possible.

What do you think? Is this sound reasoning? Or am I completely off base? Let me know in the comments below.

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