The now removed Google Doodle.
The now removed Google Doodle.
  • Google created a special version of its logo for South Africa's Freedom Day 2020, as it has in years before.
  • But after about three hours it announced it had removed the Google Doodle which had "offended some people".
  • The logo featured the colours of South Africa's flag – and a prominent stylised springbok.
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Google has removed a special version of its logo for South African users and apologised for posting it in the first place.

The search giant created a special Google Doodle for Freedom Day 2020, as it had in years before, and announced it at 09:00 South African time in a Twitter post – which was still available at the time of publication.

The image, Google said, "features the country's national animal, the emblematic springbok".

But by Monday afternoon the doodle was no longer displaying, with South African users to instead being served the service's standard, unaltered logo.

The page explaining the significance of the special logo carried a quote by Nelson Mandela, Google's own partial archive shows.

" 'Wherever South Africans are across the globe, our hearts beat as one, as we renew our common loyalty to our country and our commitment to its future,' said then South African president Nelson Mandela on the first anniversary of South Africa Freedom Day," read the page, in part.

The page is no longer available.

Slightly after noon the Google in Africa Twitter account announced why the springbok doodle had been removed.

"We understand our #GoogleDoodle for South Africa’s Freedom Day offended some people," the account tweeted. "We should have done better and are deeply sorry. We've taken down the Doodle. Happy Freedom Day!"

Earlier in the day, some on social media objected to the use of a springbok in the doodle:

One thought the logo looked too "apartheid-ish":

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet.)

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