A handsome picture of legendary American labor leader Cesar Chavez replaced the second "o" in the Google logo on Sunday, a tip of the hat that Google users thought amounted to ignoring Easter. The users were not happy and took their rage to Twitter, where tweeters slipped into all-caps and threatened to switch to Bing. People disapprove of Google's often whimsical doodles all the time, but this weekend, the Cesar Chavez tribute, pegged to would have been the activist's 86th birthday, appears to have struck a nerves. Easter is one of those holidays that some people (read: religious Christians) take more seriously than others, and it's not hard to see how they might take Google's slight seriously. It also didn't help that dozens of people thought that Google was paying tribute to Hugo Chavez, the recently deceased long-time dictator of Venezuela, rather than Cesar Chavez, the civil rights activist.
This is a surprise because Google tends to avoid strong religious themes on the doodles. In fact, the company hasn't had an Easter-themed doodle since 2000. Last year, for instance, it saluted the 200th birthday of Robert Bunsen of Bunsen burner fame. Despite the backlash, the company tried to play it cool. "We enjoy celebrating holidays at Google but, as you may imagine, it's difficult for us to choose which events to highlight on our site," a Google spokesperson told Business Insider on Sunday evening. "Sometimes for a given date we feature an historical event or influential figure that we haven't in the past." Easter already had it's time in the spotlight.
Google wasn't winning too many friends on Sunday otherwise. The company's April Fool'w joke wasn't terribly well received. Long story short: Google jokingly announced that it had launched Google Nose, a new technology that lets you smell search. It actually sounds pretty awesome. Unfortunately it's totally fake, unlike that ill will over the Easter-free doodle.