Google has both been lauded and criticised for the way that it has chosen to mark Gay Pride Month in the northern hemisphere.

The world’s most popular search engine has a history of “theming” its pages with an image or icon connected with particular holidays or global events.

This month, when an individual searches for words such as “gay”, “lesbian”, “LGBT” or “transgender” the search bar is displayed with a small rainbow alongside it.

While some have welcomed the nod to the LGBT community, others have asked why the rainbow is only visible when specific words are searched for, rather than it appearing more visibly and boldly on the site.

“This should keep the six-colour rainbow, a symbol universally associated with gay pride ever since San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker created it 33 years ago, from appearing on the pages of those who are still opposed to gay rights. And keep Google from having to deal with any backlash,” wrote Nicholas Jackson from The Atlantic.

Nevertheless, he still praised Google for being one of the most gay-friendly corporations in the world. The company has taken part in various gay pride events in a number of cities and also offers gay-friendly benefits to its LGBT staff.

In May, Google produced an ‘It Gets Better’ Chrome television advert in support of gay and lesbian youth which was broadcast nationally in the US.

Watch the Google ‘It Gets Better’ commercial below.

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