Internet Pranksters Replaced Google’s Democrat Donkey Logo with a Rat

Google’s info panel about the Democrat Party was hacked and the party’s donkey logo got replaced by a red, white, and blue rat for 90 minutes on Monday.

Usually when a user searches Google for something like the Democrat Party, an info box will appear in the upper left hand corner of the screen on a desktop or laptop. Or it will appear at the very top on a cell phone. Inside that box will be a description of the search and also any logos connected to the person or entity.

But on Monday, when users searched for the “Democrat Party,” they saw a red, white, and blue rat next to the name of the party instead of the normal spangled donkey logo.

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It appears that the hacked rat logo stayed on the Google info panel for about 90 minutes on Monday before Google’s programmers corrected the situation.

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As Google defines their “knowledge panel“:

Knowledge panels are information boxes that appear on Google when you search for entities (people, places, organizations, things) that are in the Knowledge Graph. They are meant to help you get a quick snapshot of information on a topic based on Google’s understanding of available content on the web.

Knowledge panels are automatically generated, and information that appears in a knowledge panel comes from various sources across the web. In some cases, we may work with data partners who provide authoritative data on specific topics like movies or music, and combine that data with information from other open web sources … Knowledge panels are updated automatically as information changes on the web, but Google also considers changes in two main ways: directly from the entities depicted in the knowledge panel, and from general user feedback.

Google, though, said that the change in logos was not their fault. They blamed the Democrats.

According to the company, knowledge panels like these must be “claimed” by whoever or whatever is in the panel so that logos and other info can be guaranteed. Google says it has the info linked to whatever appears most popular on the web unless a company, entity or person signs up to maintain or verify the panel.

In this case, Google says that if the Democrat Party had signed up with Google to maintain its knowledge panel, its donkey logo would be impossible for others to change.

The donkey has been the Democrat Party mascot since 1870 and has ties back to 1828 when Andrew Jackson used the animal as a mascot for his presidential campaign.

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