I’m pretty sure that when Google made their You Tube video to promote the search and hashtag improvements to Google+ they had no intention of offending their audience but the careless use of hands and fingers is something all photographers and indeed videographers need to be aware of.
Is this what Google really think about their customers or should they be more aware of hand gestures and how they are interpreted?
Nearly all professional photographers will have encountered the character in the back row of a group shot casually giving a two fingered salute which sometimes escapes the eagle eye of the editor and gets published but this slip by Google illustrates how important it is to check your pictures and videos before you publish them.
Some people use their hands in an expressive way and used properly this can be a powerful addition to any visual presentation but we need to be aware of how these movements are seen by the viewer.
When I first looked at this video my unconscious mind was suddenly jolted by what I thought I’d seen on screen; now some would say any offence is in the eye of the beholder and maybe my mind is not as clean as it might be, but I can’t be alone in being momentarily shocked by what I thought Google was saying to me.
The lesson from this has to be make sure you examine any picture or video carefully before you publish, and always get several other people to look at it too in case, like me, their minds are not as innocent as they would like.