US University In Damage Control Mode After Hitler Trivia Appears On Big LED Board At Football Stadium

October 26, 2023 by Dave Haynes

Photo credit: Jeff Kowalsky

A US university has had to do a bunch of damage control this week after a very large image of Adolf Hitler appeared on the giant LED display at its football stadium, as part of a programming mix running ahead of a Big 10 football game.

The image – part of  pre-game quiz that used the big screen – was seen and captured by a photographer, and then posted on X, or Twitter as it was long known. It went viral and a shitstorm predictably ensued.

Michigan State issued an apology during the game and a day later, a university employee was suspended with pay, pending a deeper investigation. The university’s Board of Trustees also called for accountability.

The university says the athletics department is responsible for all content shown on sports facility video boards, and no one reviewed the whole “show” before it was pushed to screens and run, “exposing a failure in our process.”

The trivia question came from a service called The Quiz Channel, whose creator told Michigan Live he was unaware the university was using that content, and agreed it was inappropriate for that public setting.

It would be bad at any time, but particularly so, given what’s going on in Israel right now.

There is certain morbid irony in the photo, which has the Hitler image right above an LED ribbon suggesting “We never drop the ball.”

It’s a good reminder to anyone developing programming for screens to put some sort of review, moderate and approve process in place for programming – the idea of a “second set of eyes” on what gets pushed to screens. Companies using digital signage/DOOH focused subscriptions already have that sort of moderation and curation in place, but it gets dodgier when other sources are used.


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