mass shooting. This one was in a place that experienced a mass killing in what was supposed to be a safe place: the movie theater. Folks, please remind me to stay away from Aurora, Colorado.
So anyway, most of you know that I actually use a Google platform for my blog. I have been with Google for seven years, and I have visited their offices in D.C. and even met with some players for the company. Having said that, I got some disturbing news about Google recently and, as a result, I have to put them on blast.
"More than 7,700 people have slammed Google for hosting in its Google Play store the “Make me Asian” and “Make me Indian” apps. Asian-American groups and online users are urging Google to remove the racist apps from Google Play and stay true to its “Don’t be evil” motto.
Click here to view the petition.
Although Google has a Diversity@Google section on its website and a Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report including lots of “Googley” images and anecdotes about scholarships and internships and community philanthropy, we can’t assess its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Despite annual invitations, Google has never participated in The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity in the 13 years the survey has been in existence.
The free apps allow Android smartphone users to edit photos by adding “humorous” stereotypes that vary by app: They can darken skin color, change eye shape to an “Asian” slant or add ethnic accessories like an American Indian headdress. “Compare the results with your friends and laugh heartily!” writes app developer KimberyDeiss. “In few taps you can transform yourself and your friends in the real Indians, using different effects and settings.”
Both apps have been downloaded between 50,000 and 100,000 times.
Despite the “Make me Asian” and “Make me Indian” apps’ blatant use of offensive stereotypes, Google has refused to remove them from its Google Play store. The apps do not violate the company’s policies, Google told CNN.
Google’s hate-speech policy for developers states that it does not “allow the promotion of hatred toward groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity.” Because the apps are not “deliberately” offensive, they do not constitute a violation.
Washington, D.C.–based pastor Peter Chin, an Asian who was offended when he downloaded the app, launched the full-scale petition in reaction to Google’s inaction.......Chin says that “by choosing to allow these apps to proliferate on their branded Google Play store, they are implicitly normalizing these characterizations.”
Now he’s urging others to flag both apps as inappropriate and to tweet the following to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt: @ericschmidt Take the racist Make Me Asian and Make Me Indian apps off @googleplay NOW! #makemeasian
Additionally, users are voicing their outrage on the apps’ User Review pages: “What’s is fun for this app? I do not understand… It’s fun for white?” writes Hiro Tsukihiji. “Extremely racist app. I’m sure hipsters love this thing. I for one feel it’s racist. What will they come out with next a black face app?” writes Aaron Bollingmo." [Source]
Yes, Google might have some issues. A very well respected advocate for minority media participation recently let it be known that Google has "many issues with minorities". As of last year they had zero minority editors.
Also, "equal employment opportunity was listed in their internal policies guidebook as one of six minor items, another of which is that it is a dog company not a cat company. And it was just a sentence or two.
And the big one: redlining in the provision of high speed broadband in Kansas City. The excluded neighborhoods were low and middle income minority neighborhoods ... This after getting large subsidies from KC MO and KC KS. They don’t even provide service to schools in those neighborhoods, putting the school boards at risk for violating the equal facilities mandate in Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act if they take the service that’s limited to schools in non-minority areas."
Google is a huge company, and the perception is that they are progressive when it comes to social issues. Personally, I am starting to have second thoughts.
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