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offensive google app?

Posted by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 10:50 PM
  • 4 Replies

Asian-Americans speak out against Google app they call offensive

By Sarah Edwards, CNN

(CNN) – The maker of a Google app thinks it's fun to make yourself look Asian by changing the shape of your eyes and wearing a Fu Manchu mustache and rice paddy hat.

Another app - "Make Me Indian" - makes you a Native American with brown skin, war paint and a feather headband.

“This is just a fun app (that) lets you indulge you and your friends," says the description of the "Make Me Asian" app created by user KimberyDeiss and available on Google Play.

"You can for a few seconds to make (yourself) a Chinese, Japanese, Korean or any other Asians," the description says.

Not amusing or cute, say Asian-American organizations that launched a petition to get Google to remove both apps.

The apps use dated and racist stereotypes of Asians and Native Americans, said the online campaign 18 Million Rising, named after the number of Asian-Americans in the United States.

“These racist and offensive portrayals of Asians and Native Americans perpetuate damaging racial stereotypes and should not be distributed on the Google play store," said the campaign, which has an online petition to remove the apps.

Google, however, said the apps are not in violation of the company's policies that protect against hate speech.

"We don't comment on individual apps," Google said in a statement. "We remove apps from Google Play that violate our policies."

KimberyDeiss makes other photo-altering apps including "Make Me Old" and "Make Me Fat." There's also "Make Me Russian" and "Make Me Irish," which play off stereotypes.

But the furor in the Asian-American community, sparked a few weeks ago, is growing. Blogs, including Angry Asian Man, have reinforced the call to remove the apps.

Washington pastor Peter Chin decided to mount an even larger protest on the website Change.org.

Chin said he understood Google's motto is "Don't be evil." That makes it hard to fathom why the company would support these apps, he said.

This is the first time Chin has protested in this way. He was prompted to act, he said, because Google refused to do so.

“Google normalizes everything from Google maps, Gmail," he said. "If you want to search for something on the Internet, you even say to 'Google it.'"

Chin feared Google's power would make people think the apps were OK.

"I wanted to make sure this app isn’t given a pass of approval," he said.

Chin said he wants Google users to know that the stereotypes in the apps have been used to marginalize and discriminate against people.

"It's not cool," he said.

CNN's Moni Basu contributed to this report.

by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 10:50 PM
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Replies (1-4):
jessilin0113
by Platinum Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 11:47 PM
Tacky.
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Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 11:50 PM

While it may be tacky it's fun and fodder for some people. blah

cueballsmom
by Silver Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 11:55 PM
So, I can't see what my bone structure would look like in another race? Well, that's just offensive.
jessilin0113
by Platinum Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 11:58 PM
3 moms liked this
I don't like these things. "Asian" or "Russian" isn't a costume to try on and giggle over. Even things like geisha or native American fashions annoy me. It's taking a complicated cultural or racial identity and reducing it to a party trick or sexy underwear.
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