Feeds

Google pulls 'racist' Make Me Asian app

Thousands petitioned for removal of Android app

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Google has responded to an online petition by removing an application from its Google Play app store after thousands of netizens suggested it was racist.

“Make me Asian” was one of a series of face-changer apps by a developer calling him or herself “KimbereyDeiss”. The same developer offers a a native American version - “Make me Indian” – and the slightly less offensive “Make me Fat”, “Make me Bald” and “Make me Frankenstein”.

The apps process photos captured by the smartphone camera, allowing users to change the shape of their eyes and colour of skin and superimpose “rice paddy” hats, moustaches and other elements.

All of the apps and the developer’s profile page have now been removed from Play, but some screen shots live on at the link on the developer's name above.

The writing was probably on the wall for the apps when a Change.orgpetition organised by Washington pastor Peter China calling for their removal garnered more than 8,000 signatures. Asian American activist group 18 Million Rising launched a similar online petition.

“Google has tried to defend itself in this matter by stating they are not responsible for the content of apps because Android is open source,” Chin wrote on Change.org.

“But the fact is that Google Play is NOT open source, but a branded store from which Google derives profit and has removed other racist apps, such as a Nazi app in August of 2010.”

Apart from the Change.org petition, the vast majority of user reviews were overwhelmingly negative about Make me Asian. Some 195 users out of 276 awarded the app just one star on Google Play.

Aside from this little hiccup, however, the app store is not doing too badly for the Chocolate Factory, netting it a 311 per cent jump in revenues last year. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
Netscape plugins about to stop working in Chrome for Mac
Google kills off 32-bit Chrome, only on Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.