Google pulls 'racist' Make Me Asian app
Thousands petitioned for removal of Android app
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. ®
More PC over-reaction
I know I wouldn't be offended if there were an app' "Make Me Round-Eye".
Or maybe an app' "Make Me White", heck Michael Jackson did it in real life!
This is just pixels, big deal.
Re: More PC over-reaction
Whenever it is hard to draw a line, some people will go over it just to make sure. To me "tasteless" might apply, but "racist" is out of the question.
Re: More PC over-reaction
I don't get it... An app that makes you look asian is 'racist'
but an organisation that discriminates based on skin colour is not as long as its for a 'minority?"
i.e. National Black Police Association is fine, but if there was a National White Police Association would certainly not be...
When will the old folks in power realise that kids of the 80's have grown up not caring about race alone...
Annon as I expect backlash...)