Feeds

Google pulls 'racist' Make Me Asian app

Thousands petitioned for removal of Android app

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature
You don't want everyone to compile app lists from your fondleware? BAD LUCK
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.