Google has apologised after a translation tool suggested a number of offensive translations for the word “gay”.
The company has a new Google Service which allows a number of translation options. However, a number of people noticed that the word ‘gay’ was translated into homophobic slurs such as “faggot” and “fairy”.
“Imagine learning English and being taught to say hateful insults instead of neutral language for “gay”? Google Translate – used by over 500 million people every month – was suggesting slurs as synonyms for the word “gay”,” the AllOut team said in a statement. “Thousands of us signed the urgent petition and Google heard us. This is how powerful we are when we stand together.”
A Google spokesperson said:
“As soon as we were informed that some of our translations for certain terms were serving inappropriate results, we immediately began working to fix the issue. […] Our systems produce translations automatically based on existing translations on the web, so we appreciate when users point out issues such as this.”
The translation amendments are still being completed.
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