COVID-19 is wreaking havoc throughout the world but that hasn’t stopped many people from attaching to and using it to further their own agendas. Google are looking to prevent some of this by blocking certain xenophobic terms used for it in their auto-prediction tool on Gboard.

Although some public officials have used certain terminology to incite their base the World Health Organisation has warned against attaching a name such as this to the disease. The disease is actually COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and to stigmatise a certain country or population for it is irrational racial profiling according to the World Health Organisation.

According to tech blogger Jane Manchun Wong Google’s move to block the auto prediction tool on Gboard from suggesting terms such as these is not the first time they have used such measures to prevent false information from being spread. For example “global warming is a hoax” is also blocked (and obviously false to anyone who believes in science and facts) along with other sexist and racist terms.

The terms that Google is now blocking include:

  • China disease
  • China virus
  • Chinese disease
  • Chinese virus
  • Asia disease
  • Asia virus
  • virus

Of course many people who like to use these terminologies will continue and can continue to do so but Google will not help them. They will have to type it all by themselves with their fat, inbred, irrational, racist fingers.

Gboard - the Google Keyboard
Gboard - the Google Keyboard
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free
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JeniSkunk
JeniSkunk
8 months ago

Google forcing this on users, is Google helping China try to hide from public history as being the reported start point for this pandemic. Historical precedent for naming a pandemic after where it was first reported occuring in: With the 1918 H1N1 influenza pandemic, it gained the common name, Spanish Flu, not because of where it started, but because of where it was first publicly allowed to be reported as being present, by the various national main stream media of the day. The WW I censors in the majority of the western nations required their medias to not report the… Read more »

Ry Ry
Ry Ry
8 months ago

So the author of this piece is denying the origin of this virus? Perhaps you can enlighten us on where the virus came from then? #chinesevirus

Chris Rowland
Ausdroid Director
Reply to  Ry Ry
8 months ago

It appears uncontentious that SARS-CoV-2 originated in China. However, the WHO (and many other authorities) have counselled against calling it China Virus, Wuhan Virus or whatever. It’s unhelpful to do so.

Where it came from (or how, why, etc) aren’t really the most important problems for us to solve right now.

Ry Ry
Ry Ry
Reply to  Chris Rowland
8 months ago

If we followed all of the advice of WHO, we’d still have open borders and a lot more infected.

One of the original doctors called it “Wuhan Pneumonia”. He was Chinese.

The first two letters of MERS stands for “Middle East”, so why is it ok to name one virus after one part of the world but not another? Have Chinese communist spies infiltrated the UN as well?

By disguising the origin of the virus, we’re letting China off the hook when we need to be putting the heat on them as their recklessness devastates the world and its economy.

tony
tony
Reply to  Chris Rowland
8 months ago

Neither is censoring the name if you apply your logic. The Wuhan flu came from Wuhan.

Username001
Username001
8 months ago

Its not up to Google to do censorship and so-called political correctness, that is not their job. If they keep this up they will end up like a Chinese state controlled heavily censored search engine. This is where that path begins.

If they wanted to do some good in the world they could use their enormous computing resources to help Stanford researches fight the virus with the [email protected] project.

“fat, inbred, irrational, racist fingers.” – Scott, this was just plain unprofessional btw. Name calling is childish, unhelpful, and unprofessional.

Chris Rowland
Ausdroid Director
Reply to  Username001
8 months ago

As unhelpful, childish and unprofessional as calling SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 / whatever “china virus” or “kung flu” or “Wuhan virus” ?

I think Scott has very deftly demonstrated precisely the issue that Google was attempting to resolve here.

We can call things what they’re called, or should be called, and then we can call things completely nonsense terms which are unhelpful.

You’re exactly right, referring to people who call COVID-19 “Wuhan Virus” as having fat, inbred, irrational, racist fingers isn’t helpful. But neither is calling COVID-19 the “Wuhan virus”.

Sometimes it takes something a little confronting to make people think.