Google Pulls ‘Make Me Asian’ App From Play Store
Are slanted eyes and rice paddy hats considered hate speech? Google has pulled KimberyDeiss’ “Make Me Asian” app from its Play Store after thousands signed a petition on Change.orge calling for its removal. As previously reported on WallStreetInsanity, Washington, D.C. pastor Peter Chin protested the Android app which allowed users to add photo overlays of hair, headgear and other accessories—such as a Fu Manchu Mustache—that evoke racial stereotypes. Chin started the online petition calling for the removal of “Make Me Asian,” as well as the similar “Make Me Indian” app.
“I created the petition as a means of saying, ‘No, this kind of stereotype is not acceptable to me, and to many others, and we will not simply shake our heads but accept it as our fate,‘” Chin told KoreAm Journal.
The two apps were created by user KimberyDeiss, whose dossier includes other photo-altering apps such as “Make Me Old” and “Make Me Frankenstein.” In addition to the apps included in Chin’s petition, KimberyDeiss has also created “Make Me Russian” and “Make Me Irish.”
More than 10,000 people signed Chin’s petition as well as another started by online activist group 18 Million Rising, which spread online with the hashtag #makemeracist.
Google did not confirm if the two petitions bore any weight in its decision to remove the apps, but according to a company statement released to CNN, it removes apps from Google Play that violate its policies. Google’s developer program policy prohibits hate speech toward groups based on factors including race and ethnicity.
Do racial stereotypes count as hate speech? According to Ball State University, “hate speech consists of verbal and nonverbal expression that is used to demean, oppress, or promote violence against someone on the basis of their membership in a social or ethnic group.” Hate speech can include racist cartoons, ethnic slurs, burning crosses, politically incorrect jokes targeted at the disabled or elderly, sexist statements, and anti-gay protest signs, to name a few examples. Should the “Make Me Asian” app be banned or was it a form of free speech? What are your thoughts?
[Image via Change.org, Peter Chin]
I want more stuff like this!