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Offensive Google App Removed, Developer Apologizes

Jim Burroway

February 20th, 2009

The developer of the Google App “Straight?” has removed his app from Google’s Android Marketplace. He has also posted this apology:

Hello Everyone. We just want to let you know that we have removed “Straight?” application. We really do not want to offense or humiliate anyone. We are saying “Sorry” to people who took this app seriously, although it was done just for fun, without any intention to hurt the feelings.

[Hat tip: Jason Dabrowski]

Comments

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Pomo
February 20th, 2009 | LINK

Well I hope all the gays are happy. we’re one step closer to equality! ::rollseyes::

Jason D
February 20th, 2009 | LINK

Pomo, actually, we are. When people recognize that this sort of of misguided attempt at humor isn’t acceptable, and certainly isn’t as “all in good fun” as they might believe….perhaps it won’t be so difficult to fight the larger battles, at the very least we’ll have fewer unnecessary distractions along the way.

The tide is turning, but every tide is made of billions of drops of water, this is but one, and each one counts.

Emily K
February 20th, 2009 | LINK

I have to say, until the Holocaust occurred, “Jew jokes” were quite commonplace around cocktail parties and maybe even the dinner table in the early 20th century.

It took 6 million innocent lives for people to get the point. I don’t think that actions like this are unwarranted.

Laura
February 20th, 2009 | LINK

Emily,

To compare this to the holocaust is going a little overboard don’t you think? That said, the app was offensive/ inappropriate.

Gaydar
February 20th, 2009 | LINK

This reminds me of a funny app a couple of gay guys wrote for the Palm Pilot, they should re-release it for iPhone/Google.

http://www.alterheros.com/english/dossier/Articles.cfm?InfoID=340

http://www.palmblvd.com/software/pc/Gaydar-Deluxe-2000-06-27-palm-pc.html

Jason D
February 20th, 2009 | LINK

Laura, considering gays and lesbians were part of the holocaust, it’s hardly inappropriate.

Also, read her post again, she wasn’t comparing this particular issue to the holocast.

Emily K
February 20th, 2009 | LINK

Oh please, Laura, I’m not saying this is equivalent to the Shoah. Quite the contrary. I’m saying that such an extreme event is what caused people to finally think twice for us Jews. And that such extremes needn’t happen in order for us to learn lessons. We can take civil routes such as informing and educating.

The google app makers aren’t “nazis” and I do not believe that a gay “holocaust” is happening as a result of our lacking in equality. I’m sorry you interpreted as such.

Pomo
February 20th, 2009 | LINK

Well if we’re gonna be hyper-sensitive then all jokes are out of bounds or they’re not. Just yesterday (the same day this story was first posted) our very own beloved Jim Burroway posted a joke about lesbians an U-Hauls.

http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2009/02/19/8967

Now lets apply all the above comments to Jim and demand that he take down the ‘offensive’ joke and apologize to all the hurt people of the world…

Its a double standard and its unacceptable.

Jim Burroway
February 20th, 2009 | LINK

Pomo,

I don’t think anyone here thinks that all jokes are out of bounds. You’re fighting a strawman that none of us have raised.

But a so-called joke where straights “win” the game but gays “lose” is not what I call funny. It’s the asymmetry of this particular joke that can reinforce the same attitudes which lead to taunting or worse. That’s the last thing we need to encourage.

I think Timothy put it best on the other thread:

It did have the potential to be funny.

Had the straight response been something like “Total Breeder. Grab a beer and watch the game” and the gay response been “Fly your rainbow freak flag, Supermodel” it might have made me chuckle. It could have played on stereotypes in both directions.

But to call one “THE MAN!” and the other “sweety” is offensive. And even worse, not at all clever.

And of course, the losing response wasn’t just calling someone “sweety”, but the more negative “sorry, sweetie…”

Pomo
February 20th, 2009 | LINK

Jim, that clarifies. Thanks. I don’t personally take offense to the joke you made, nor did I take offense to the googe app.

Many people already see minority groups as whiners. Instances like this don’t help. I think more harm than good comes from it. Sure one small app is closed but the attitudes prevail and are only strenghtened by the fact that we “complained and got our way”.

I just don’t think its a battle worth fighting. We’ve got to be strategic.

werdna
February 20th, 2009 | LINK

One thing that I don’t think has been mentioned is that the person who wrote the apology doesn’t appear to be a native English speaker. I think this may have more than a bit to do with how badly the attempt at a joke failed. It also makes me inclined to cut Bendroid a little bit more slack than I might otherwise. He/she/they may not have expressed contrition in quite the fashion we’d like, but there was an attempt at an apology and the offensive app. has been removed. Thanks for your efforts, Jason.

Joe
February 20th, 2009 | LINK

Why is it that apologies sometimes seem more offensive than the thing a person is apologizing for?

When he says that he didn’t mean to “humiliate” anyone, what’s that all about. Does he think that the problem with the ap is that non-gay people who were told they were gay were humiliated and for that he is sorry?

Something tells me the author missed the point of what was wrong with his ap.

Jason D
February 21st, 2009 | LINK

Pomo, your post is a perfect example of “Cop-in-the-head”. Little ways in which we self-oppress. Is this the biggest issue facing the gay community? No, absolutely not, but I have every confidence that the gay community can walk and chew gum at the same time. This took minimal effort and had a resolution within a matter of weeks. In that time I probably spent a total of 3 hours on this. If all our battles were that fast, we’d have a transgender lesbian President(and her Wife) in the White House by now.

Werdna, Joe, despite the obvious language barrier I’m more than pleased with the response from Bendroid. It rang as clumsy but sincere to me.

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