Business Technology

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Android's 'n-word' poll sparks online jeers

Google Android
Google Android

Amy Tennery

Google's Android ran afoul of social media users on Wednesday after encouraging people to nominate a word starting with the letter "N" for the latest version of its mobile operating platform.

An Android website asked for submissions for "any tasty ideas that start with the letter N" for its new "Android N" operating platform, which was unveiled at its Google I/O developers conference on Wednesday.

The backlash ranged from gentle ribbing to invocations of the term "the n-word," which is frequently used as a stand-in for an offensive racial slur.

"Google please do not ask the internet to send you n-words," tweeted Jon Hendren (@fart) a so-called "DevOps thought leader."

A representative for Google, a unit of Alphabet, declined to comment.

"Android Nope #NameAndroidN," tweeted Schrödinger Cait (@stimpyjaycat).

"I think it's obvious how #nameandroidn can go terribly wrong lol," tweeted Tøm (@skullisnull).

Gizmodo reported on Wednesday that the online anonymous message board 4chan was flooding the Android's name submission site with suggestions akin to an offensive epithet for black people.

Some social media users suggested "nachos," "Nutella" and "nectarine."


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