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Android devices have a strange list of filtered words

No butt geek please, it’s Google
Tue Dec 03 2013, 15:38
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INTERNET GIANT Google's Android mobile operating system has a dictionary of unsavoury words that it would rather users not type.

The list, part of a file called Dictionaries in the OS code, discovered by Wired, is an odd one. Mixed in among words that we would expect to see banned, if we are banning words, are some seemingly innocuous ones.

Wired found the file in the Android 4.4 Kitkat source code, and said that it contains 1,400 odd words. Some are obvious, others less so, and Wired said that even "butt" and "geek" are no no words.

We asked Google if it wanted to chat about this. It did not. The EFF did though, and a spokesperson raised an eyebrow at it in the Wired article.

"I try to Swype-type the word ‘condom' and I get ‘condition' or ‘confusion'," said Jillian York, a spokesperson for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "There is no context in which that makes any sense. Grow up, Android."

So Android users are steered away from "klansmen", "condom", "butt" and "geek". Words like "morphine", "demerol", and the barbituric acid precursor known as "malonylurea" are equally unwelcome. Wired said that "marijuana", "methamphetamine" and even "bong" are all groovy, however.

The oddest thing about the list is perhaps that it will not recognise and replace a mis-spelled "Chromebook" or "Admob", but will switch out an "iPhone".

Continuing the technology theme, "Apple" and "Microsoft" are both fine and dandy with the dictionary, but "AMD" and "Garmin" have the same status as "geeky butt klansmen". µ


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