Google pulls 'Make Me Asian' app after uproar

Jan 18, 2013
Google has removed a "Make Me Asian" app—that let players change their appearance—following an uproar by Asian American activists who said the game promoted derogatory stereotypes.

Google has removed a "Make Me Asian" app—that let players change their appearance—following an uproar by Asian American activists who said the game promoted derogatory stereotypes.

As of Thursday, "Make Me Asian" and similar apps such as "Make Me Fat" and "Make Me (American) Indian" were no longer available on the search engine giant's online store Play.

"Make Me Asian" had billed itself as allowing a person to "make himself a Chinese, Japanese, Korean or any other Asian." The user was able to add features to a person's picture, such as a conical hat or a Fu Manchu mustache.

Nearly 8,500 people signed a petition on the social action site change.org urging Google to remove the app after the blog Angry Asian Man in November drew attention to it, calling it "ridiculously racist."

Peter Chin, the Washington pastor who launched the , said he was concerned that offensive to would become more mainstream if distributed through Google Play.

"I understand if people still use those characterizations, but I don't feel comfortable with them becoming commonplace. That would really, I think, be going backwards for the Asian American community," he told AFP.

"If this were several down the line and these kinds of stereotypes were so old and played out that no one even cared, then I could understand. But I don't think we're quite there yet. They are still fairly offensive and used very often," he said.

Asian American activists often complain that the community is depicted as being perpetually foreign, even though people of Asian heritage have lived in the United States for generations.

Google did not immediately return a request for comment. Chin said that Google only offered formulaic responses over the concerns and did not inform him that it was taking down the app.

Explore further: Instagram launches time-lapse video app for iPhone

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google boosts Asia data capacity as traffic grows

Dec 15, 2011

Search engine giant Google on Thursday formally launched the construction of a new data centre in Singapore to cope with the explosive growth of Internet traffic in the Asia-Pacific region.

Biracial Asian Americans and mental health

Aug 17, 2008

A new study of Chinese-Caucasian, Filipino-Caucasian, Japanese-Caucasian and Vietnamese-Caucasian individuals concludes that biracial Asian Americans are twice as likely as monoracial Asian Americans to be diagnosed with ...

Recommended for you

SHORE facial analysis spots emotions on Google Glass

4 hours ago

One of the key concerns about facial recognition software has been over privacy. The very idea of having tracking mechanisms as part of an Internet-connected wearable would be likely to upset many privacy ...

Does your computer know how you're feeling?

Aug 22, 2014

Researchers in Bangladesh have designed a computer program that can accurately recognize users' emotional states as much as 87% of the time, depending on the emotion.

Microsoft to unveil new Windows software

Aug 21, 2014

A news report out Thursday indicated that Microsoft is poised to give the world a glimpse at a new-generation computer operating system that will succeed Windows 8.

User comments : 0