Hawaiians spur STD app's name change

May 07, 2014 by Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

A sexual health information app called "Hula" will be changing its name after complaints that it is culturally insensitive to Native Hawaiians, the app's owner said Tuesday.

Ramin Bastani, founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based Qpid.me Inc., said that after weeks of learning to understand concerns of the Native Hawaiian community, he's moving forward with the name change.

"We immediately engaged the community and listened with an open mind," he said. "By doing so, we gained a great respect for hula, the Hawaiian culture and its history."

An online petition asking him to change the name argued that it exploits a sacred cultural dance. Bastani previously said the name would remain, even after the petition gained some attention in March, but he immediately removed any references to "getting lei'd" in marketing the .

"As we continued to listen and learn, we realized this is the right thing for us to do," he said. Recently, the controversy seemed to die down, he said, but that "quiet period" allowed the company to "truly reflect."

Bastani apologized to anyone who was offended by the name.

"That was absolutely never our intent," he said.

On Friday, the state Senate Hawaiian Affairs Caucus and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs issued a statement calling the name "highly insensitive, tactless and inappropriate."

Office of Hawaiian Affairs CEO Kamanaopono Crabbe said in a statement Tuesday, "We appreciate this change, in acknowledgement that no culture should be demeaned for profit or convenience."

Bastani said a new name hasn't been determined, but he assured it won't have anything to do with Hawaii.

"We promise to change the name in the very near future," he said, estimating it will happen in the next month or so, after ironing out legal details and other issues.

"We need to redo our entire website, all of our marketing, our application," he said. "There's a lot we need to do."

Bastani said he'll continue to educate others not to associate "getting lei'd" with his health tool.

The free app's website says its functions include helping users find an STD test center, get the results online, and share their verified STD status with people they choose.

Bastani said the app is about "helping people retrieve and share ."

Explore further: Facebook buys fitness app Moves

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Facebook buys fitness app Moves

Apr 24, 2014

Facebook has bought the fitness app Moves, which helps users monitor daily physical activity and their calorie counts on a smartphone.

Is Facebook finally taking anonymity seriously?

May 06, 2014

Having some form of anonymity online offers many people a kind of freedom. Whether it's used for exposing corruption or just experimenting socially online it provides a way for the content (but not its author) ...

Recommended for you

Namibia prepares for Africa's first e-vote

3 hours ago

Namibia will vote in Africa's first electronic ballot Friday, a general election that will usher in a new president and quotas to put more women in government.

US agency threatens to act against air bag maker

7 hours ago

A dispute between U.S. safety regulators and air bag maker Takata Corp. escalated Wednesday when the government threatened fines and legal action unless the company admits that driver's air bag inflators ...

Japan orders air bag maker to conduct probe

Nov 21, 2014

Japan's transport ministry said Friday it has ordered air bag maker Takata to conduct an internal investigation after cases of its air bags exploding triggered safety concerns in the United States and other countries.

Senators get no clear answers on air bag safety

Nov 20, 2014

There were apologies and long-winded explanations, but after nearly four hours of testimony about exploding air bags, senators never got a clear answer to the question most people have: whether or not their ...

Winter-like temps can reduce tire pressure

Nov 19, 2014

The polar plunge that has chilled much of the nation does more than bring out ice scrapers and antifreeze. It can trigger vehicles' tire pressure monitoring systems overnight, sending nervous drivers to dealers ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.