London - It seems Google has become a little prudish with its latest Android KitKat operating system – especially when it comes to feminine hygiene and sex.
A list of banned phrases has revealed the tech giant will offer predictive suggestions when a user types the words “marijuana” and “bong”, but refuses to offer help for words such as “condom”, “Tampax” “braless”, “intercourse” and even “geek”.
The words were discovered in the source code of the new software by Wired.com and Google has declined to comment on why and how it made the choices.
So-called banned words aren’t words that Google will physically stop users from typing. Instead they are words that don’t feature in its built-in predictive text dictionary.
For example, when an Android user is typing texts or e-mails, they can enable predictive text suggestions to appear above the keys.
As the user types, Google will try to guess which word they are trying to write and offer a list to choose from. To make typing faster, users can select the word from this list rather than manually typing the word.
It also speeds things up when people use the swiping feature, which lets them swipe over the letters rather than selecting them individually.
According to the list of words discovered by Wired’s Jon Christian, if a user starts to type the words “sex”, “intercourse” or “lovemaking”, Google will not show them as suggestions. Typing the word “condom” gives suggestions for “condition” or “confusion”.
The report found that from the 165 000-word dictionary built into Android KitKat, 1 400 English words have been deemed inappropriate.
Words for genitalia are banned, as are certain medical terms relating to genitalia, including “irrumination”.
The word “butt” is banned, as is “panty”, feminine hygiene brand “Tampax” and “preggers” among others that relate to reproduction or sexually transmitted diseases.
Words that aren’t generally considered offensive and don’t relate to human anatomy yet are still on the list include “geek” and “thud”.
Christian also points out the word “supremacist” is banned, but “Nazi” isn’t.
Expletives are blocked from appearing automatically. Words including “suck” and “screw” also don’t show up as suggestions, which was the case in Android Jelly Bean too.
Many of these banned words are recognised once they’ve been manually typed, and Google knows if they’ve been spelt correctly or not.
However, other words Google doesn’t even recognise as words include Chromebook – the name for its own brand of laptops. – Daily Mail
WHICH WORDS ARE BANNED?
Selection of banned words Google doesn’t show in its predictive text tool: sex, intercourse, lovemaking, coitus, penis, vagina, irrumination, pizzle, butt, panty, braless, Tampax, preggers, suck, screw, geek, Chromebook, thud.
Allowed controversial words: Marijuana, bong, methamphetamine, Nazi.