HomeCommunity IssuesApple fixes bug that blocks search term “Asian”

Apple fixes bug that blocks search term “Asian”

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Wang, using iPhone 11 Pro, iOS 14.4.1

Apple’s new update to its operating system, iOS 14.5, will fix a bug reported as early as 2019 that prevented iPhone or iPad users from using the word “Asian” in Internet searches when parental controls are turned on, Mashable reports. Though iOS 14.5 Beta is currently only released for developers, it will be released to the public later this spring.

The issue first became widely known earlier this year in February, when iOS developer Steven Shen Tweeted a picture of a blocked Google search for the word “asian.” 

However, Shen noted that he had reported the issue and filed a feedback form back in December 2019. By February 2020, the bug still had not been fixed. Principal product strategist at Workday Charlie Stigler also Tweeted about the problem, noting that the reason existed was because the system assumes any search term containing the word “Asian” is porn-related.

The fetishization and sexualization of the word “Asian,” especially in relation to Asian women, are historical power structures that have been under scrutiny recently due to a series of shootings at three different spas and massage parlors in Atlanta, Ga., where six of the eight victims were Asian women. 

The parental controls would also stop iPhone and iPad users from searching resources for and to support Asian American communities such as “Stop Asian Hate.”

Shen was glad to hear that the issue would be fixed in the newest iOS version.

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