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Racist "Make Me Asian" App Removed from Play Store

Steven Blum
10

If you were wondering where Google draws the line between funny and profane, the latest controversy over the app "Make Me Asian" should be fairly instructive. Google banned the face-morphing app after receiving complaints from Asian-American groups that objected to it for embracing racist stereotypes.

What kind of stereotypes? Oh you know: rice paddy hats and Fu Manchu-style mustaches. Basically, the app transformed your face into an outdated collection of racist iconography.

The app developer, Kimbery Deiss, also trolled Jews and African Americans with the apps Make Me Auschwitz and Make Me Black – both of which were also pulled. Make Me Black darkened skin tone and superimposed a watermelon on the user's lips while Make Me Auschwitz superimposed a "Jude" star on the user's neck. 

What year is it again? And why are people coming to the developer's defense and pretending that these stereotypes are funny? Maybe some folks don't find these apps offensive, but funny? Really? Those who think these kinds of apps are hilarious should buy themselves a new sense of humor, as their current one is clearly trapped in the 1920's. 

Developer Kimbery Deiss's profile was completely removed and the developer did not respond to emails asking for comment. 

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Comments

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  • Anna F. Jan 19, 2013 Link

    He could have used that algorithm to transform people into, say, werewolves or aliens but no! He had to do that!

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  • Ti Mo Jan 20, 2013 Link

    Wow people losen up! It's just a joke, laugh about it and carry on. I would find it hilarious if there was a app that's called "Make me White" that puts tennis socks and sandals on your feet or gives you blue eyes or stuff like that.

    It doesn't do any harm. So quit making a big deal out of nothing.

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  • Anna F. Jan 20, 2013 Link

    @Ti Mo Some things just cross the line. These apps don't sound funny at all. You say that you'd love a Make Me White app but that's because there are no stereotypes for white people as a whole. I don't know any white people who wear tennis socks and sandals (in fact, I don't know ANY people that do that) and most white people don't have blue eyes (I'm white and I have black eyes and hair). When we hear the words "white person" I'm sure most of us don't think of blue-eyed sandal wearing dudes. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who think of all, say, Asian people as tiny people who wear pointed hats, have braided long hair and yellowish skin so to make an app that utilizes these stereotypes only makes them more widespread instead of just letting them die.

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  • Ti Mo Jan 20, 2013 Link

    yeah there's lots of stereotypes for white people..

    Never heard of the typical german tourist? leather pants, checked shirt, blond hair, blue eyes, beer belly, beer in one hand a plate of sauerkraut and weiss wurst in the other, white tennis socks and sandals.

    White people have money
    White people are ignorant
    White people blame everything on other races
    White people oppress minorities
    White people are the only people who are capable of being racist
    White people don't have any problems

    Need more stereotypes?
    So you think black humour generally crosses a "line"? Ever watched the movie The Guard? Funny as hell, it's about a fat irish cop who does all kind of weird and "Wrong" stuff. Watch it.

    I personally think black humour is super funny. Especially when it's about things I can identify with. So just laugh about it and carry on!

    And yes I am a white german, with brown hair and green eyes who would never touch tennis socks or sandals. And still I can laugh about it. I do like sauer kraut though..

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  • Ti Mo Jan 20, 2013 Link

    So you also find this song offensive? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCgx8zM3woQ

    I think it's really funny

    Entertainment, People!

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  • ljhaye Jan 20, 2013 Link

    Google play curates their store? Sounds very applish and against the "open " ethos of both Android and their Apps. I don't like this app but I don't think it should've been banned. If I want apps banned then I'd go to apple's walled garden where they make decisions for me and don't encourage independent thought.

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  • Anna F. Jan 20, 2013 Link

    @Ti Mo No, I actually think the song is hilarious xD It's in my favorites now -thanks!
    Anyway, back to what we were saying. The stereotypes you mentioned are not about white people as a whole; they're about different races that all happen to be white. Also, almost everyone views these white stereotypes as jokes but a lot of people take the black stereotypes seriously. I'm just saying that we should let all stereotypes die.

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  • Ti Mo Jan 21, 2013 Link

    It's true the world would be a he'll of a better place without stereotypes. But the world would also be a trillion times better without borders, without region etc. There wouldn't be any war. But you can't ban that.
    And since we can't ban it why not make fun of it and make the best out of it? :)

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  • Anna F. Jan 23, 2013 Link

    Sure, we can't erase all borders and ban religion (yet :P) but we can put an end to stereotypes. The apps that were mentioned in the article were not making fun of these stereotypes (like that song on YouTube), they were making them more widespread and that's not what we want.

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