Google Translate works sort of like a thesaurus. A person types in a word and the software pulls up suggested translations for that word. It’s a handy little tool, especially for high school students struggling with their French homework.
However, a number users have noticed that the software gives a number of offensive homophobic terms when trying to translate the word “gay.” Some of the terms include poof, queen, faggot, and fag, as well as fairy, queen, sodomite, pansy boy, and homosexualist. (We couldn’t help but chuckle at that last one.)
Naturally, an online petition was created demanding Google remove all antigay words from its Google Translate software. So far, the petition has garnered more than 50,000 signatures from homosexualists and their allies.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Google has been in hot water with homosexualists. Last November, a lesbian couple was shocked to learn Google Maps listed the name of their street as “faggots live here.” A week after that, a game that encouraged users to violently murder homosexualist men was briefly uploaded to the Google Play app store.
A spokesperson for the tech giant apologized for the most recent mishap, saying: “As soon as we were informed that some of our translations for certain terms were serving inappropriate results, we immediately began working to fix the issue.”
“Our systems produce translations automatically based on existing translations on the web, so we appreciate when users point out issues such as this,” the spokesperson continues. “We apologize for any offense this has caused people.”