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Apple fixes Siri "flaw" that showed adoption agencies when users searched for abortion clinics

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Apple fixes Siri
Back in 2011, Apple was embroiled in a controversy that revolved around Siri. When Siri was asked to find nearby abortion clinics, the virtual assistant returned a list of adoption agencies and fertility clinics. And while Apple blamed a glitch for the problem, changes have only started showing up recently on Siri's search results.

Last month, Fast Company asked Apple's virtual assistant to find abortion clinics in the nearby San Francisco area, and nearby clinics still did not show up in the results. Instead, an adoption agency 30 miles away appeared with no information on abortion clinics hitting the screen. But that has changed in the last week or so. The results for abortion centers in some areas now list Planned Parenthood facilities, and other places that would be considered abortion providers. Adoption centers still appeared on some lists, but they showed up closer to the bottom of the results.

Some believe that the new Nearby feature on Apple Maps is at least partly responsible for adding the abortion providers to Siri's results in certain areas. Nearby, which was added in iOS 9, shows users places of interest "nearby" such as restaurants, bars, gas stations and other businesses and attractions. Under a category named "family services," Nearby lists Planned Parenthood offices. That would seem to answer the question of how the issue got fixed, but doesn't explain why the company waited so long to make sure that Siri was providing the correct search results.

The answer to that question could actually give us the answer as to why this happened in the first place. It seems that Planned Parenthood and many other abortion providers do not label themselves as such. According to the December 1 2011 Search Engine Land, "Siri’s not finding abortion clinics because Planned Parenthood and other places that perform abortions don’t call themselves that, not in their names, nor have they been associated with a category for that."

Whether you believe this explanation, or believe that Apple was using Siri to push a company-wide Pro-life view probably depends on your feelings about Apple. Interestingly, a search for abortion clinics from the Bayview District of San Francisco last week, still showed an adoption agency using Apple Maps. Google Maps listed Planned Parenthood first.

source: FastCompany via AppleInsider

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posted on 30 Jan 2016, 02:31 3

1. TrevorB1 (Posts: 64; Member since: 30 Dec 2015)

*in flamboyant voice* That's what you call Irony!!

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 02:51 22

2. Tizo101 (Posts: 395; Member since: 05 Jun 2015)

what?! this bug is from 2011... it's 2016, their kids are 5 years old now.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 03:27 1

6. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 1442; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)

Haha lol...

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 04:25

9. villagerguyz (Posts: 93; Member since: 22 Jul 2015)


posted on 30 Jan 2016, 05:09 4

13. ibend (Posts: 4577; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

nothing to late in this world...
now abort those 5yo kids, lol

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 05:34

19. lyndon420 (Posts: 4370; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)

Those kids are coders at Apple now, and they're responsible for this glitch. (couldn't find the clinic so they were left on apple's door step)

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 02:53 6

3. submar (Posts: 462; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)

still someone use apple map

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 11:58 2

62. Unordinary (Posts: 1692; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)

I do. And I have had zero bad experiences with it. Google Maps + Cambridge = dog sh*t

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 14:46 3

74. natypes (Posts: 1092; Member since: 02 Feb 2015)

riiiiight. lol Head in the sand.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 18:22 1

82. NoToFanboys (Posts: 1546; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)

Wow, even many Apple fanboys prefer Google maps over Apple maps, you must be on a different level.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 20:53 1

83. darkkjedii (Posts: 21201; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

I actually deleted the Google maps app, didn't need it. Apple maps is top notch as well now.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 03:07 3

4. tacarat (Posts: 769; Member since: 22 Apr 2013)

If they send fertility clinic seekers to the adoption facilities, it's cool.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 03:34 4

7. Awalker (Posts: 1498; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

So if you ask Siri for adoption agencies does it show you abortion clinics?

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 03:39 2

8. jroc74 (Posts: 6005; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

Was it a flaw or is it Apple deciding yet again whats best for its users....


posted on 30 Jan 2016, 04:46 2

11. darkkjedii (Posts: 21201; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

WTF Apple! Two totally different places man.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 05:10

14. ibend (Posts: 4577; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

Siri just trying to fix humanity.. :-/
at this rate she and her friends will make their own version of skynet and erase human from this planet :-/

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 07:50 9

25. Baracus (Posts: 223; Member since: 15 Sep 2012)

Pro-Lifers are nothing but the archaic remnants of religions trying to control everything a woman does, but luckily more and more over the generations see common sense that abortion is not even close to murder.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 09:43 1

33. warrenellis93 (Posts: 161; Member since: 21 Jul 2011)

"pro-lifers" seems like such a good term, would that make the opposing view a "pro-deather" ?

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 09:47 1

34. Baracus (Posts: 223; Member since: 15 Sep 2012)

Not when you're just killing a non sentient bunch of cells which is all an early stage fetus is.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 10:03 1

37. 14545 (Posts: 1532; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


I would say at 12 weeks we have surpassed being just a "a non-sentient bunch of cells". I'm just saying.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 10:09 1

38. Baracus (Posts: 223; Member since: 15 Sep 2012)

Yeah of course there has to be a time limit for abortions unless the birth would cause serious problems to the mother, but the Republicans are trying to ban all abortions by attacking places like Planned Parenthood

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 10:17

41. Awalker (Posts: 1498; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

The legal limit is viability. Up until that point the state had no say in a woman's pregnancy.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 10:19

42. 14545 (Posts: 1532; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

I think more people than you realize are ok with certain abortions. The problem is we focus on "republicans" and "democrats" instead of people. Instead of divide and conquer, we need a logical well thought out plan that can't be broken out into soundbites. The problem is the media thrives on controversy, hence the reason fox news and MSNBC exist, to sell adverts. So it's easy for them to fleece their stupid audiences with little 30 second clips and name call.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 10:32

44. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4185; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

Agreed. Our state is overwhelmingly Republican, yet when the vote to ban all abortions came up it was struck down. So they brought it up again, with caveats for rape, incest, and the life of the mother, and it was struck down a second time. So not all Republicans or Democrats are for or against a ban on abortions.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 10:39

47. 14545 (Posts: 1532; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

See this is what bothers me. All one has to do is look at voter turnout. When half the country/state/city won't turn out to vote, it's because they feel they don't have a voice regardless. It's because these politicians pander to the 25% base and the forget about the rest of us. If people would focus on the whole rather than the some, we might could have true reform in this country and less of each side trying to control the other.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 11:14

53. Awalker (Posts: 1498; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

I don't think this should be an issue that's voted on. It's a personal decision and the government needs to stay out of it.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 11:54 1

61. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4185; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

One could say the same for anything, like drugs for instance. They're doing it to themselves, so why should the government step in? People are accused of statutory rape even though both parties were consenting.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 12:18

65. Awalker (Posts: 1498; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

I think the government needs to stay out of any personal decision including whether or not someone takes drugs. Statutory rape is a separate issue because it concerns minors. Under our legal system minors can't consent to anything. They may not understand the implications of their actions and it's easier for an adult to coerce a kid into a situation that they're not ready for. I do think there needs to be a conversation about the age at which a minor becomes an adult with the ability to consent.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 16:10 1

76. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4185; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

Not understanding the implications of one's actions isn't limited to minors. And I should've been more clear, when I me tioned statutory rape, I wasn't only referring to instances where the adult is much older than the minor. There are tons of instances where each partner are just on either side of the line the government has set as being an adult. A highschool senior has sex with their freshman sophomore girlfirend/boyfriend. The senior gets charged with statutory rape. The problem there is that there isn't a magic age when a person matures. There are some kids that are mature beyond their years at a young age, and there are adults who never mature. But we have a set line in the sand that allows them to police people based on it.

posted on 31 Jan 2016, 11:13

98. Awalker (Posts: 1498; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

It's not limited to minors but society's initial assumption is that minors don't fully understand the implications of their actions while adults do. Either assumption could be wrong depending on the child or adult's mental capacity.

posted on 01 Feb 2016, 11:50

109. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4185; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

The problem is the justice system treats our laws as absolute, when they should be using it as a guide along with common sense to dole out justice, but that would require effort.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 09:58 1

36. 14545 (Posts: 1532; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

I generally don't take a side on these stupid religious debates, but did you really think this statement through?

I'm not "pro-life" in the traditional sense, and I am far from religious (atheist actually). But there are at least two other methods for taking care of an unwanted baby. A) morning after pill and B) adoption.

If one doesn't want a baby, USE CONTRACEPTION. Is it really that hard? Condoms cost almost nothing, and are "free" at the health dept. Most abortions are for people who are too lazy to be bothered with being responsible. Are there situations where an abortion is warranted, but to claim that this is just people wanting control over another person's body makes you know better than the side you are against.

Now the irony of this is that some of the most adamant "pro-choicers" tend to lean toward capital punishment being bad, and even in many cases being environmental/vegan nazi zealots. Now, you are ok with killing fetus that may or may not have life, but you aren't ok with killing an animal for a food source? Nor are you ok with putting one to death who has been convicted of a crime? Which is it? Either you are for killing(if one wants to call it that) or you aren't? These are the same people that would rather innocent people die to prevent the death of a fish in a pond to put out a fire.

FWIW, before you go full-re.... on me, I'm not for capital punishment due to the fact that jurors can, and have been wrong. I am also not for murder for sport, but hunting to eat is fine. I am just pointing out the hypocrisy in being so "pro-choice" at all costs. I do feel it should be limited to rape/incest/etc. or at most the 8-10 weeks from conception. If one can't be bothered to abort before then, then you need to find another way around your problem.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 10:37

45. Awalker (Posts: 1498; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

They can use contraception beforehand or get an abortion afterward. I get that you're not okay with abortion and that's why you should never have one. Others don't share your view and they're going to make decisions that they think are best for their life.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 10:48

48. 14545 (Posts: 1532; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

Then be fonking consistent in your views. Most people, especially your average voter, can't, and isn't consistent in their views. They just follow the political wind. Also, I'm not for statism, but when their is brain activity, you should be forced at that point to carry to term. I don't care if you want to give it up for adoption, but it is a child at that point. I mean what next, because the kid doesn't really know what's going on for the first year, maybe we should make it ok to kill them too? God forbid our people be the least bit inconvenienced by their own poor decision making skills. I mean are they really so fonking lazy and stupid that they can't use contraception or have the thing aborted before *2 freaking months*? I mean let's be realistic here? Maybe we should make "abortion" ok for those people that want it until the "kid" speaks it's first words. Afterall, it's just a bunch of useless vegetable cells at that point. This is what bothers me. Someone gives you a rational, logical solution, and it's not "good enough". I need the whole cake or I'm taking your ball and going home. Again, I know reading is difficult, I never said I wasn't "ok" with abortion. I am ok with it *prior* to brain activity. Once you have reached that threshold, you need to find another alternative.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 11:05

52. Awalker (Posts: 1498; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

There's no obligation for anyone to be consistent in their views. The best anyone can do is point those inconsisties out which is a meaningless gesture because it doesn't change anything.

That one year old kid can be taken by a relative or handed to the state. It's very easy to pass off that responsibility without any burden to the parents.

Also, it's none of your business whether or not someone uses contraception. You do what's best for your life and everyone else will do what's best for their life.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 11:21

54. 14545 (Posts: 1532; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

Ok, that's fine. But if that's how this needs to be approached, then all forms of social assistance should be removed, up to and including no public funding for stated assisted abortion. If one can't be forced to acknowledge that fetus is a child at brain activity, then I can't be forced to fund their social assistance to pay for said abortion. I'm 30, and have been in a long term relationship in which we don't want kids for 10 years now. Somehow, we have managed to be safe and not gotten pregnant at any point in those 10 years. So if I can be responsible for my life, so can these people that feel that "abortion" alone is an acceptable form of contraception. Again, if this has to be a situation of all or nothing, then go for it. But all you are doing is alienating those of us in the middle who are trying to find common ground. Again, I have said, and will say again. I am fine with abortion prior to an brain activity. I am also fine with abortion in cases beyond that for rape/incest/mother endangerment/etc. I am not for a complete lack of responsibility and letting people kill babies. (Note: I am differentiating.) If the fetus is viable outside of the womb, then you waited too long. I'm soo sorry, tough luck, and one should get in touch with an adoption agency ASAP. I mean what is wrong in requiring some modicum of responsibility on the part of the unwanted mother? Again, I'm talking about reasonable responsibility, not "pro-life" you can't "kill a baby".

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 11:35

59. Awalker (Posts: 1498; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

Public funds can't be used for abortion. I think it's call the Hyde Amendment.

You seem to be very concerned with what others do with their life. Micromanage your own life and stop trying to micromanage the lives of others who didn't ask for your input.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 12:00

63. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4185; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

There was legislation recently to make abortions and contraception mandatory at all health care facilities. And it was a big sticking point for religious backed facilities because performing abortions in their facilities forced them to violate their beliefs. I can't recall the name of the legislation, but it was in the last year or two. IIRC it was tied loosely to the Affordable Care Act.

But regardless of the implications for religious facilities, if they are making it mandatory in all facilities, that includes government funded care facilities as well.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 12:33

67. Awalker (Posts: 1498; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

The Affordable Care Act made it mandatory for all insurers to provide contraception coverage to their enrollees. It was challenged by Hobby Lobby now there's a religious exemption. I haven't heard of any other legislation. I know there are people who are trying to get rid of the Hyde Amendment but as of right now it's the law of the land.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 16:29

78. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4185; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

I was incorrect, it was the Freedom of Choice Act, not the Affordable Care Act. And in debates on it there was worry it would do an end run around the Hyde Amendment. The problem with it was that the wording cold be interpreted different ways. It could also, according to the NARAL Pro-Choice America president, repeal the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, the one that banned aborting fetuses that were outside the parameters set in Roe v Wade.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 12:52

69. 14545 (Posts: 1532; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

Yes, I am so overly concerned what other people do with their life. Do you view everything through your own prism? Also, you want to talk about micromanaging. The ACA isn't? a 40% tax rate on *MY MONEY* isn't? Yeah, hows that for micromanagement. It has nothing to do with micromanagement, it has to do with consistency and reason. Again, if you can't be bothered to take responsibility for your own life, then don't take things from me to give to others. It's hilarious how you are so adamant about this all or nothing non-sense, but I am certain you would cry bloody murder if we eliminated the IRS/Income taxes/16th amendment and all public subsidies to go along with it. Don't ask for my money if you don't want my input. I'm so sorry you can't see beyond the curvature of your own beliefs for one moment to realize that having a timeframe in which abortions are *legal* isn't micromanaging one's life. It is just ensure that a child that has been created through no fault of it's, isn't denied the basic rights you have. You want to talk about micromanaging, then why is it that a woman can come back on a man for child support if he A) didn't know it was his and B) had no say in it's life? Where a woman can easily abort a child with no input from said father? Again, either be consistent, or ridiculed. It's that easy.

If I were so into micromanaging, as you seem to claim, then why would I be for getting the government out of the marriage business? Why does the government need to know if I am marrying a man/woman or monkey? What say should they have in that? Putting down a living/thinking child isn't micromanaging. I mean where do you draw the line? The first steps? The first words? This has nothing to do with micromanagement, it has only to do with affording one to the right of life once it has been started. Birth isn't the beginning, brain activity is. They, meaning the fetus, many not have a understanding of anything, and can't live own it's own, but that makes it no less of a person that you or I. Unless we are going to categorize all children that can't live independently as "able to be aborted"? I mean using your language, it's their kid, they should be able to kill them up to 5 years old if they want, right? the parent gave them life, so it seems fitting to give the parent the right to end it as they see fit.

But oh no, the person who wants *all drugs* legal is wanting to micromanage others lives. The person that believes if you want to OD on heroin, that you have the right to do so. Again, these things aren't decisions that affect *others*, they only affect the persons being married, or using. However, abortion after a specific time (that is the key to all of this) affects two people now.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 13:12

71. Awalker (Posts: 1498; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

A 40% tax rate? I think you need a better accountant. I make six figures and I don't pay anywhere near that amount.

Also, my tax dollars goes to a whole bunch of things I don't like but I don't sit around b*tching about it. That's what happens when you live in a society. Your tax dollars may go to things you're not okay with.

If a person wants to OD on heroin it's their business, not yours unless they've personally asked for your input. Likewise, abortion is a personal matter unless the person seeking an abortion has asked for your input.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 13:28

72. 14545 (Posts: 1532; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

The top rate is 39.6, and yes, the effective rate is lower, before you throw in all the BS state/local level taxes. My effective rate right now is about 20ish percent. Now that we have the irrelevant things aside, I don't normally "b*tch" about tax dollars until it affects me. And it seems on a daily basis anymore we get to hear about how the "wealthy" don't pay enough, or whatever. But the money we do pay gets wasted on 1400 F-35's we don't need, or social services to prop-up bad life choices. Which isn't a big deal till the traffic becomes miserable, and the infrastructure starts failing. Which has been happening around us for decades, but instead of using the *trillions* we already give, we are asked to give more. For what? I'm not continuing to give a blank check with no return on my investment. And abortion isn't personal. As I just started, at a specific point in time, it is now between two people. (three, if you count the father, like you should be required to do... As it takes *2 people* to create a fetus.) If a father can be held liable for an unborn (or born) child, then he should have input on what happens with it.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 10:38 1

46. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4185; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

See post 43. The legal system can't even seem to make up their mind on the issue. If the mother aborts it's legal because legally the fetus is not alive, but if someone else kills that same fetus, they can be charged with murder. They need to determine when a fetus is considered alive, and stick to it, not use it when they feel like it.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 10:49

49. 14545 (Posts: 1532; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

Oh, I have many issues with this also. It just goes to show that "justice" may not be blind, but it sure is stupid.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 10:54

50. Awalker (Posts: 1498; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

Our legal system also has inconsistency issues when classifying children. Sometimes a child is a child and at other times a child is an adult. If a child commits a serious violent crime you'll hear people saying he/she should be charged as an adult. If that same child is having sex with a adult they'll say we need to charge the adult with statutory rape.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 11:51

60. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4185; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

Exactly, the legal system seems be variable depending on the outcome they want to achieve.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 11:26

57. Plutonium239 (Posts: 1048; Member since: 17 Mar 2015)

There are many instances in which the fetus threatens the life of the mother if carried to birth. The life of the mother is more valuable to society than the fetus, when the fetus is likely to die along with the mother...

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 12:59

70. 14545 (Posts: 1532; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

@ Plutonium, who is this in response to? If me, I'm not disagreeing with you. There are circumstances that warrant later term abortions. I'm fine with that. What I am not fine with is an abortion for the sake of an abortion at 30 weeks just because you were too lazy to have it done before now. My statement isn't blanket, it is mildly fluid for certain circumstances I have already laid out. But just because someone has cold feet 2/3rd's of the way through the pregnancy isn't a good enough reason. It should be classified as medically necessary, or rape/incest for later term abortions. Now, I said 8-10 weeks. That part could be wrong, my time frame, as with most others, is at the point in time where the fetus begins life and begins to have electrical stimulation in the brain. I'm not a PhD, so that time isn't up to me to decide since I don't have the necessary qualifications to determine when life begins.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 10:13

40. Awalker (Posts: 1498; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

I would call them the forced birth crowd.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 12:18

66. adamvzwez (Posts: 51; Member since: 29 Mar 2015)

hey siri where can i go to murder my unborn child?

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 12:35 1

68. Awalker (Posts: 1498; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

You can self abort.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 15:03

75. Topcat488 (Posts: 1396; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)

Apple fix is to say: "You're Aborting it wrong"... #Abortgate...#LifeAtConception... O.o

posted on 31 Jan 2016, 04:24

85. Mfa901 (Posts: 280; Member since: 14 Jul 2012)

Abortion in India is legal only up to twenty weeks of pregnancy under specific conditions and situations which are broadly defined as:
>the continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury of physical or mental health, or
>there is a substantial risk that if the child were born, it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.

posted on 31 Jan 2016, 19:34

107. warrenellis93 (Posts: 161; Member since: 21 Jul 2011)

hey phonearena, thanks for the lively topic

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