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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: 510; 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: 1485; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)

Haha lol...

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 04:25

9. villagerguyz (Posts: 94; Member since: 22 Jul 2015)


posted on 30 Jan 2016, 05:09 4

13. ibend (Posts: 6420; 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: 4870; 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: 534; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)

still someone use apple map

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 11:58 2

62. Unordinary (unregistered)

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: 1104; Member since: 02 Feb 2015)

riiiiight. lol Head in the sand.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 18:22 1

82. NoToFanboys (Posts: 2615; 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: 23582; 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: 801; 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: 1657; 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: 6019; 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: 23582; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

WTF Apple! Two totally different places man.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 05:10

14. ibend (Posts: 6420; 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: 225; 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, 09:58 1

36. 14545 (Posts: 1667; 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, 10:03 1

37. 14545 (Posts: 1667; 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, 10:13

40. Awalker (Posts: 1657; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)

I would call them the forced birth crowd.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 10:17

41. Awalker (Posts: 1657; 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: 1667; 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: 4707; 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, 10:37

45. Awalker (Posts: 1657; 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, 10:38 1

46. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4707; 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, 10:39

47. 14545 (Posts: 1667; 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, 10:48

48. 14545 (Posts: 1667; 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.

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