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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

55 Comments
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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: 514; 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: 1487; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


Haha lol...

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 04:25

9. villagerguyz (Posts: 95; Member since: 22 Jul 2015)


hahahaahahahahaha

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 05:09 4

13. ibend (Posts: 6549; 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: 4923; 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: 544; 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: 2790; 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: 23902; 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: 804; 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: 1669; 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....

Hmmmmm

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 04:46 2

11. darkkjedii (Posts: 23902; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


WTF Apple! Two totally different places man.

posted on 30 Jan 2016, 05:10

14. ibend (Posts: 6549; 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: 232; 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: 1667; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


http://www.medicinenet.com/stages_of_pregnancy_pictures_slideshow/article.htm

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: 1669; 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: 4730; 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: 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, 11:14

53. Awalker (Posts: 1669; 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: 4730; 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: 1669; 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: 4730; 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: 1669; 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.

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