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

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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54 Comments

1. TrevorB1

Posts: 64; Member since: Dec 30, 2015

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

2. Tizo101

Posts: 566; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

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

6. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Haha lol...

9. villagerguyz

Posts: 96; Member since: Jul 22, 2015

hahahaahahahahaha

13. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

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

3. submar

Posts: 713; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

still someone use apple map

62. Unordinary unregistered

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

74. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

riiiiight. lol Head in the sand.

82. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

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

83. darkkjedii

Posts: 31280; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

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

4. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

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

7. Awalker

Posts: 1981; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

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

8. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

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

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 31280; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

WTF Apple! Two totally different places man.

14. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 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 :-/

25. Baracus

Posts: 223; Member since: Sep 15, 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.

33. warrenellis93

Posts: 550; Member since: Jul 21, 2011

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

34. Baracus

Posts: 223; Member since: Sep 15, 2012

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

37. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 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.

38. Baracus

Posts: 223; Member since: Sep 15, 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

41. Awalker

Posts: 1981; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

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

42. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 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.

44. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 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.

47. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 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.

53. Awalker

Posts: 1981; Member since: Aug 15, 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.

61. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 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.

65. Awalker

Posts: 1981; Member since: Aug 15, 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.

76. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 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.

98. Awalker

Posts: 1981; Member since: Aug 15, 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.

109. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 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.

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