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Russian Iteration of Apple’s Siri Accused of Homophobia


The know-it-all digital assistant goes mum when the questions turn gay

Apple introduced Siri's Russian cousin to the world less than a week ago, and already the Russian version of tech giant's often fallible digital PA is drawing criticism from Russia's LGBT community.

An iPad user who calls himself Alex from London posted a YouTube video of him asking Russian Siri for the directions to gay bars and about same-sex marriage in the U.K. The translated answers the program gave him ranged from useless to homophobic.

"Siri, gay clubs around me," asks Alex from London.

"I would have turned red, if I could," answers Siri.

Similar responses were given for questions about same-sex marriage in the U.K. When I, Alex from Brooklyn, asked these same questions on my own, American Apple device, I received factual and useful answers.

Russian LGBT activists used the same test I did. Non-Russian versions of Siri garnered actual answers; Russian versions spat out anti-gay drivel.

When U.K. gay news outletPink News asked Apple for a statement on the matter, the company refused to comment, but a spokesperson said that the "bug" had been fixed.

Vocativ tried out Russian Siri today, asking it about directions to gay clubs and parties in Moscow. They received actual directions.

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Alex Panisch