Google’s strange list of offensive words for the Android keyboard

December 2, 2013
10

Google’s Android keyboard will block offensive words for you, but it also has a few strange additions to that list. While some are pretty obvious, and not worth repeating, some are just not quite necessary. Even better, the autocorrect for some words is just as frustrating as the inclusion on the list.


A recent report by Wired shines a light on the 165,000 word list, and though some words are clearly necessary for the list, others are not. For instance, as Wired notes, words like “condom” bring up “condition”. Others, like “klansman” are rightly blocked. “Nazi”, however, is not. Further adding fuel to the confusing fire, words like “morphine” are disallowed, while “marijuana” is just fine.

The easy conclusion is that Google employees are censoring these things themselves. If that’s true — and we don’t believe it is — they’re doing a poor job. Companies like “AMD” or “Garmin” don’t make an appearance, yet “Apple” and “Microsoft” are fine. Hilariously, “iPhone” is no problem at all, though “Chromebook” and “Zagat” don’t make the cut. Both of those are Google properties and brands.

While the easy fix is to get into settings and turn off the “block offensive words” feature in Google Keyboard, it doesn’t take care of everything. “Chromebook” still isn’t recognized, along with a host of others that simply don’t offend. We get curse words being blocked, but what if you want to ask someone to bring a Chromebook to the hospital for your Uncle who is coming off the morphine drip he needed for his condition so he’ll have something to do? I guess he gets an iPhone instead.


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  • Bill Gradwohl

    Lets burn books next.

    • anywherehome

      exactly…. Google is becoming dumber and dumber …. still quickly catching Microsoft and Apple

  • James Vincent

    That’s funny

  • Austin Gardner

    Why wouldn’t marijuana be fine? It shouldn’t even be illegal. Also, it isn’t even a drug! rofl

  • c625014

    Don’t know what kind of adult would even subject themselves to a profanity filter. I guess the same kind who can’t find the option to disable it?

  • IRIE4IPIEIR

    The auto correct is horrendous on the Android keyboard since jellybean. Even with the’block offensive words’ turned off, it still sucks. Hate it, Swype works better for me, it lets you manually save words, while Google keyboard supposedly does it automatically. Even though it does for some words, the words are not the first option recommended, which in turn slows down the typing experience, Swype’s auto correct system is so much better and smarter. The stupid thing about Google, is their apps are sooooo much better on an iOS device than on Android, in terms of user interface and fluidity, the hangouts app on iOS is better as well, it offers Google Voice calling without a need for a SIM card. Google is making all the wrong moves and I’m growing tired of it. I’ve bought TOO MANY apps and games dfrom the Play Store to switch but Google’s pushing it.

    • S

      Google does not to do it automatically, to add a word type it in and then press it in the suggestion box. I prefer this them Swype because it would add words by just pressing space. At least Google double checks.

  • Athena

    It should block offensive marketing buzzwords such as “addictive” and “disruptive”.

  • seancaldwell

    some words are excluded so that sloppy fingers don’t lead to common mistakes. Do you really want to see AMD every time you attempt to type ‘and’ and go a little far on the n?

  • Scott Malcolm

    “Others, like “klansman” are rightly blocked.”

    Wait, how the hell are ANY words “rightly blocked”?!

    Pardon me for being an adult but NO ONE makes that choice for me.