Gorillas in the Missed: Google Tags Black People as Gorillas

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Google Tags Black People as Gorillas

July 2, 2015 – Brooklyn computer programmer Jacky Alcine got a surprise when he logged onto Google Photos this week; the Google Plus program tagged Alcine and his friend as gorillas, and then, just to add efficient insult to incredible error, it put put them in a “Gorillas” file. Tweeted Alcine, “Google Photos, y’all fucked up. My friend’s not a gorilla.”

Thousands of retweets later, Alcine added, “Like I understand HOW this happens; the problem is moreso on the WHY. This is how you determine someone’s target market.”

He got a response from Yonatan Zunger, the chief architect of social at Google Plus, who tweeted back, “Holy fuck. G+ CA here. No, this is not how you determine someone’s target market. This is 100% Not OK.” Zunger told Alcine a team was already working on the fix, and a refreshingly civil exchange ensued, with Zunger offering to “ping” Alcine in the morning to make sure everything was fixed, and Alcine responding that would be fine.

Which isn’t to say Alcine didn’t get his fair share of racist tweets, because this is the Internets.

So was “Google Tags Black People as Gorillas” an offensive screw up? Or a funny mistake? Vote now and comment!

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