Google’s Android Keyboard Said to Block “Chinese Virus” Suggestions

Google has quietly updated what’s being described as the “Emergency Bad Words” list that its mobile keyboard app relies on to provide suggestions when typing, with several COVID-19 related terms now added.

Reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong has discovered multiple new “bad words” that Google added to Gboard, including the following related to the new pandemic:

  • China disease
  • China virus
  • Chinese disease
  • Chinese virus
  • asia disease
  • asia virus
  • virus

In other words, when typing any of these terms, Gboard, which is available on Android and iOS, should no longer provide suggestions to complete the phrases.

“I guess the “bad words” lists are something Gboard uses to prevent from showing up in the auto suggestions,” Wong explains. “I found that strange too. But then people could be pairing “virus” with various ways to reference it,” s… (read more)

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