Gboard’s List of ‘Bad Words’ Blocks Problematic Autocorrect Predictions Centered Around COVID-19
Over the years, Gboard has transformed from a simple, lightweight keyboard to a bloated mess chock full of features nobody asked for. Credit where it is due, Gboard's predictions are arguably the best in the industry. Only SwiftKey comes anywhere close to the level of Gboard in this regard. However, the latest Gboard update might come off to many as thought policing because let's face it, that's exactly what it is. Jane Manchun Wong stumbled across Gboard's list of 'bad words.' The app will now actively block any coronavirus-related entries that it deems 'problematic.' Here's a list of COVID-19 phrases that will soon get blocked from Gboard's autocorrect.
- China disease
- China virus
- Chinese disease
- Chinese virus
- Asia disease
- Asia virus
There are a lot of other words on the list, most of which are either sexual in nature or racial slurs and to be honest, some of those belong in that list. You can check it in its entirety here. Bear in mind that this restriction will only apply to Gboard's autocorrect feature. So if you planned on using the phrase at the top, autocorrect would not predict the next word for. You can still use these terms in texts, though. It's just that you'll have to spare an extra second or two typing it manually.
The move probably comes as a measure to reduce 'stigmatization' around the virus. It has a lot of names, some of which are listed above. Many argue that it is justified as a lot of pandemics have often been named after the places of their origins, while others say that associating the region with the virus is an indirect form of racism against that ethnic group. There is no word as to when these changes will go live. In all likelihood, they already are in place.