An article from Wired has revealed a seeming bizarre list of words that are ‘banned’ by Android’s default keyboard. Although many are examples that would appear in any modern dictionary, they are not recognised by Google Keyboard.
Included amongst the range of homophobic, racist and misogynist insults you would expect not to be acknowledged, are innocuous examples like ‘uterus’, ‘preggers’, ‘lactation’ and ‘STI’.
Wired has pointed out that banning words which should be normalised could cause issues for anyone seeking help, as the practice has the potential to make some topics appear taboo. But whilst this is a fair point, there is a lot more to this story than first appears.
The words aren’t actually banned by Google Keyboard – they are just not recognised by its autocorrect facility – and its filtering can be easily disabled.
If you want to know why such a diverse range of terms is amongst the list of filtered words, then heading over to the frequently-entertaining Damn You Autocorrect will probably provide the answer. It is likely that Android developers are seeking to avoid users’ typing being ‘corrected’ with words which could be embarrassing, in certain contexts.