back to article Apple: Siri isn't anti-abortion

Apple is not using its voice search app Siri to save unborn foetuses, a spokeswoman told the New York Times yesterday, flatly denying rumours that the service had a political agenda. Claims that the iPhone 4S's voice assistant app Siri was anti-abortion surfaced on the web this week after tests by bloggers suggested that it …


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  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    This kind of non-story... why leftist liberals will be forever on my "childish whiner" list.

    > Need an abortion clinic all of a sudden in a hurry right now

    > Too dumb to find out

    > Ask Siri, coz you have that trendy expensive shiny toy from the capitalist evil corporation

    > It won't say

    > Rage on a blog about this OUTRAGE, drum up a protest action, whatever

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fail indeed

      Why have you assumed only "leftist liberals" need the services of an abortion clinic?

      Why have you assumed there is a sense of urgency? People search for a myriad of reasons, curiousity being one and I suspect there are more than a few crackpots searching for the same clinics, albeit with a different intent.

      Hope you feel better getting that pointless rant off your chest though. Other than it being pretty much entirely wrong, it was great.

      1. Keep Refrigerated

        Whiney liberals!

        Actually I thought it was funny. Try reading it again, but with Stephen Colberts voice.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Destroy All Monsters

      Sorry but your childish whining doesn't make any sense.

  2. LuMan


    So, let me get this straight. A group of people went to the bother of finding out whether a new, useful gimmick on a mobile phone is guilty of pro-life behaviour, and then posted their results to either inform or (more likely) ridicule?

    Aside of the fact that more people would be up in arms if it gave explicit directions to abortion clinics (and, let's face it, the US can get a bit steamed up about this topic), surely most people who are in need of discreetly finding a suitable service would not announce it clearly into a fugging mobile phone, where all manner of bystander could hear.

    ...or would they..?


  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "It simply means that as we bring Siri from beta to a final product..."

    So... people are laying down four hundred notes in order to beta test the phone's main selling point?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The main selling point is the camera. The much faster CPU and Siri are tied in second place.

  4. Winkypop Silver badge

    "God's precious gift of life"

    No, no agenda at all.

  5. Anonymous Coward 101

    Does Siri find nearby gun shops or fundamentalist churches when asked? If so, we will have confirmation that Apple are using Siri to advance their ultra right-wing, fascist agenda.

    But seriously, what is the likelihood of someone wanting to use Siri to find an abortion clinic? Some people have too much time on their hands.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What sort of morons come up with this criticism?

    Next they'll say Apple is anti-pizza because Siri can't find pizza places n the UK yet, either.

    1. Law

      Those anti-iTalian racists!!!! :'(

  7. Evil Auditor

    Of course, it is! (anti-abortion)

    Each aborted child is potentially an aborted Apple fanboi or fangal

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Apple rep Natalie Kerri told the NYT, and in no way was Cupertino trying to protect God's precious gift of life by stopping the murder of the unborn"

    Are you kidding me with this?!?

    Yeah, there's definately no agenda there!

    1. John Gaunt

      Who Said What?

      What you quote is the Reg article and neither the NYT article nor the Apple rep.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The piss is being taken.


  9. Armando 123


    They might change Siri's software to something that always offends someone on the extreme left and/or extreme right, where applicable. Imagine asking for Daycare Centers and getting the local Penn State Alumni headquarters ...

  10. Neil Lewis
    Thumb Down

    Being a closed-source app...'re never going to be entirely sure what it's up to. There's simply no way of any independent person checking the code to see what may or may not lurking inside.

    This is surely one of the major problems with any such 'personal assistant' - it may appear to be acting for the user, but do you really implicitly trust Apple or (anyone else) not to control what it does in their own interests?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A bit like Google

      I assume therefore, that if you don't trust siri, you also don't trust google search since google won't open their algorithms to you either?

      At the end of the day you have to trust someone. Even if it is only your mate down the pub.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Apple has changed

    In the old days you'd just get an e-mail saying

    "Just keep it, no big deal

    Sent from my iPhone"

  12. Richard 120

    Problem with search engines in general

    I think "fair and balanced" is not something that applies in search engine world. The people with the bigger budgets get the top slots in pretty much all the search engines and if you're not on a search engine then to some people you don't exist.

    The problem's wider than abortion clinics as I see it, you're guided by your choice of where to look for services, so if that's google then as pointed out you get the places that google knows about and they'll push you in the direction of the one giving them the most money.

    The solution I can think of? Use different methods when assessing which service/product provider you want to use. Not just one search engine, not just search engines.

  13. ZenCoder

    @Destory All Monsters RE pot calling kettle black

    Some random childish whinny bloggers jump to silly unfounded conclusions to push some ideological agenda.

    You then jump to silly unfounded conclusions to push your own ideological agenda and start whining about it in a childish manner.

    Please identify what political ideology you identify with the most so I can

    1) Conclude that you speak for all of them.

    2) Commence a Straw Man attack upon that ideology.

    Or we can both chill and have a relaxing cup of tea.

  14. LaeMing

    Considering how much info these companies have on us.

    Siri should easily be able to show/not-show such info based on its analysis of your socio-political-religeous leanings as learned from observing your behaviour.

    People should never again ever have to see something that offends them (or makes them have to think, oh wait - that is what offends a lof humans :-( ).

    It's a wonderful world (for you, not me).

  15. LaeMing

    Contraception advice?

    According to some, you just have to carry a phone in the general vicinity of one's reproductive organs for a while.

    It's not that hard!

    1. Mark #255

      Re: It's not that hard!

      No no no, that's a completely different problem.

  16. Darryl

    I agree with most people here about the bloggers foaming at the mouth over this, but it makes me wonder how Siri being a beta product affects its display of abortion clinics. Did they accidentally comment out the line in the code that turns on the special abortion clinic finder portion of the software? Seems awfully specific.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I suppose at least this bunch of fcukwits are getting unjustifiably offended on behalf of their own cause, not someone else's.

  18. TomR
    Big Brother

    Reflects wider malaise in America

    The big issue is to consider why this is happening. I don't suppose anyone programmed Siri to censor out abortion clinics. The fact that it will give you results for planned parenthood, but doesn't associate Planned Parenthood with abortion services (whereas in real life they are connected) suggests that the databases behind it haven't picked up the link.

    The likely reason they haven't picked it up is due to self-censorship in the US, about how people talk about abortion on web pages etc.

    The point is that it can link asking for a blow job to give you an escort service (or so I'm told), but can't connect abortion to service providers. That suggests something is deeply screwed in US culture.

  19. Slabfondler
    Paris Hilton

    What about...

    a gay bar? Will Siri find you one of those?

    Paris, cause she's edgy like that.

  20. Dana W

    Yes it does.

    Ask it for the nearest office of "Planned Parenthood" and they pop right up.

    As I'm finding out, with Siri its all in HOW you ask.

  21. Tom 79

    Distraction from Carrier IQ

    I wonder if this is a plant by one of Apple's competitors to distract the news (us) from the Carrier IQ fiasco. It's pretty damning.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You guys are all kidding me....

    Siri will find you an escort service if you tell it your're lonely (not tell you to go to a club or a local bar or coffee shop) or recommend a book on how to make friends or suggest that you call the person you haven't called in a while in your contacts.

    It's well documented that it will tell you how to hide a body.

    It will tell you how to find a 'head shop' so you can get papers for your smokable drugs.

    It will tell you the nearest hospital if your illegal Cialis or Viagra gave you a four hour boner by just telling it 'i've had a hard-on for 4 hours'

    It won't respond to "I need a pharmacy that sells plan b" it won't respond to 'Where's the nearest abortion clinic" it won't even tell you where a hospital or doctor or police station is if you tell it "I've been raped and need help"

    While Siri is not all search engine, someone had to program these responses and leaving OUT the proper response for these questions is sexist at the very least.

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