Is Apple CENSORING our messages?
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- 22-07-13, 09:15 AM #1
Is Apple CENSORING our messages?
Is Apple CENSORING our messages? Study finds the iPhone refuses to correct sensitive or rude words
Is Apple CENSORING our messages? Study finds the iPhone refuses to correct sensitive or rude words | Mail Online
- Analysis has discovered Apple's iPhone will not correct sensitive words
- Researchers used iOS 6's built-in spell checker to test 250,000 words
- Words including drunken, suicide, and virginity were among the list
Apple's iPhone may be preventing you from typing certain words in your messages without you realising.
Analysis from news website Daily Beast has discovered that iPhone handsets running Apple's latest software - iOS 6 - will not suggest corrections for words considered to be sensitive or provocative.
Researchers used the built-in spell checker in the iOS API developer platform to test more than 250,000 words and discovered that suggestions do not apply for words including 'abortion', 'bullet', 'suicide' and 'pornography' when they have been mistyped.
When a word is misspelled on an iOS device including iPhones and iPads the incorrect word is highlighted in red.
This word can be double-tapped to open a menu that lets users pick from suggestions the phone believes the user was trying to type.
This fix works for the vast majority of words, but a few have been found to not have any suggestions, even if the mistake was by only one character.
The software used in the Daily Beast test is different from autocorrect, which attempts to guess a word and corrects it automatically.
According to the Daily Beast analysis, iPhones on iOS 6 will not suggest corrections for even 'slight misspellings of words such as 'abortion,' 'rape,' 'ammo,' and 'bullet.'
If a user types 'abortiom' with an 'm' instead of an 'n,' the software will highlight the word in red but when it is tapped a message saying 'No replacements found' appears.
The analysis states that there are over 150,000 words that are corrected automatically on the iPhone.
It adds that many 'modern spell-check and predictive text engines understand that the 'n' is located next to 'm' on a standard keyboard, so replacing it with its neighbor is the low-hanging fruit of the correction world.'
This finding didn't just apply to provocative words, either.
Daily Beast also found that 14,000 words which are recognised as words when spelled accurately, aren't given suggestions.
This included technical words such as: 'nephrotoxin,' 'sempstress,' 'sheepshank,' or 'Aesopian,' to name a few.
Among this list were also more frequently used words such as 'drunken,' 'drunkard,' 'Aryan,' 'murder,' and 'virginity.'
In total, the analysis found words were not identified as jargon or technical words but were not given corrections, including 'bigot,' 'cuckold,' 'deflower,' 'homoerotic,' and 'marijuana.'
The iPhones used for testing were all restored to factory settings and had no usage history.
All new iOS phones and tablets, as well as those that have been updated, run on iOS 6 with spell check built-in.
Older versions of the iOS software, from version 3.1.3 to 5 don't have this feature built-in and will accurately correct a misspelling of 'abortion.'
Jillian York, director for international freedom of expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation told Daily Beast: 'I hate to say it, but I donít think this should surprise anyone.
'Apple is one of the most censorious companies out there.'
She cited the companyís history of censoring products in its App Store as an example of this.
Apple was not available for comment.