US: Apple currently removing offensive definition of ‘gay’ from dictionary service

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Following outcry after a student discovered an offensive definition of the word “gay” in Apple’s MacBook dictionary, the company now appears to be rolling out new versions of the service in an attempt to rectify the issue.

Earlier this week, 5-year-old Becca Gorman found the dictionary listed ‘gay’ with a third, informal definition which read: “foolish;stupid,” with the following example: “making students wait for the light is kind of a gay rule.”

She followed this up by launching a campaign to lobby the company into changing or removing the offensive definition.

Business Insider now reports that it appears Apple is currently updating the dictionary service across the various MacBook platforms it appears on.

On the MacBook Pro, the word is currently unavailable. If the user enters the search term “gay” they are asked if they were searching for the word “ay” instead.

The Daily Dot, however, has reported that both previous non-offensive definitions of the term still exist in different MacBook versions, signalling that Apple is underway in rolling out incremental updates.

Ms Gorman originally sent an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking the company to remove the informal definition.

She wrote: “I assume that you are a pro-gay company, and would never intend for any one of your products to be as offensive as this definition was.

“Even with your addition of the word informal, this definition normalizes the terrible derogatory twist that many people put on the word ‘gay.’”

To her surprise, an Apple representative called her only an hour after she sent the email.

“They told me it’s so hard to track the dictionaries they’re getting sources from, and that they were also shocked themselves,” she said.

Earlier this month, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook wrote an editorial in the Wall Street Journal urging US senators to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Previously, the Apple iTunes store came under fire when it warned app-creators not to use the word “bisexual”, as the app may be banned.