MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google’s Android Market on Monday pulled the controversial app for Android smartphones that purported to help mothers determine if their sons were gay.
The app — “Is My Son Gay?” — was released early last week, causing an immediate uproar on Twitter, and in what some analysts had termed a “tidal wave” of internet outrage, that labeled the app as being homophobic and relying on inaccurate prejudiced stereotypes of gay men.
According to the app’s webpage, “After this test, you’ll have the proven answer to a question you might have since maybe a long time.”
The app consisted of 20 questions “to know more about your son.” It then offered one of three results” “gay, “normal and modern” or “not gay” — the last option assured mothers they ‘did not have to worry’ because they would have grandchildren.
When contacted by the press, a spokesman for French firm Emmene-moi, which had developed the app for distribution, said that Google had pulled it from the site unilaterally. E-mails to Google regarding their removal of the app went unanswered.
Christophe de Baran, the French designer of the application, who is openly gay, told the online French magazine RUE89, that the application had been “designed with a playful approach.”
“It is not based on any scientific approach. It assumes that certain behaviors, certain social contexts and family can sometimes be critical or indicative of homosexuality hidden, or not.
The questions I would ask are: what would it matter whether a mother wants her son is gay? What would it be serious he is? If the answer is no, then this application should not disturb. And yet … the sole purpose is to dramatize the situation and to help mothers accept their son’s homosexuality.”
Android Central, a website that offers news and reviews on Google and Android products, was quick to distance itself from the app after a barrage of tweets that erroneously blamed it for the app.
Phil Nickinson, site editor the Android Market said, in a statement, “We do not have the power to remove (or approve, for that matter) applications for the Android Market. That’s Google. We’re not Google. We’re not Android … We(‘ve) suggested more effective ways for letting Google you found the app was offensive, such as flagging it as inappropriate in the Market. We’re willing to bet more than a few of you did so.”