Google, do not support homophobia in Russia! #notokgoogle

Google, do not support homophobia in Russia! #notokgoogle

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Andrei Petrov started this petition to Google, Inc

According to statistics published on the Google Translate blog, over 500 million people use this popular service. It translates over 100 billion words a day. One of these words is homosexuality, which in Russian has an exact equivalent – “гомосексуальность”, but the service perpetually translates it into Russian as “гомосексуализм” (“homosexualism”). Likewise, homosexual is translated as “гомосексуалист” ("homosexualist") instead of “гомосексуал”.

Over the years, the sole option for these words’ translation remains unchanged and automatically gets into many Russian translations of foreign texts, littering the informational space with pathologizing expressions.

It is worth to mention that the World Health Organization excluded homosexuality from the international classification of diseases back in 1990. Since then, the use of the pathologizing terms "homosexualism" and "homosexualist" is incorrect and offensive.

We recall that the word "homosexualism" got into the Russian lexicon from the medical dictionary, where it appeared at a time when homosexuality was treated as a painful pathology and at the same time as a malicious deviation from established social and ideological norms. The suffixes "-ism" and "-ist" semantically transform the concept of homosexuality, giving it a negative ideological connotation. One can try to say "heterosexualist" and see what an unpleasant sounding and negative charge the harmless common concept of heterosexuality takes on.

Google Corporation is one of the leaders in the global digital and social transformation of humanity. The more serious is the responsibility that the company bears for the quality of its services. We do not know what prompted the developers of the Google Translate language glossary to issue the archaic and pathologizing equivalents. Nevertheless, we believe that by its actions Google is causing tangible hurt to the Russian-speaking LGBT+ communities, rooting in the Russian segment of Internet and, more broadly, in the public consciousness, incorrect and offensive language in relation to people of homosexual orientation, and, therefore, voluntarily or unwillingly participating in discrimination against LGBT+.


What do we demand from Google?

1. To make changes to the scripts of the Google Translate service, which currently translate homosexuality and homosexual as “гомосексуализм” ("homosexualism") and “гомосексуалист” ("homosexualist") and which should start translating them respectively as “гомосексуальность”, “гомосексуал”.

2. To clarify the position of the company on the use of pathologizing nouns in relation to LGBT+ people.

 

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