Stop the autocorrect madness: Join the campaign advocating for tech companies to fix name autocorrect issues

Their names are frequently autocorrected. This campaign wants tech companies to change that

“Inclusive Autocorrect: Why Tech Companies Need to Expand their Dictionaries”A simple text conversation can turn into a frustrating ordeal for individuals with names that are frequently autocorrected to irrelevant or incorrect words. This issue has caught the attention of a U.K.-based collective advocating for more diversity in the dictionaries used by tech developers, sparking the “I am not a typo” campaign.

Autocorrect Frustrations and Demands

“Dirty, Dorito, duty” – words that bear no resemblance to Dhruti Shah’s name, yet they constantly pop up as autocorrect suggestions. Shah, along with other supporters of the campaign, is calling on technology companies to broaden the dictionaries used in the operating systems of phones and computers to include names of diverse origins.

The Impact of Autocorrect on Diversity

The collective’s open letter to tech companies highlights the staggering statistic that 41% of names given to babies in England and Wales are flagged as “incorrect” by popular software dictionaries, particularly names of African or Asian origin. This assumption of non-white names as being incorrect poses a significant barrier for racialized individuals, making technology less user-friendly for them.

A Call for Inclusivity

By changing names to words with Western origins or influences, tech companies are promoting a narrow and exclusive standard that does not reflect the diverse society we live in today. The campaign emphasizes that many of the names flagged as incorrect are actually quite popular, like Esmae, which was given to thousands of babies, yet still appears as a misspelled word.

The Importance of Respect

For individuals like Shah, having their names autocorrected to derogatory or irrelevant words can feel like a slight or microaggression. Respect is at the core of this issue, emphasizing the significance of correctly addressing individuals by their names, both online and in person.

The Solution is Simple

While many tech companies may overlook the urgency of this issue, the solution is indeed simple. By updating their software dictionaries to include diverse names, developers can prevent them from being flagged as errors. However, the lack of prioritization of this matter by big tech companies remains a significant hurdle in achieving meaningful change.

The Need for Positive Solutions

While it may be possible to disable autocorrect in device settings, the default dictionaries used by major tech companies should embrace inclusivity from the start. Shah stresses the importance of finding a positive solution that includes everyone, ensuring that all individuals feel seen and respected in the digital realm.

In conclusion, the “I am not a typo” campaign sheds light on the importance of diversity and inclusion in technology. By expanding their dictionaries to encompass names of various origins, tech companies can take a big step towards creating a more welcoming and respectful digital environment for all individuals. It’s time for big tech to prioritize inclusivity and make meaningful changes that reflect the diverse world we live in.”



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