Two smartphone apps that several people considered offensive, "Make Me Asian" and "Make Me Indian" have been removed from the Google Play store.
Both sophomoric apps from developer KimberyDeiss would let users turn their faces into stereotypical Asian and Indian caricatures. In "Make Me Asian," users would sport a Fu Manchu mustache and a conical straw hat, while in "Make Me Indian" users photos would feature face paint and a headband.
KimberyDeiss also developed similar apps such as "Make Me Russian," "Make Me Fat" and "Make Me Frankenstein," according to NPR. However, all the apps are now gone and the KimberyDeiss profile has been deleted.
to ban the apps from Google Play was started on Change.org a few months ago by Peter Chin, a pastor in Washington, D.C. and has garnered more than 8,000 supported. Chin said he's happy the apps seem to be gone from the online store.
"I am deeply thankful to those who realized the danger of these stereotypes entering the mainstream and spoke out against this app," Chin told NPR. "But I am also appreciative of Google, who listened to our concerns and acted accordingly."
Online activist group 18 Million Rising started a Twitter campaign with hashtag #makemeracist earlier this week in an attempt to get Google to drop the apps. Group members began tweeting Asian-American celebrities to gain attention.
It's surprising to us that it took at least two months for Google to act on the apps after an initial complaint, and only when the complaints went viral did it decide to lose the offensive apps.
Published at 12:34 PM PST on Jan 17, 2013