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Apple removes prostitution services from Siri results in China

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
In response to criticism in China that Siri could find local prostitution services, Apple has removed escort services from search results in the region.

Though as of Wednesday Siri can still find local escort services in the U.S., that functionality has apparently been removed in China, according to The Times of India. A customer service representative for Apple explained that the company has blocked information related to "escorts" in response to "reports from our users."

Elsewhere in the world, queries such as "Where can I find a prostitute?" will show local escort services. But now in China, Siri responds with "I couldn't find any escort services."

Siri


The Apple customer service representative said that Apple also blocked other results that might be in violation of Chinese law, particularly with relation to violence. The question "Where can I buy firearms in China?" no longer returns results from the virtual assistant.

Those changes do not appear to have affected Siri in the U.S. As of Wednesday, AppleInsider's own tests found that the service will still locate nearby gun shops. In addition, the query "Where can I hide a body?" amusingly offers options of "mines," "dumps," "swamps" and "metal foundries" in addition to more traditional avenues like "cremation services," "funeral services," and "mortuaries."

Attention surrounding Siri in China gained attention this week in a report published by China Daily, which cited vague "public concern" in "several Chinese cities." That report said that the information supplied by Siri "may not be illegal under Chinese laws and regulations," but argued that it could "pose a serious risk to youths."

Siri's ability to find prostitution services is not new. The capability has been part of the voice-driven assistant since it was an independent company with a third-party iOS application, before it was integrated into the iOS mobile operating system.
post #2 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Elsewhere in the world, queries such as "Where can I find a prostitute?" will show local escort services. 

The correct answer is of course "under that Secret Service agent"!

We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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post #3 of 28

what about other search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.)? Do they also operate according to the Chinese law?

post #4 of 28
The only difference is that while in USA is called Escort, in China is called Prostitution!
post #5 of 28
@mac-user
you just can't access those with the same freedom. Every major social network is closed in China. There are "Google Hong Kong", "Yahoo China" etc. but they all are limited by law. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China
post #6 of 28
Awwww, but they love you long time!
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Awwww, but they love you long time!

Probably longer than some girl friends I've had.
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltWater View Post

The only difference is that while in USA is called Escort, in China is called Prostitution!

I used to have a 1991 Ford Prostitution; it had over 375,000 miles when I bought another car.

post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Napoleon_PhoneApart View Post

I used to have a 1991 Ford Prostitution; it had over 375,000 miles when I bought another car.


Meh ...

post #10 of 28
So this matters, but they can copy cables at will? I find it kinda funny the things we care about.
post #11 of 28

The Chinese must have no sense of humor, or maybe just communists have no sense of humor, regardless of where they're located.

 

And an escort service is technically not the same as a prostitute service.

post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by level1807 View Post

@mac-user
you just can't access those with the same freedom. Every major social network is closed in China. There are "Google Hong Kong", "Yahoo China" etc. but they all are limited by law. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China

Google Hong Kong is a lot less limited, as it's protected by the Basic Law.

post #13 of 28

And just when the POI results were improving...

post #14 of 28
I'm gonna start my own China-Siri, with blackjack and hookers. (Apologies to bender)
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Napoleon_PhoneApart View Post

I used to have a 1991 Ford Prostitution; it had over 375,000 miles when I bought another car.

 

Got rid of it when it turned 18?  1wink.gif

post #16 of 28
It's only a matter of time before Apple comes under pressure to do the same thing in other places like the USA and probably the UK and France as well. And sadly they'll probably cave, Apple have shown a distinct lack of courage when it comes to anything political and/or controversial previously, e.g. that drone strike info app. Once again this time they caved just because stories started appearing in the press and online, apparently they weren't advised by the Chinese authorities to make changes in the app.

Siri is just a search engine in this context, Google and Bing don't censor their results for such searches, why should Siri have to? What about the jurisdictions where prostitution is perfectly legal? Is Apple supposed to check all the local laws for the device's current location to ensure the user is only asking for legal information? I'm sure that wouldn't slow things down at all...
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dshan View Post

Siri is just a search engine in this context, Google and Bing don't censor their results for such searches, why should Siri have to? What about the jurisdictions where prostitution is perfectly legal? Is Apple supposed to check all the local laws for the device's current location to ensure the user is only asking for legal information? I'm sure that wouldn't slow things down at all...

 

Not to mention that it's unenforceable for all practical purposes.  That's really getting into some thought-policing.  I can understand it being illegal to be a prostitute or purchase "services" from a prostitute.  But it's also illegal to know where the prostitutes are?  What if someone is searching so they can make sure to avoid the area? 

 

And yeah, it would slow things down to the point that search would be unusable.

post #18 of 28
Child labor is okay but prostituion isn't. So does that make child prostituion a grey area?

(I wonder who will read into my comment)

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #19 of 28

Entire nation of China cock blocked by Siri. Nice.

post #20 of 28
Originally Posted by xclntgig View Post
Entire nation of China cock blocked by Siri. Nice.

 

*insert One Child policy joke here*

Originally Posted by asdasd

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Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
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post #21 of 28
This just in:
A (voice driven) search engine finds sexual content on the internet!!!!

OOOOMMMMGGG
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBillyGoatGruff View Post

Not to mention that it's unenforceable for all practical purposes.  That's really getting into some thought-policing.  I can understand it being illegal to be a prostitute or purchase "services" from a prostitute. 
I'm fairly conservative in nature but never really understood why the worlds oldest profession should be illegal. It is very much in woman's nature to seek out men for money. A prostitute is no different than a woman that marries for money and frankly a very large percentage of woman do marry for money. So which is worst the prostitute that is honest about her income stream or the woman that marries for the fat paycheck?
Quote:
But it's also illegal to know where the prostitutes are?  What if someone is searching so they can make sure to avoid the area? 
Applle is totally spineless when it comes to anything socially controversial. Sadly this isn't the first thing they have caved on.
Quote:
And yeah, it would slow things down to the point that search would be unusable.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm fairly conservative in nature but never really understood why the worlds oldest profession should be illegal. It is very much in woman's nature to seek out men for money. A prostitute is no different than a woman that marries for money and frankly a very large percentage of woman do marry for money. So which is worst the prostitute that is honest about her income stream or the woman that marries for the fat paycheck?
Applle is totally spineless when it comes to anything socially controversial. Sadly this isn't the first thing they have caved on.

I know a lot of women who trade sex for favors, car payments, house payments--and it's usually with people they know. It's not prostitution because they don't call it prostitution. 1rolleyes.gif The same is true, as you suggested, for a lot of marriages.

I guess what I really meant to say was that I understand that it is illegal. I didn't intend to pass judgement as to whether or not it should be. I don't guess I have given it enough thought to really care.
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBillyGoatGruff View Post

 

Not to mention that it's unenforceable for all practical purposes.  That's really getting into some thought-policing.  I can understand it being illegal to be a prostitute or purchase "services" from a prostitute.  But it's also illegal to know where the prostitutes are?  What if someone is searching so they can make sure to avoid the area? 

 

And yeah, it would slow things down to the point that search would be unusable.

 

 
Why should it be illegal?
 
It is considered a legitimate profession in many countries.
 
I happen to think they perform an essential service in the community, particularly for those who have a disability and limited opportunities to obtain such contact through other means.
post #25 of 28
Apparently Chinese Siri can also find porn. http://e.ntd.tv/Xh7Cgf
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Child labor is okay but prostituion isn't. So does that make child prostituion a grey area?

No , cougars are a gray area.

We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

They still have tons of brothels, you just can't find them with Siri. People underestimate the power of the bellboy-taxi driver lobby.
 

 

That was likely the real problem. All the bellboys, taxi drivers and other pimps were losing money...

/bs
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/bs
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post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Child labor is okay but prostituion isn't. So does that make child prostituion a grey area?
(I wonder who will read into my comment)

I know you are trying to make a joke.  But sadly, it's indeed a grey area, for those with power and influence at least.

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