Thanks to everyone who pointed me to the flub below. It was reported all over the place today.
The error occurred on One News Now, a news website run by the conservative Christian American Family Association. The site provides Christian conservative news and commentary. One of the things they do, apparently, is offer a version of the standard Associated Press news feed. Rather than just republishing it, they run software to clean up the language so it more accurately reflects their values and choice of terminology. They do so with a computer program.
The error is a pretty straightforward variant of the clbuttic effect — a run-away filter trying to clean up text by replacing offensive terms with theoretically more appropriate ones. Among other substitutions, AFA/ONN replaced the term “gay” with “homosexual.” In this case, they changed the name of champion sprinter and U.S. Olympic hopeful Tyson Gay to “Tyson Homosexual.” In fact, they did it quite a few times as you can see in the screenshot below.
Now, from a technical perspective, the technology this error reveals is identical to the clbuttic mistake. What’s different, however, is the values that the error reveals.
AFA doesn’t advertise the fact that it changes words in its AP stories — it just does it. Most of its readers probably never know the difference or realize that the messages and terminology they are being communicated to in is being intentionally manipulated. AFA prefers the term “homosexual,” which sounds clinical, to “gay” which sounds much less serious. Their substitution, and the error it created, reflects a set of values that AFA and ONN have about the terminology around homosexuality.
It’s possible than the AFA/ONN readers already know about AFA’s values. This error provides an important reminder and shows, quite clearly, the importance that AFA gives to terminology. It reveals their values and some of the actions they are willing to take to protect them.
10 Replies to “Tyson Homosexual”
This one’s one the best yet :)
Saw this on the Tonight Show, had to see for myself, TOO funny!
A mind is a terrible thing to waste. But as we see that isn’t a problem with “AFA” since everyone there is CLUELESS.
Can you imagine if these people were around in WWII
“Today the Enola Homosexual” dropped an Atom Bomb on Tokyo”
Maybe they should spend mor etime worrying about Grown Men RAPING Young Men in the name of the Lord and not people with a name “Gay”
“It reveals their values and some of the actions they are willing to take to take to protect them.” This is broken.
Here’s another good one:
Do a google search for consbreastution!
“Most of it’s readers” –> “Most of its readers”
Thanks trevor, it’s fixed. :)
Joe – why should they, you seem to be doing a good enough job; and who says that the raping is done in the name of the Lord? Maybe by people pretending or purporting to be doing the work of the Lord and we know where they are bound for the evil they have done, whether you believe it or not. Your prejudice lights up the page!
ROFLMAO! Also, very creepy.