How Apple's Ultraconservative Word Correcting Policy Can Put You In Danger

There are more than 14,000 English words that iPhones won't correct properly, including sensitive ones like murder," "suicide," "rape," "bullet," and "abduct," according to a report released Tuesday on The Daily Beast.

The website discovered in its analysis that Apple products, specifically the iPhone, will not correct these words when they are slightly misspelled, even though Apple's spell check will recognize the words when they are spelled correctly. For example if you type "bullet" with one too many "l's" it corrects to "billet," which is an "official order directing that a member of a military force be provided with board and lodging (as in a private home)," according to Merriam-Webster.

apple autocorrect

Apple's conservative take on spelling suggestions is more than a petty inconvenience to its customers, however. By choosing not to help folks correctly type out these controversial words, the tech company may be endangering its customers.

There are countless situations in which someone may want or need to text (rather than call) someone for help. In those moments, it's important that the texter is able to quickly and effectively communicate his or her situation.

If, for example, someone is hiding in his or her home from an abusive partner and wanted to text a friend or family member for help, an iPhone or iPad might suggest "absurd," "surfer" and "a duct" when he or she types "abused," "murder" and "abduct."

Texting isn't just for chatty teenagers. It's also an important, silent, way for people to communicate. Some 911 call centers even accept and respond to text messages. The 911 center in Black Hawk County, Iowa, has been receiving and responding to 911 text messages since 2009. "There are definitely situations where people can't talk or it's much better if they don't talk," 911 dispatcher Amber Chase told CBS.

One of Chase's colleagues at the 911 call center received a text message from a victim of domestic abuse who was hiding in her home that said "Boyfriend punched me… he would hurt me more if I call." Even though the ability to text 911 is not yet available in many parts of the country, people can and do text friends and relatives for help.

During the Virginia Tech shooting, many students who were hiding from the gunman attempted to text 911 for help, but their text messages were not received. More places across the U.S. may someday allow you to text 911.

People make egregious texting mistakes while texting in everyday situations. It's not hard to imagine that people would make more mistakes when texting under duress.

Apple did not respond to The Huffington Post's request for comment.

Apple has received criticism in the past for its treatment of the sensitive issue of abortion. Siri originally did not direct people to abortion clinics when asked. Eventually, this changed, and today Siri will do so.

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