Breaking down: Google maps cupcake controversy

What is it? 

Google recently updated their map application to tell users how many calories they would lose by walking to their destination instead. But before you pull out your devices and look for it… it is already in the process of being revoked.

Why was it criticised?  

Criticism was cropped for the update from a “mini” feature. This feature measured a number of calories the user could lose and compared it to mini cupcakes.

The feature was considered potentially harmful towards those with eating disorders and overall a bit judgemental.

A response provided to BBC  (excerpt below) reflects this criticism also touching on the internal competitiveness and feeling of shame that could unintentionally be brought on through it.

“Although it is good to encourage people to walk more, having the calories used on Google Maps does not seem to be the best way to do this… if people want to count their calories then they should be given the option to do this, rather than it being enforced.”  – Priya Tew, The Association of UK Dietitians

According to The Verge,  A Google spokesperson has indicated that “based on strong user feedback” the update will start to be removed.






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