People around the country have noticed that Siri sends you to your local Police Departments if you ask, “Where are the terrorists”?
Does this mean that Siri, which is owned by Apple, is implying that local police are terrorists? The intent is unclear, but the negative narratives toward police around the country have some people wondering. Other people think Siri is sending you a list of your local PDs so you can get help from terrorists.
Some political commentators highlighted the issue:
This is disgusting.
Siri thinks our cops are terrorists.
Try it yourself, “Hey Siri, where are the terrorists.”
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) September 23, 2020
Here’s what you need to know:
Some Law Enforcement Associations Are Upset About the Siri Command
The Kings County Deputy Sheriff’s Association was one law enforcement organization that alerted people to the issue. The association wrote:
According to Siri and Apple, Law Enforcement are now considered terrorists. Folks, the KCDSA cannot even begin to explain how horrific and how angry this makes us. To be compared to terrorists who hate America and brought down our Twin Towers is one of the most degrading things we have ever seen.
This was brought to our attention this evening and we tested it. Sure enough this is real.
How is this acceptable and how is this happening in America? Apple must change this NOW or at least explain why this is happening. America cannot tolerate this blasphemy toward the brave men and women of Law Enforcement.
There were threads on Reddit devoted to the matter. “If you ask Siri ‘where are the terrorists?’ It will give you directions to your local police stations… ummm what?” wrote one Reddit user.
But some people on Reddit didn’t think it was a big deal. “Yeah. Just like if you look up something like ‘what is food poisoning’ you’ll probably get ERs and poison control centers in the first results. Because ‘what is’ and ‘where are’ aren’t keywords,” wrote one.
Other People Also Posted Videos & Tweeted About the Issue
Other people around the country expressed similar outrage. Joel Overstreet wrote, “We need to voice our disgust with this. This is very, very disturbing that Apple would allow this into our algorithms.”
Here’s another video of it:
The police chief of Roxboro, North Carolina, got similar results. “Hey @Apple can you explain why #siri gives a list of near by police departments when asked ‘Where are the terrorist?’ Please correct your AI program to give accurate information. The police are not terrorist,” he wrote on Twitter.
So far Apple hasn’t responded to explain the situation.
Hey @Apple can you explain why #siri gives a list of near by police departments when asked “Where are the terrorist?” Please correct your AI program to give accurate information. The police are not terrorist. pic.twitter.com/7vCZWgbiWm
— David Hess (@ChiefDavidHess) September 22, 2020
People are getting different results depending where they live because videos show Siri is delivering up a list of Police Departments close to the person asking the question.
Law Enforcement Today also took note of the issue, writing, “This author can’t tell whether this was something intentionally done by Apple and/or an employee because of anti-police rhetoric or whether this is some kind of strange reaction by Siri’s algorithm.” That site attached the issue to national rhetoric against police, although, again, it’s not clear why Siri was sending people curious about terrorists to local police agencies.
The issue was first noted by people on September 22 and started gaining widespread attention that day. People also brought the issue into Apple support communities.