In App Bias: WordCrossy

When it comes to the OAC, Action really is their middle name. With the recent site redesign and other initiatives, the Obesity Action Coalition is really putting an emphasis on it too. Advocacy is a big part of that, and you can find out more by visiting the “Action thought Advocacy” section of that new website, and if you want to read specifically about Weight Bias, there’s an entire section just on that. And a great way to keep up with others who are taking such steps is by using the #OACAction hashtag on your favorite social media platform. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s something to help you along.

There’s this game/app, available to mobile devices and through Facebook. In one version of the game, the premise seems to be they give you some images and some words and you need to link the image to the word it represents. I’ll be perfectly honest, I haven’t installed the game. The App version seems more like a crossword game, where the image one seems to be something I’ve seen mostly as part of the Facebook app. It seems innocent enough, but unfortunately the have screens that perpetuate negative stereotypes.

The screenshot I first saw someone post about is below…

There is also another screenshot out there showing similar images with the words “cake” and “running”. If you’ve ever read any of my posts before, you already know what’s wrong here. If you need a refresher, well… obesity is a chronic disease, and while there are some lifestyle components, it is not that simple, and many, many people who eat very healthy continue to struggle with higher body weights.

Their bias is not only in this area, even gender bias is shown in this game. One image shows a man and woman, with the man associated with a wrench and the women with manicure.

Previous reports of this have been answered with “we continue to work to optimize the game”. This is not a response, it is not a commitment to do better. Please let your fans know that you have removed such images and will strive to prevent such things from making it into your game in the future.

If you get a chance, please take some #OACAction and head to the Facebook page of the developer… leave a comment… leave a review.. something to let them know this is not ok. Ask them, nicely, to please remove these stigmatizing images from their game to and to take better care to not perpetuate these biases in the future.

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