Monday, July 27, 2009

What's up with the Spanish-language version of "Yahoo! Answers"?

As the moderator of a couple of online news lists on LGBT issues, I sometimes rely on Google Alerts to keep up with the latest news on the LGBT community. Once in a while the results will highlight links to some homophobic content on the internet, but that's to be expected.

A few months back, though, I noticed one interesting trend: While LGBT-related questions to the "Yahoo! Answers" English-language service rarely popped-up and were inoffensive when they did, questions submitted to Spanish-language versions of the service (mainly to "Yahoo! Responde Mexico" & "Yahoo! Responde Spain") showed up frequently. And, more often than not, they were also tinged with homophobic drivel.

So I geeked out and started keeping those Google Alerts last February. I probably missed a few, and there are probably a lot more questions submitted that were not captured by the Google bots, but I've posted the "Yahoo! Response" questions that came my way during that period of time (below I've included the original question in Spanish and provided a translation. I have also provided a link to the question if they are still on Yahoo!'s servers).

Results:

Obviously, there are some questions that might have been submitted from a lack of knowledge on LGBT issues rather than homophobic intent (questions about homosexuality and religion or whether gays are 'born or made'), or those posed by people making sense of their sexual attractions ("How do I know I'm Gay?" "Does this make me a lesbian?"), or those that might be from people just joking around ("Is My Cat Gay?").

Surprisingly, though, I'd say that roughly half the questions I collected seemed to have a specific homophobic intent which seemed rather high to me and, of those, only a few had been removed from the site after being posted. To Yahoo!'s credit, several statements posed as questions claiming that homosexuality is a psychological disorder or being curable have been removed. But, in one instance, a similar statement is still available on their site even though it was originally posted on March 11th ("Do people with homosexual attractions not have more psychological problems than the general population?").

And, even though it was just created on July 24th, why is Death to fags (Muerte a los maricones) still up as a 'Yahoo! Respuestas Spain' member profile? You'd think that internal Yahoo protocols would catch a sentence such as "Death to fags".

There are also statements posed as questions that seem directly pulled from religious right-wing homophobic manuals ("Why do they want to standardize homosexuality and not other sexual preferences?", "Why do persons with a homosexual tendency believe they are special and are intolerant with their critics?" and "Does being gay imply a lack of love from the part of the parents?").

And this jewel from 'Yahoo! Respuestas Mexico: "Why are children allowed to watch faggots such as Santino Marella and can't watch The Divas in a thong?" posed on April 19 by 'angel'.

Ok, you'll say: "It's not Yahoo!'s fault that people are homophobic idiots." The thing is that when you look at the English-language version of "Yahoo! Answers" you don't have to deal with such drivel (they obviously have alert editors). So why would the Spanish-speaking public have to do so?

Hey Yahoo! If it's a lack of Spanish speaking reviewers who might be able to catch stuff like this, I'm available! Otherwise, do a better job.

In the meantime, have fun reading these...

* How to prevent homosexuality? How to step aside? ¿como evitar el homosexualismo?... como hacerse a un lado? (July 27)
* Why do they want to standardize homosexuality and not other sexual preferences? / ¿Por qué se quiere estandarizar el homosexualismo y no otras preferencias sexuales? (July 26)
* Have you fallen in love with a lesbian? / ¿te has enamorado de una lesbiana? (July 20)
* Does this make me a lesbian? / ¿Esto me hace lesbiana? (July 13)
* How should I prepare for my first sexual relationship? ¿Cómo Prepararme para mi Primera Relación Homosexual? (July 11)
* I am a homophobe, where does it come from? Heeelp! / ¿Soy homofobico, a que se debe, ayudaaaa? (July 7)
* Are homosexuality and homosexualism the same thing? ¿Son la misma cosa homosexualidad y homosexualismo? (July 6)
* If a homosexual is a believer, does he have the right to continue being a Catholic? / ¿si un homosexual es creyente, tiene derecho a seguir siendo católico? (June 29)
* Respecting a homophobe? / ¿respecto a un homofobico? (June 27)
* Homosexuality among women and men, how long does it last or, better said, how do they handle it once they become mature? / ¿El homosexualismo en mujeres y hombres cuanto tiempo dura o bien, como lo manejan, si llegan a la madurez? (June 26)
* How is homosexuality lived? Is it wrong to be gay? / ¿Como se vive con la homosexualidad, y es malo ser homosexual? (June 23)
* Are all bisexuals this way? / ¿Todos los bisexuales son asi? (June 23)
* To support a homosexual couple (girls), does it also make me gay? / ¿Apoyar a una pareja homosexual (chicas), me convierte a mi tambien en homosexual? (June 23)
* Is homophobia a form of homosexulity hidden by the subconcient? / ¿Es la homofobia una forma de homosexualismo encubierto como inconsciente? (June 21)
* Bisexuals, born or made? / ¿Los bisexuales, nacen o se hacen? (June 15)
* How can you determine who is a lesbian? / ¿como distinguen a una lesbiana? (June 13)
* Why are there so many lesbian or bisexual girls? / ¿Porque hay tantas chicas lesbianas o bisexuales? (June 9)
* What is homosexuality? ¿Qué es la homosexualidad? (June 2)
* Homosexuality has a cure, says psychologists who is hated by promoters of homosexuality? / ¿Homosexualidad tiene cura asegura sicólogo odiado por promotores del homosexualismo? (June 1)
* Are you a homophobe? Do you agree with homophobia? / ¿Eres homofobico? estas de acuerdo con la homofobia? (May 26)
* Why are children allowed to watch faggots such as Santino Marella and can't watch The Divas in a thong? / ¿Porque se permite que los niños vean maricones como Santino Marella y no vean en tanga a las Divas? (April 19)
* Does being gay imply a lack of love from the part of the parents? / ¿El ser homosexual implica alguna deficiencia de cariño por parte los padres? (April 10)
* Do you know if being homosexual is due to a mix-up in cables? / ¿Sabeis si el ser homosexual es debido a un cruce de cables? (April 6)
* Totally opposed to Homosexual Marriage? / ¿Totalmente en contra del Matrimonio Homosexual? (March 29)
* Why do persons with a homosexual tendency believe they are special and are intolerant with their critics? / ¿porque las personas de tendencia homosexual creen que son especiales y son intolerantes con sus criticos? (March 28)
* How do I know if I'm gay? / ¿Como se si soy homosexual? (March 19)
* Is God homophobic? And why?/ ¿dios es homofobico?¿y porke? (March 16)
* Does anyone know a homosexual person who has turned hetero? / ¿Alguien conoce una persona homosexual que se aya vuelto hetero? (March 14)
* Do people with homosexual attractions not have more psychological problems than the general population? / ¿Las personas con atracción homosexual no tienen más problemas psicológicos que la población en general? (March 11)
* Is Hector Garzon a fag? / ¿Hector garzon es marica? (March 10)
* Can a homosexual change? / ¿Puede cambiar el homosexual? (March 6)
* Why does a homosexual think that he is a woman in the body of a man? / ¿Por qué piensa el homosexual que es una mujer en el cuerpo de un hombre? (March 3)
* Is my cat gay? / ¿Mi gato es homosexual? (March 3)
* Do you think that all homosexual persons are able to be cured? / ¿Creéis que toda persona homosexual es apta de curarse? (March 2)
* Do you know if having a homosexual brother is a sin? / ¿Sabeis si tener un hermano homosexual es pecado? (February 23)
* Homosexual attraction, is not psychollogically abnormal? / ¿La atracción homosexual no es psicológicamente anormal? (February 23)
* People with homosexual attractions, don't they have more prichological problems than the general population? / ¿Las personas con atracción homosexual no tienen más problemas psicológicos que la población en general? (February 22)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

probably meant drivel, not dribble

Andrés Duque said...

ha! how embarrassing. have corrected it. thanks.

Anonymous said...

This is terrible! and as a Hispanic LGBT member all I have to say is that it represents the intolerance and ignorance of the Hispanic culture towards LGBT issues. When I came out to my parents years ago, the first thing they asked me is "Why do you want to be a woman?" and I never ever even said that. In their minds all they could think was me becoming a gay hairstylist or something like that.

I hate to point fingers but the predominant influence of the Roman Catholic Church in Spain and South America has made acceptable to be intolerant and homophobic. I was born in South America and I was taught since very young very chauvinistic ideas about men and women.

It's a lost cause unfortunately.