Monday, January 09, 2006

Wal-Mart Apologizes for Racist Software Glitch

Oops! Sorry...

Wal-Mart's attempt to mimic Amazon, NetFlix, and Blockbuster by providing an automated system that recommends movies based on the types of DVDs its customers previously ordered came to a crashing halt Thursday after blogs spread the word that the Planet of the Apes DVD was linked to "Similar Items" that included DVDs about Martin Luther King, Dorothy Dandridge, Jack Johnson and Tina Turner -- all notable African Americans. "We are heartsick that this happened and are currently doing everything possible to correct the problem," Wal-Mart spokeswoman Mona Williams said in a statement. "We were horrified to discover that some hurtful and offensive combinations are being mapped together. ... We are deeply sorry that this happened." The company gave no explanation for how the software program managed to select only films about African-Americans for the recommendations.

via: IMDB.com

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