Amid backlash, Google Maps nixes short-lived calories-and-cupcakes counter

Google Maps Shows Walking Distance As Calories And People Are Pissed
Google Maps ditches automatic calorie estimates after users say it's not helpful and even potentially harmful
Author

19 October, 2017

The app also translated that calorie count into mini cupcakes, telling walkers how numerous tiny treats they would burn if they walked from point A to point B.

Apparently daring to compare burning off calories to the consumption of innocuous, cute cupcakes is cancerous in 2017, with social justice warriors going off their politically correct trees.

Google already announced that they would be pulling back the feature in a statement sent to BuzzFeed News, who explain, "it is removing this feature due to strong user feedback". To illustrate those calories, the app said how many mini-cupcakes a person would burn during the jaunt.

As Politico's Taylor Lorenz noted in her tweets, there was no way to turn off the feature. Furthermore, calorie estimates for "average" people is so vague that the information isn't very helpful without more context about how it was calculated.

More news: Mobile's Mobile Without Borders now maxes at 5GB of 4G LTE data

The experimental feature was rolled out on the iOS version of Google Maps, beneath walking directions.

While Google's introduction of the feature was a little tone-deaf, the kneejerk withdrawal strikes me as a bit of a shame overall: as an opt-in feature, I feel this would likely have been welcomed by plenty of people who know that the vehicle is tempting and want an incentive to be more active.

In addition to the potentially harmful side effects of the feature, as the Washington Post points out, Google's measurements of both calories burned and calories per cupcake were questionable.

Google was likely attempting to encourage people to walk, but its misguided execution led to accusations of shaming and even triggering those with eating disorders. "That's exactly the sort of snack a gaggle of Soylent-chugging gym nerds eternally cloistered in the amniotic sac of a Google conference room would assume we on the outside are shoveling into our maws, taking breaks only to unlock our auto doors or use our sticky fingers to order more mini cupcakes".


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