Independent creative shop The Escape Pod noticed something recently when typing names into a phone or laptop – certain names, like Steve or Sarah, are recognized, while others, such as Ahmaud or Renisha are underlined in red as a misspelling.
"How can people feel accepted if their names aren't recognized as real? All names should be acknowledged and validated," said Norm Bilow, Founder/Managing Director of The Escape Pod.
To help make everyone feel more accepted, The Escape Pod has launched a campaign called #AddMyName to raise awareness of the implicit bias of name recognition through Microsoft and Apple.
The campaign video, which showcases how many names are rendered as incorrect, states, "Many names in the black community are not recognized by spellcheck. Acceptance starts with your name."
It ends with a call for people to tweet "My name is____ #AddMyName @Microsoft @Apple."
"Our goal is simple – we want Apple and Microsoft to add a few hundred more names to their products," said Bilow.
Representatives from Microsoft and Apple were not immediately available for comment.