Controversy over a cupcake? Google Maps pulls cupcake calorie counter after backlash

You can call it the Great Cupcake Controversy of 2017.

In what is probably the only example ever of tiny, frosted cakes sparking mass outrage, strong negative feedback has prompted Google Maps to remove a cupcake calorie counter from its iOS app, BBC reports.

Google added the cutesy — and possibly half-baked — feature as part of an update to its Maps app. With the new feature, users saw a pink cupcake icon that automatically showed them how many calories they would burn if they walked to their destination. The app also translated that calorie count into mini cupcakes, telling walkers how many of the tiny treats they would burn if they walked from point a to point b.

But complaints soon started raining down like sprinkles.

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Critics accused the cartoon cupcake counter of being patronizing, promoting body-shaming, and possibly triggering unhealthy behavior in people who have struggled with eating disorders or over-exercise. There’s no way to turn the feature off, they pointed out.

Users also pointed out that Google Maps doesn’t take a user’s personal health information into account, so its cupcake calorie counter likely isn’t accurate.

Others slammed the cupcake counter as being just plain useless.

And then there were those who didn’t see what the big deal was, even asking for help explaining cupcake-gate.

Whatever the reason, Google confirmed to BBC on Tuesday that it will remove the cupcake calorie counter by the end of the day, citing “strong user feedback.”

It’s spectacularly bad timing on Google’s part. It turns out that Wednesday is National Chocolate Cupcake Day (not to be confused with regular National Cupcake Day, which is Dec. 15) — which would have a prime opportunity for gimmicks galore to show off Google’s cupcake calorie counter. But the Google cupcakes weren’t chocolate anyway. They were pink — whatever flavor that is.

Photo: Cupcakes are for sale at Creme Si Bon, a bakery that specializes in French macarons and other baked delights that is owned by Jenny and Sam Ng, in San Ramon, Calif. on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)


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  • bruce corben

    People so soft and PC these days, it’s a damn cupcake!

  • Gregory Murphy

    I feel like I am living in a parallel universe…

  • Vicky SD

    I’m triggered by the word triggered

  • Eddie Poe

    Oh noes where’s my safe space!