The New York Times pulled a Wordle response for today, May 9, due to its relevance to a “recent major news event.” Like all Wordle answers, the word was pre-programmed into the game months in advance, but due to a fluke it could be interpreted as insensitive.
“Wordle continues to delight millions of people every day, but as we transition to Times technology, we’ve continued to discover challenges,” reads a New York Times blog post. “Today, for example, some users may see an outdated answer that seems closely related to a recent major event. This is completely unintentional and coincidental – today’s original answer was uploaded to Wordle last year .”
The blog post didn’t detail the altered word, but it was “fetus.” The word is newly relevant and perhaps sensitive due to news last week that the Supreme Court is preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion.
NYT Games says it changed the word because it wants to be “a place to have fun and get away from it all, and we want Wordle to stay separate from the news.” He says he discovered the wordlist last week and tweaked it for as many users as possible. If you’ve refreshed your browser anytime since NYT made the change, you’ve gotten an updated word. But if you haven’t refreshed yourself lately, you’ve received the old puzzle.
In light of current events, some game developers have come to the defense of reproductive rights. Bungie released a blog post expressing support for Roe v. Wade, and later defended his comments on social media. If you want to help in the fight for reproductive rights, GameSpot has compiled a list of organizations that need support.
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