Parents of Children Named Alexa Beg Amazon to Change Home Assistant's Name
Move over, Karen! it seems yet another name has found itself embroiled in controversy – the moniker of Amazon's home assistant and evidently several bullied children across the United Kingdom – Alexa.
According to BBC News, parents of children donning the name have banded together in a last-ditch effort to persuade Amazon to change the device's default wake name, citing the "relentless" harassment their kids face.
“She started to not want to introduce herself because of the jokes and the backlash,” recalled one parent, who has a teenage daughter named Alexa. "She was and still is a child, yet adults thought it was OK to make a joke of her. It's devastating. The school was unhelpful and told her she needed to build resilience."
Eventually, the bullying became so severe, Alexa's family was forced to take several drastic measures, including changing their child's legal name. “She's in a much better place now,” her mother said. "We have cut off friends and moved her to a new school to allow a fresh start. The injustice will never leave her, or us. Amazon must change the default wake word on its devices. There was clearly not enough ethical research into using Alexa."
However, it seems the teen formerly known as Alexa is far from alone. “It started in Reception. Older children would say things like 'Alexa, play disco," another Alexa mom explained. "Other boys picked up on it and shouted commands at her. We were at the park the other day and every single boy there was saying it to her constantly. She's started clamming up. I think it's affecting her confidence. Adults make fun of her too.”
Eventually, young Alexa opened up to her mother about the harassment she endured. “She said to me 'I wish people didn't know my name' People buying these devices are unwittingly adding to the problem."
With roughly 4,000 people under the age of 25 bearing the name Alexa, according to the outlet, it seems many youngsters face this problem, an issue Amazon says they're "saddened" to hear.
Despite these harrowing tales of Alexa bullying, the e-commerce giant seemingly has no plans of altering their device's name, noting that there are other wake options.
Moral of the story? Don't name your kid Alexa.