Guam officials outraged at UrbanDictionary.com
by Nick Delgado
Guam - What is Guam and who lives here? Depending on who you ask, you'll likely get a number of different answers. But local officials are extremely outraged by a popular website's multiple definitions of Guam that paint an unflattering picture of the place we call home.
Known to most as a U.S. territory in the Pacific, Guam has a significantly different meaning if you look it up on UrbanDictionary.com. The website allows individuals from around the world to post their definitions of the world, but when you look up "Guam", there are many unflattering meanings the post popular including "the world's dumpster", "a third-world colony of the U.S.", and "an acronym for Give Us American Money - it's Where America's Nightmare Begins". The site describes the island as having "lazy Chamorros - indigenous people that look like chubby Filipinos, Micronesian primitives" and others.
It claims that U.S. funds are "squandered by an inept, corrupt local government...the schools are a nightmare and you'll die if you go to the hospital."
Governor Eddie Calvo calls the website "vulgar" and the individuals who came up with the definitions - ignorant or envious. "Anyone who lives here I think they know we are living in paradise, I feel for those ignorant people or those envious people because either one - it's bad being ignorant and it's even worse being envious, that's a terrible sin. I say for whatever its worth, for hateful websites such as that we make it know to the ownership and management that this is something that is an untruth and we work towards correcting it," he said.
Guam Visitors Bureau board member Hope Cristobal says the offensive definitions are proof of why the island must do more to properly promote and educate the world about our home. "We should be sensitive to those kind of websites that put a black eye or try to cast aspersions on our existence on our little island territory," she said. "All these issues especially the social media is just exploding, and we should take note that this is a challenge and we should continue to promote ourselves in very positive light."
Congresswoman Madeleine bordallo has also taken offense to the website's inaccurate depiction of the island and people. "This is one of the fringe websites that ignores fact and is driven by anonymous users who are not accountable to anyone. While these definitions are meant to be provocative and hurtful, they are entitled to their free speech rights, which are protected by our thousands of men and women from Guam who fight to protect these rights. I would urge our people to ignore this culturally insensitive information and not give them the attention they crave," she said.