Parents of kids named 'Alexa' are angry at Amazon

An Alexa device.
An Alexa device. Photo credit: Getty Images

Parents of kids named 'Alexa', tired of the bullying they're subjected to, are asking Amazon to change the name of its popular virtual assistant to something else.

One parent even got her teenage daughter's name legally changed, the abuse got so bad, BBC News reports.

"We have cut off friends and moved her to a new school to allow a fresh start," Heather - not her real name - told the British news outlet, adding that even teachers teased her about it. 

"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."

Amazon has sold more than 200 million devices which 'wake' when they hear the name 'Alexa'. 

One parent in the US has started a campaign 'Alexa is a Human' to get Amazon to change it.

"The word Alexa has become synonymous with servant or slave," Lauren Johnson told BBC News. "It gives people a licence to treat people with the name Alexa in a subservient manner."

The good news for Amazon is there appear to be far fewer babies being dubbed 'Alexa', thanks to the popularity of its devices. It's reportedly fallen from 167th in the UK in 2016 to 920th by 2019. 

Amazon says the 'wake' word for its devices can be changed. 

"We also offer several other wake words customers can choose from, including Echo, Computer, and Amazon," a spokesperson said. "We value feedback from customers, and as with everything we do, we will continue to look for ways to offer them more choice in this area."

The company condemns bullying "in the strongest possible terms".