People really know how to out-do themselves, don’t they? Sure, we’ve been hearing about the little hacks that some have done with Google Maps, such as pictures of Android mascots urinating or references to Edward Snowden, but there are other things that we should probably leave alone. In this case, somebody used the tool for racism. The newest hack focuses on selected racist queries on Google Maps that point to the Obama White House.
Several sources have cited the news, but it was laid out in the Washington Post. According to the story, if you did a search on “n— king, Washington DC”, the White House would be the result. I was able to confirm that this search did indeed land the Google Maps pointer to the White House.
After this hack became public, Google offered the following statement on the matter:
Some inappropriate results are surfacing in Google Maps that should not be, and we apologize for any offense this may have caused. Our teams are working to fix this issue quickly.
Google has shut down Mapmaker in an attempt to prevent thee types of issues and mapspam from arising. So what will Google do to fix the problem in the meantime? We’ll have to see.
Although Google deals with this sort of thing all the time, certain hacks and issues still leak through the woodwork. It just so happens that an issue like this got through.