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May 12, 2015

Google Shuts Down Map Maker After Vulgar Posts

Company Says People Will Be Unable to Edit Maps While it Increases Security

Google has temporarily suspended Google Map Maker to shore up security after a prank submission depicted the Android mascot urinating on Apple’s logo.

Google quickly removed the image, saying it was a user-created edit, which left many wondering about Map Maker’s review policies.

Google Map MakerMap Maker is an online tool enabling those living in areas without detailed maps to add items like a new landmark or road to the document.

Lately, Map Maker has been abused by pranksters and it appears the last inappropriate upload of the Android relieving itself was the last straw for Google.

Product manager Pavithra Kanakarajan confirmed the current system will be shut down beginning today while Google decides how to better safeguard against inappropriate content.

“The most recent incident was particularly troubling and unfortunate — a strong user in our community chose to go and create a large scale prank on the Map,” she said in a post. “As a consequence, we suspended auto-approval and user moderation across the globe, till we figured out ways to add more intelligent mechanisms to prevent such incidents.

“All of our edits are currently going through a manual review process. We have been analyzing the problem and have made several changes. However, it is becoming clear that fixing some of this is actually going to take longer than a few days.”

Hence, Google’s decision to shut down the moderation system. Kanakarajan said the company decided it would be unfair to users to continue to allow them to submit edits while the system was being fixed because Google will not have the capacity to review edits at the rate at which they are received.

Kanakarajan did not say how long the moderation system would be out of commission, but confirmed the situation would be temporary.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.