Google temporarily disables Map Maker

Following ‘peeing’ prank on Google Maps, company decides to shut down editing

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Due to the “escalated attacks” spamming Google Maps, the internet firm has suspended user moderation worldwide, the company announced on its online forum today.

The Decision came after “a strong user in our community chose to go and create a large scale prank on the Map,” referring to the creation of a fake park in Pakistan in the shape of an Android robot peeing on Apple’s logo.

“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,” said Pavithra Kanakarajan, a member of the firm’s Google Maps team.

Since the incident, the company has been manually reviewing all the edits on the maps. But turning automated and user moderation off resulted in very large backlogs.

“Given the current state of the system, we have come to the conclusion that it is not fair to any of our users to let them continue to spend time editing,” says Kanakarajan.

“We believe that it is more fair to only say that if we do not have the capacity to review edits at roughly the rate they come in, we have to take a pause.”

Although Kanakarajan reiterates this pause is temporary, she doesn’t say when the Map Maker tool will be available again.

TRTWorld and agencies