After having to deal with various pranks from people who were allowed to edit Google Maps, the company decided to temporarily deny access to its online editor. The decision is effective Tuesday, the 12th of May 2015, worldwide.
One of the major scandals that prompted them to take such drastic measures involved a prankster who drew an Android bot urinating on the Apple logo on the area where the southern part of the Pakistani town of Rawalpindi should have been. This image, which was taken down by the company not long after it was brought to their attention, could be viewed both from the mobile and from the desktop variant of the map. The demeaning picture came out on the exact same day Apple made it possible for customers to purchase their newly released Apple watch. While it was clear that it pointed out to a grudge between users of products from the two companies, Google had to take in all the criticism and deal with angry comments. The decision follows other acts of vandalism as well. At the time they blamed the whole situation on the fact that it was impossible for them to review all the edits, as they were coming in at a very fast pace.
However, the company ensures all those who are worried that they will never be able to use Google Map Maker again, that this is a temporary decision that was made only to give them time to rethink how they should frame the approval process in the future. They also stated that they are working on a new moderation system.
Until now, the approval system was more or less based on trust. After editors were given the green light on their posts on multiple occasions, they became trusted users and did not have to face the approval process anymore.
Google Map Editor has been very popular so far, as it was largely used to map new places that had not been mapped before or to point to the location of newly opened businesses that people found out about and wanted to share with others. It was launched seven years ago and it has become extremely comprehensive since then. People were allowed to correct erroneous information or add it where it was missing. This gave it an advantage in front of its top competitor – Apple, before Nokia introduced its own map maker four years later. However, Google’s editor has proved extremely effective over time, providing detailed information on areas that were just blank spaces before editors filled them.
Therefore, because Google has faced a lot of criticism following pranks and now they are working to come up with good and stable solutions for future editors, to avoid more unpleasant situations in the future.
Image Source: ubergizmo