Google Maps Pauses Edits After Claims Ukraine Tags Used For Russian Strikes

Responding to claims that its Maps had been getting used to coordinate Russian navy exercise in Ukraine, Google on Tuesday started eradicating user-submitted areas inside the borders of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. The corporate is eradicating new content material akin to images and enterprise data “out of an abundance of warning,” a Google spokesperson informed BuzzFeed Information.

Throughout social media platforms on Tuesday, folks accused Google Maps of internet hosting content material allegedly used to focus on airstrikes on cities akin to Kyiv and Kharkiv.

“The tags in Google Maps had been created on Feb twenty eighth, and folks observed that the tags match the locations the missile strikes right now,” certainly one of these people, Oleksandr Balatskyi, informed BuzzFeed Information in a Twitter DM. Individuals claimed that the tags, or user-generated pins, started showing yesterday with titles akin to “ФЕРМЕРСЬКЕ ГОСПОДАРСТВО,” or Ukrainian for “farm,” and “СІЛЬСКЕ ГОСПОДАРСТВО,” or Ukrainian for “agriculture.”

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BuzzFeed Information couldn’t independently confirm the existence of particular pins, or the declare that Russia’s navy added them to Google Maps. Dozens of Twitter customers have shared the identical set of screenshots displaying pins labeled “ФЕРМЕРСЬКЕ ГОСПОДАРСТВО” in Kyiv, although it’s unclear once they had been created and by whom.

After investigating the claims, Google mentioned that a number of the edits that reference farms had been made greater than a yr in the past. Nonetheless, the corporate mentioned it’s eradicating edits made to maps within the area since Feb. 24, and it might pause new edits.

“Out of an abundance of warning, we’re eradicating person contributions like images, movies, opinions and enterprise data and all user-submitted locations from Google Maps in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus for the reason that invasion started, and are quickly blocking new edits from being made,” a Google spokesperson mentioned.

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