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-added tags inside the borders of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. The corporate is eradicating new content material reminiscent of location pins “out of an abundance of warning,” a Google spokesperson advised BuzzFeed Information.

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

“The tags in Google Maps had been created on Feb twenty eighth, and other people observed that the tags match the locations the missile strikes at present,” one among these people, Oleksandr Balatskyi, advised BuzzFeed Information in a Twitter DM. Folks claimed that the tags, or user-generated pins, started showing yesterday with titles reminiscent of “ФЕРМЕРСЬКЕ ГОСПОДАРСТВО,” or Ukrainian for “farm,” and “СІЛЬСКЕ ГОСПОДАРСТВО,” or Ukrainian for “agriculture.”

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 after 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 12 months in the past. Nonetheless, the corporate mentioned it’s eradicating edits made to maps within the area since Feb. 24, and it will pause new edits.

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

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