Snapchat is embroiled in a controversy today where their map program actually showed New York City as ‘Jewtropolis’.
On Snapchat’s Snap Map, New York City appears as “Jewtropolis.” A screenshot I just took: pic.twitter.com/rAlPXjjLOd
— Hamza Shaban (@hshaban) August 30, 2018
Snapchat has apologized for the label, but also blamed it on the fault of third-party data they use in their mapping system being compromised.
Here’s the story:
Snapchat has apologized for listing New York City as “Jewtropolis” on its map feature, a mistake that it said was the result of data vandalism from a third party that altered the map’s information.
“Snap Map, similar to other apps, relies on third-party mapping data from OpenStreetMap, which unfortunately has been vandalized,” a spokesperson for Snap, Snapchat’s partner company, said in a statement. “This defacement is deeply offensive and entirely contrary to our values, and we want to apologize to any members of our community who saw it. As soon as we were alerted to this, we began working with our partner Mapbox to fix it, and it is now corrected on the Snap Map.”
Although OpenStreetMap’s site did not display “Jewtropolis” over New York City on Thursday morning, a Mapbox demo map displayed “Jewtropolis,” according to BuzzFeed News.
Mapbox then released a statement on their website, explaining what happened in more detail:
Mapbox has a zero-tolerance policy against hate speech and any malicious edits to our maps. This morning, the label of “New York City” on our maps was vandalized. Within an hour, our team deleted and removed that information. The malicious edit was made by a source that attempted several other hateful edits. Our security team has confirmed no additional attempts were successful.
We build systems so this does not happen. Our maps are made from over 130 different sets of data, and we have a strong double validation monitoring system. Our preliminary root cause analysis shows that this act of hate speech was properly detected immediately and put into quarantine for human review.
Typically, our validation system prevents malicious edits from entering the system from any third party data source. Our AI system flags more than 70,000 map changes a day for human review. While our AI immediately flagged this, in the manual part of the review process a human error led to this incident.
Security experts are working to determine the exact origin of this malicious hate speech. We apologize to customers and users who were exposed to this disgusting attack.
Would I be racist if this disgusting attack made me LOL when I saw the screenshots? I know, I’m terrible.
Don’t get me wrong though, it’s really bad and I’m glad they removed is as quickly as they did.