Google Maps has been surrounded by a lot of controversy over the last few weeks, as the (already shut down) maps editor was the target of a rather harmful and offensive exploit. Today, Google itself, addressed past malicious acts done to Google Maps, as well as several insulting racial slurs directed towards the President of the United States himself and the White House, in a rather lengthy public apology. The most recent issue was discovered two days ago, and was soon amended by Google; said problem made it’s appearance after users searched for a number of slanders (most of them considered racist), and were directed to the White House’s street address.
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Google wrote in its apology letter, how certain offensive search terms were producing unexpected results because of these terms were being used in online discussions about the White House; After searching for any of these terms, Google Maps automatically related them to the location of the White House. That’s how Google Maps, and several other Google services, get the information shown to the user, Google automatically matches a person’s query to content spread across the internet that mentions this specific query; if said search term, has any negative information linked to it, Google would have no option but to show it. But, after stating the failure of that system, the company soon apologized and said that the team behind Google Maps was already is in the process of solving these issues and improving the ranking system.
Even if Google has already expressed their concerns about the issues with Google Maps, search results to several of the racial slurs are still directing users, inside Google Maps, towards the White House’s street address. This can only mean one thing, the fix for said problems, are still being rolled out to users across the globe, which can take several weeks to finish. Google has shown with recent attacks to Google Maps, that even if the company says security is one of its top priorities; it has, to some extent, let its guard down in terms of security. Google must soon take more actions to fix this image it’s giving away so that users don’t feel insecure when using any of Google’s services.