Google Maps gets hit with racist White House listing

Maybe it's time to make those user edit bans permanent

The US White House. Pic: Roman Boed

Google is once again scrambling to clean up bad behavior by Maps users after a couple of mortifying pieces of online graffiti were found.

An unknown user has tagged the listing for The White House with a racial slur, causing the presidential residence to show up when the phrase "N****** House" is searched. A second remark tagged the president's name using the same slur and referring to him as King.

The remarks were first spotted on Tuesday night by The Washington Post, who credited a reader with spotting the content. No word was given on why said reader was searching for that particular term.

Google was quick to apologize for the error, telling The Reg it was working to scrub the offensive remarks from its mapping service.

"Some inappropriate results are surfacing in Google Maps that should not be, and we apologize for any offense this may have caused," a Google spokesperson said.

"Our teams are working to fix this issue quickly."

The ad broker did not explain why there wasn't already a keyword search in place to catch this sort of bad behavior. Google Maps has, after all, seen more than its fair share of problems with Maps in recent weeks.

In April, Google had to temporarily suspend the ability for users to make edits after it was discovered that the map of Pakistan was harboring an image of the Android robot urinating on the Apple logo.

Another joker loaded up Maps with the phrase "Google Review Policy is Crap", prompting the Mountain View ad operation to cut users off from making edits. Google blamed the Maps defacement on "a strong user" who was able to post edits without prior review or supervision. ®


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