Snapchat feels backlash after map feature vandalized, labels NYC with antisemitic name

Joshua Gill, DCNFDCNF

Snapchat issued an apology Thursday over Snap Map’s labeling of New York City as “Jewtropolis,” saying its third party mapping data had been vandalized.

The “Jewtropolis” vandalism appeared late Wednesday across multiple in-application maps for Snapchat, Citibike, StreatEasy, and the real estate application Zillow. Snapchat issued an apology to users, explaining that it was an act of vandalism that the company considered “deeply offensive,” after users posted screenshots and decried the label as “racist.”

 

“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. We are working with our partner Mapbox to fix this as quickly as possible,” a company spokesperson said in a statement, according to Fox News.

The antisemitic label was apparently the result of old data that had been flagged for review and fixed by OpenStreetMap’s security team 20 days prior. Representatives of the company said they are not sure exactly why the old data displayed Wednesday and Thursday.

“The problem that you are seeing was caused by a vandalism that happened 20 days ago,” said OpenStreetMap employee Nelson A. de Oliveira, according to ARS Technica.

“It was promptly reverted and fixed, but data consumers which, for some reason, are still using an old copy of OSM data, may still display the wrong result,” he added.

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