Google Maps Search for Racial Slur Brings up the White House
WASHINGTON, May 20 (UPI) — Google apologized after users reported typing a racial slur into Google Maps causes the website to zoom in the White House in Washington, D.C.
Users of the map program said searching for the word along with the word “house” caused Google Maps to bring up a zoomed-in map of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., the White House, and searches conducted from multiple geographical locations had the same result.
Some users reported getting the same result using the alternate spelling replacing the “er” at the end of the racial slur with an “a.”
“Some inappropriate results are surfacing in Google Maps that should not be, and we apologize for any offense this may have caused,” a Google representative told The Washington Post. “Our teams are working to fix this issue quickly.”
Bomani Buckhalter, who posted a screenshot of his search results to Twitter, said some friends in other locations reported the search came back with different results.
“It is location based, so [for] some of the students that are not currently in D.C., the search result was different. However, even if you’re not in D.C., ‘[slur] house Washington D.C.’ shows the same result,” Buckhalter told The Huffington Post.
Google Maps allows users to make alterations with its Map Maker software. However, the feature was recently suspended following acts of vandalism including a map of Pakistan altered to show an image of the Android logo urinating on an Apple logo.
“We are temporarily disabling editing on Map Maker starting today,” product manager Pavithra Kanakarajan said in a message to users, “while we continue to work towards making the moderation system more robust.”