Google Maps Pauses Edits After Claims Ukraine Tags Used For Russian Strikes

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On Thursday, the State Particular Communications Service of Ukraine referred to as claims that Google Maps “labels” have been being utilized by Russia’s army “one other faux.” In a submit to its official Telegram channel, the nation’s intelligence company debunked a wave of social media rumors that claimed Russian insurgents had tagged airstrike areas on Google Maps of Kyiv and different Ukrainian cities.

The company described these false claims as a psychological operation “to sow panic and misinformation among the many inhabitants.”

On Tuesday, responding to claims that its Maps have been getting used to coordinate Russian army exercise in Ukraine, Google started eradicating user-submitted areas inside the borders of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. The corporate is eradicating new content material reminiscent of photographs and enterprise info “out of an abundance of warning,” a Google spokesperson informed BuzzFeed Information.

Throughout social media platforms on Tuesday, folks accused Google Maps of internet hosting content material allegedly used to focus on airstrikes on cities reminiscent of Kyiv and Kharkiv.

“The tags in Google Maps have been created on Feb twenty eighth, and folks observed that the tags match the locations the missile strikes as we speak,” considered one of these people, Oleksandr Balatskyi, informed BuzzFeed Information in a Twitter DM. Individuals claimed that the tags, or user-generated pins, started showing yesterday with titles reminiscent of “ФЕРМЕРСЬКЕ ГОСПОДАРСТВО,” or Ukrainian for “farm,” and “СІЛЬСКЕ ГОСПОДАРСТВО,” or Ukrainian for “agriculture.”

BuzzFeed Information couldn’t independently confirm the existence of particular pins, or the declare that Russia’s army added them to Google Maps. Dozens of Twitter customers have shared the identical set of screenshots exhibiting pins labeled “ФЕРМЕРСЬКЕ ГОСПОДАРСТВО” in Kyiv, although it’s unclear after they have been created and by whom.

After investigating the claims, Google mentioned that a few of the edits that reference farms have been made greater than a yr in the past. Nonetheless, the corporate mentioned it’s eradicating edits made to maps within the area since Feb. 24, and it will pause new edits.

“Out of an abundance of warning, we’re eradicating consumer contributions like photographs, movies, evaluations and enterprise info and all user-submitted locations from Google Maps in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus because the invasion started, and are quickly blocking new edits from being made,” a Google spokesperson mentioned.

Google additionally informed BuzzFeed Information on Thursday that it’s implementing an evaluation of Ukraine maps knowledge to detect and take away inaccurate enterprise info.



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