According to a recent outrage going on on the Internet, it is being alleged that Google has removed Palestine from Google Maps. Has Google actually deleted Palestine from Google Maps or it has never been there, as is being claimed by Google? Why is Palestine missing from Google Maps, people are asking?
— Valdi Greenwood (@ValdiArief) August 8, 2016
— Meryem Börekçi (@MeryBrkc) August 9, 2016
This is what the Google spokesperson says, “There has never been a ‘Palestine’ label on Google Maps, however we discovered a bug that removed the labels for ‘West Bank’ and ‘Gaza Strip’. We are working quickly to bring these labels back to the area.”
How countries and different regions of the world are shown on Internet services like Google Maps makes a big difference about how these countries and regions are perceived. Recently Indian government some Internet companies and news outlets with grave consequences if mapping services including Google and even the BBC showed a wrong in the app. While showing India’s map there has been a free for all until the Indian government put a stop to that.
Google Maps is used more than 1 billion times every week and it is one of the world’s largest geographic data gathering apps. Various Middle Eastern journalists and news publications have protested and created an uproar, according to this news link.
Did Google purposely remove Palestine from Google Maps? Why is Palestine missing from Google Maps? According to the link above, more than 150,000 people have signed a petition protesting against Google for “erasing Palestine” from Google maps. The petition says, “The omission of Palestine is a grievous insult to the people of Palestine and undermines the efforts of the millions of people who are involved in the campaign to secure Palestine independence and freedom from Israeli occupation and oppression.”
Hashtags like #PalistineIsHere and #BoycottGoogle have already started appearing on the Internet. People angrily want to know why Palestine is missing from Google Maps.
Even if Google has really removed Palestine from Google Maps it is not a new development. The region has been missing from Google Maps for many months, it’s just that, it has just been noticed now.