Google Temporarily Shuts Down Map Editing Tool After Android Bot Urinating Incident

Google Temporarily Shuts Down Map Editing Tool After Android Bot Urinating Incident

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Weeks ago, an image of an Android bot urinating on an Apple logo was spotted in Google Maps. At the time, some speculated it was a third party playing a prank through Google Maps' editor, and it seems that may be the case.

Today, Google announced that its map making editing tool would temporarily be unavailable. The map maker team also posted a message explaining the temporary shut down. The team switched from automated approval system to a manual case-by-case method; however, the backlog of edits continued to grow and eventually became unmanageable.

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As some of you know already, we have been experiencing escalated attacks to spam Google Maps over the past few months. The most recent incident was particularly troubling and unfortunate - a strong user in our community chose to go and create a large scale prank on the Map. As a consequence, we suspended auto-approval and user moderation across the globe, till we figured out ways to add more intelligent mechanisms to prevent such incidents.

All of our edits are currently going through a manual review process.

We have been analyzing the problem and have made several changes. However, it is becoming clear that fixing some of this is actually going to take longer than a few days. As you can imagine, turning automated and user moderation off has the direct implication of very large backlogs of edits requiring manual review. This in turn means your edits will take a long time to get published.

Given the current state of the system, we have come to the conclusion that it is not fair to any of our users to let them continue to spend time editing. Every edit you make is essentially going to a backlog that is growing very fast. We believe that it is more fair to only say that if we do not have the capacity to review edits at roughly the rate they come in, we have to take a pause.

We have hence decided to temporarily disable editing across all countries starting Tuesday, May 12, 2015, till we have our moderation system back in action. This will be a temporary situation and one that we hope to come out of as soon as possible.

While this is a very difficult, short term decision, we think this will help us get to a better state faster. More importantly, we believe it is simply the right thing to do to all of you, our valued users who continue to edit with the hope that your changes might go live as fast as you've been used to.

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It is unclear when the map maker will return, but be sure to follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or RSS for updates.

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Google Temporarily Shuts Down Map Editing Tool After Android Bot Urinating Incident

Google Temporarily Shuts Down Map Editing Tool After Android Bot Urinating Incident
WhatAShame - May 12, 2015 at 12:11pm
It's a shame that an Android user trying to make fun of Apple would cause such a problem for Google as well. That person literally gave the middle finger to both companies as they obvious don't respect the work of both Google and Apple.
PaulieP - May 12, 2015 at 3:48pm
I very much agree with you. Google is not the issue, this one individual is the issue. Apple and android are both great platforms. This war going on between the two platforms and which one is better is really pathetic. They're both great companies, it's the people that make the difference. In this case it was an android user who made an Ass of themselves. Hopefully, stuff like this does not happen again. It's immature and extremely unprofessional.
S@mur@! - May 12, 2015 at 7:59pm
Thought that was trouble. They spent too much time making realistic renders of android beating Apple, if not cartoon images it.
Nat - May 12, 2015 at 8:48am
I may hate Google, but they did the right thing. I feel sorry for what a was of effort they put into this people took it in a wrong direction.
This sucks - May 12, 2015 at 4:21am
Google unmanageable? No way they make it so easy to screw up their automated approval system...no way! Maybe next one is a big turd when you google Samsung Korea? Lol
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