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Snapchat apologizes after map calls New York 'Jewtropolis'
Snap, the company behind Snapchat, apologized on Thursday after its map feature mislabeled New York City as "Jewtropolis."
Snap said that the incident was due to vandalism of data from OpenStreetMap, a service that allows users to edit and submit information to build its maps.
"Snap Map, similar to other apps, relies on third-party mapping data from OpenStreetMap, which unfortunately has been vandalized," a Snap spokesperson said in a statement. "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. As soon as we were alerted to this, we began working with our partner Mapbox to fix it, and it is now corrected on the Snap Map."
But according to Buzzfeed News, OpenStreetMap's site was not showing the name "Jewtropolis" for New York on Thursday morning, while a demo map from Mapbox was. Mapbox partners with companies like Snap to provide location data platforms, according to its website.
"This morning, the label of 'New York City' on our maps was vandalized," the company said in a blog post on Medium. "Within an hour, our team deleted and removed that information. The malicious edit was made by a source that attempted several other hateful edits. Our security team has confirmed no additional attempts were successful."
Mapbox added that it was considering changes to prevent similar vandalism in the future.
"The vast majority of changes made to our dataset are helpful changes made by people mapping their neighborhoods, adding data to support humanitarian crises, or adding detail to their favorite bike path. Some of these editors have nefarious intentions, though," Ian Dees, an OpenStreetMap board member, said in a statement. "Our community has systems set up to review edits and protect the map from harmful edits. In this particular case, the harmful edit was fixed within 2 hours by our community."