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While checking my Twitter feed this morning (August 30, 2018) I came across this tweet that claimed that services like Snapchat, CitiBike and StreetEasy renamed New York City as “Jewtropolis.” Screenshots below.

Did this event actually happen? Were map servers hacked or was this a case of someone just fiddling with source code in a browser window to fake the incident?

Citibike Map Snapchat Map

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    here is some additional media source for digging, if helpful : arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/08/… – Pac0 Aug 31 '18 at 9:30
  • I’m not an expert on Android, but I believe that it might be tricky to change the text, at least on Snapchat on iOS. It’s not simply a webpage one can easily open the developer tools for – Tim Aug 31 '18 at 13:06
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    @Tim Fair enough. But there are desktop development tools for iOS and Android that could potentially allow someone to do some small tweaks to code and then send—or mirror—the code on a mobile device or even an emulator for a mobile device emulator. – JakeGould Aug 31 '18 at 17:14
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Yes, those companies(and others) showed New York as 'Jewtropolis' for about an hour due to a malicious edit of third-party mapping software that those companies use.

Mapbox is a provider of niche mapping software, and as shown in their recent blog post an unauthorized change to one of their data sets slipped past their review process:

Mapbox has a zero-tolerance policy against hate speech and any malicious edits to our maps. This morning, the label of “New York City” on our maps was vandalized. 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.

...

Our maps are made from over 130 different sets of data, and we have a strong double validation monitoring system... Our AI system flags more than 70,000 map changes a day for human review. While our AI immediately flagged this, in the manual part of the review process a human error led to this incident.

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    Nuked a very cringy thread about what is anti-semitic and what isn't. Let's avoid, mkay? – Sklivvz Aug 31 '18 at 20:22
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    This is a problem with crowdsourcing, just like the case on Google Maps' Map Maker... – Andrew T. Aug 31 '18 at 21:44
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    @AndrewT. It also demonstrates that manual review isn't a failsafe replacement for tasks that AI cannot do accurately. – kasperd Sep 1 '18 at 20:42

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