Many supporters of the Palestinian cause have already denounce the giant company Google in an online post this week because of the accusation that it removed the word Palestine and it can no longer be searched on Google Maps. There is one issue with this accusation; Google said that there is no such word in the first place.
As a result of the anger through rants in social media, the tale has been able to reach a wider audience. Advocacy groups from Palestine have some strong statements regarding the matter. Other things cropped up such as news stories and videos that became viral. Amidst all this, there is no comment coming from Google.
An online petition was created last March and it is meant to condemn Google. The same petition claimed that the two Jewish founders of the company are responsible in removing the word Palestine from the maps because they are suspected of having ties with Israel. The online petition has now gathered 280,000 signatures. Tweets were also posted regarding the matter and they are mostly angry while calling the people to boycott the said company.
It was then that the hashtag #PalestineIsHere trended. This is in contradiction according to Google Maps since it was never there to begin with.
According to a statement from the company, ever since the creation of Google Maps there has been no Palestine label. They have recently discovered though that a bug was able to delete the labels they have put in for Gaza Strip and West Bank. They are now working to resolve the issue and bring the deleted labels back on the map. It is yet to be determined whether the bug started the online outrage regarding Palestine.
A statement from the spokeswoman, Elizabeth Davidoff, also said through her email that the company has not utilized the label Palestinian territory that is why it is not on the map. Before the bug, Gaza Strip and West Bank are labeled properly along with a dotted line that separates the area from Israel. Illustrated maps, on the other hand, are created through the artists’ perspective and creativity and therefore not as accurate as the digital maps.