Palestine had literally been wiped from Google’s maps, a Gaza City-based journalism group claimed. Dozens of Middle-Eastern news outlets have covered the “backlash,” and tens of thousands have Facebook-shared and tweeted it.“The Forum of Palestinian Journalists condemns the crime carried out by Google in deleting the name of Palestine, and calls for Google to rescind its decision and apologize to the Palestinian people,”
mentioned in the statement from the Forum of Palestinian Journalists, posted to its website August, 3.
Indeed, if you start searching for Palestine on Google Maps, it shows an outline, but with no label for Palestine and Israel labelled alongside it.
So activists claimed that Google Maps deleted Palestine from the map on July 25.
But the thing is that Google hasn’t changed its labeling of the region at all. The results for googling “Palestine” today are the same as they months ago.
A Google spokeswoman said: “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’re working quickly to bring these labels back to the area.”
Also, if you click on any of the cities in this region, Google does label them as Palestinian. Google identifies the territory as “the State of Palestine, also known simply as Palestine, is a de jure sovereign state in the Middle East that is recognized by 136 UN members and since 2012 has a status of a non-member observer state,”
with Wikipedia link.
Still people began sharing their outrage using the hashtag #PalestineIsHere. Also five month ago a guy named Zak Martin began a Change.org petition to put Palestine on the map. A petition has gained traction in the last few days, now with almost 250,000 signatures since March.
Google has already had some troubles with labeling disputed territories. In 2014 they issued a project called Disputed Territories, which shows how Google Maps attempts to stay out of geographical disputes and issues of national identity. For example: users in Russia see a solid boundary line around Russia and Crimea. Outside of Russia, Crimea is surrounded by dashed lines, indicating it as occupied territory. In Ukraine users still see it as a part its territory.