Anti-Semitic Vandals Target Snapchat, Citibike and Other Apps

Written by Nitish Singh
Last updated July 13, 2021

Popular apps that make use of Mapbox maps to offer location services were affected by anti-Semitic vandals who changed the names of popular locations in New York to “Jewtropolis.” The offensive changes were spotted on Snapchat, StreetEasy and other popular apps. However, not all apps that make use of the location services were affected with FCC, Vox and Vice reporting no changes to their website.

After Snapchat users spotted the anti-Semitic vandalism in the app, users reported the change in numbers to which Snapchat responded “Snap Map relies on third-party mapping data which has unfortunately been subject to vandalism. We are working with our partner Mapbox to get this fixed immediately.”

The Weather Channel Anti-Semitic Vandalism

Image Courtesy of The Verge

The Anti-Semitic changes were reported around 5 AM ET and were quickly reversed by Mapbox by 9 AM ET. Online maps that are open to third-party edits have often been targeted by vandals, and even apps like Google Maps have suffered from vandalism forcing the tech giant to shut down their editing tool temporarily. While many changes to editable online maps are less problematic and had to spot, not spotting the changes in time can allow millions of users to be misinformed.

Mapbox has still not made it clear if the changes made to the maps were internal or user suggested. They are still trying to identify the person or people behind the changes and are investigating. With instances of misinformation and hate speech on the rise, political propaganda and hateful vandalism are also on the rise. The maps service is due to make an official statement with their findings, and we can expect to find out more about the incident in the near future once the culprits are identified.

What do you think about the vandalism suffered by Mapbox? Let us know in the comments below. Let us know in the comments below. Get instant updates on TechNadu’s Facebook page, or Twitter handle.

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