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Data vandals changed New York City to 'Jewtropolis' on Snapchat maps and others

By Cal Jeffrey · 9 replies
Aug 30, 2018
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  1. Ars Technica reports that the problem arose due to an incident of “data vandalism” on the crowd-sourced mapping project OpenStreetMap (OSM). The project is used by many applications including Wikimedia to provide labels, street maps, and GPS traces over area maps. Unfortunately, any time you open something to the public, there are bound to be trolls and mischief makers.

    The Jewtropolis label was not the only vandalism that occurred. One user going by MedwedianPresident made changes to several roads, bridges, and tunnels in New York as well. The Manhattan Bridge, for instance, was renamed “Ku Klux Klan Highway,” and the Hugh Carey Tunnel became “Adolf Hitler Memorial Tunnel.” This particular vandal has a record going back 2 years.

    However, this type of petty crime on OSM has been going on for much longer than 2 years. In 2010, a vandal created a fake town called "West Harrisburg" and traced GPS routes for non-existent streets over farms and forests.

    According to a representative of the OpenStreetMap data working group, the “Jewtropolis” label was not even from current maps.

    “The problem that you are seeing was caused by a vandalism [sic] that happened 20 days ago,” said Nelson A. de Oliveira speaking for the group. “It was promptly reverted and fixed, but data consumers which, for some reason, are still using an old copy of OSM data, may still display the wrong result.”

    Mapbox, which collects map data from multiple sources, including OSM, and sends it to third-party apps, was the one to push the nearly month-old label that had already reverted. The company issued a statement this morning explaining the its stance on the matter and how the antisemitic slur slipped out.

    “[Mapbox has] a zero-tolerance policy against hate speech and any malicious edits to our maps. 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 receives data from 130 sources and] has a strong double validation monitoring system. While our AI immediately flagged this [label], in the manual part of the review process a human error led to this incident. Security experts are working to determine the exact origin of this malicious hate speech. We apologize to customers and users who were exposed to this disgusting attack.”

    Permalink to story.

  2. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Evangelist Posts: 304   +295

    "It was the jews"! dot gif
  3. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,535   +1,533

    It would have been far funnier if they'd just renamed it to Gotham City... and then had directions to Stately Wayne Manor or Arkham Asylum :)
  4. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Guru Posts: 414   +265

    Ok this is funny as hell and if you don't think so, you have absolutely no sense of humor.
    Theinsanegamer, merikafyeah and yRaz like this.
  5. noel24

    noel24 TS Evangelist Posts: 515   +447

    Mel Gibson would disagree...
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,377   +3,770

    Well, as rude and crass as it is, I have to admit that I giggled a bit .....
    MaXtor and VBKing like this.
  7. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,883   +2,204

    Well played
  8. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,193   +1,617

    But what about Mel Brooks? ;)
    VBKing likes this.
  9. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,535   +1,533

    He'd have loved it..... but then, he's the king of comedy... and "it's good to be the king" :)
    dms96960 and stewi0001 like this.
  10. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,535   +1,533

    Wow, glad the racist post got deleted - turns out there ARE some fools who actually believe in Zionist conspiracies... For the record, NYC has about 8.5 million people - And there are a little over 1 million Jews living there.... so NOT 1/4 of the population... closer to 1/8....

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