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Google has been forced to temporarily disable the ability to edit Google Maps through the Map Maker, following a recent rise in vandalism and fake edits. The service will be unavailable from today until Google has the capacity to address vandalism in a more efficient manner.
While most edits to the Map Maker are made in good faith, the lack of a functional review process has led to a rise in spam edits in recent months. One particularly obscene edit - an image of the Android mascot urinating on an Apple logo in Pakistan - led to Google apologizing for "inappropriate user-created content" last month.
Map Maker team member Pavithra Kanakarajan said in a forum post that after Google switched from automated and user moderation to manual reviews, following the rise in vandalism, the team couldn't cope with the sheer volume of edits. She said that if the team does "not have the capacity to review edits at roughly the rate they come in, we have to take a pause".
It's unclear exactly when Google will re-open the Map Maker for user-based submissions, but the team behind the useful tool will be working on creating a much better moderation system to effectively cut out spam edits and vandalism. Google still wants the community to help improve the Maps experience, just without the ability to edit in obscene imagery.