Google Apologizes For Racist Maps Listings

Google issued an apology for the offensive listings that were visible on Google Maps this week.

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that according to a reader, typing the N-word into Google Maps brought users to the White House. Similar racist queries found Howard University, a historically black university located two miles from the presidential quarters. D.C. advocacy group Hispanic Link also came up during searches for “w**back house.”

Maps wasn’t hacked. Rather, because of other things posted online, these locations had become associated with the slurs. Google has been updating its ranking system to wipe out the searches. The algorithm change will roll out globally in the next few days.

“Simply put, you shouldn’t see these kinds of results in Google Maps, and we’re taking steps to make sure you don’t,” wrote Jen Fitzpatrick, vice president of engineering and product management at Google, in a blog post yesterday.

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