Why Does Google Maps Not Recognize Palestine or its Roads?

Published October 18th, 2018 - 01:17 GMT
Image shared by Palestinian activists in protest of Google's policies against Palestinians in not labeling it on the map. (Socialmedia)
Image shared by Palestinian activists in protest of Google's policies against Palestinians in not labeling it on the map. (Socialmedia)

After being accused of bias against conservatives in the west, Google is now facing another scandal in the Middle East, particularly in Palestine for mapping the Palestinian occupied territories for what appears to serve the Israeli interests.

Recently, Palestinians noticed that if they used the Google Maps to travel from one place to another inside the West Bank, the Google app gives them message that Google Maps “can’t find a way” for your trip and directs them via roads inside the Israeli settlement instead.

Google Maps has not labelled Palestine on its map, does not include the search term Palestine. If you searched Palestine, it shows an outline with Israel label alongside it.

Lately, Palestinian organizations have been taking serious steps to force Google into stopping its bias toward Israel and to remove political ideology away from their business.

A report released by 7amleh, The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, highlighted how Google’s mapping process are in compliance with the Israeli government, which contradicts the tech giant’s commitment to international human rights framework.

In response, hashtag “GoogleMapPalestine” has been trending among Palestinians and human rights defenders around the world to put more pressure on Google to comply to their international commitments.

The American Jewish human right organization that advocates for Palestine, Jewish for Peace, has also joined the campaign asking Google to stop their discriminatory policies against Palestine.

Google is not the only tech company that is being accused of discrimination against Palestinians. Facebook also has been accused of censoring Palestinian content under Israeli pressure and the violations committed against Palestinian users on Facebook.

For the last year, several pages and personal accounts have been removed from Facebook with no clear reason rather than the tech company’s policies in controlling the digital content with what comes in their interests with governments.

Meanwhile, tech companies and giant social media platforms from Facebook, Google to Twitter have been accused lately of bias and deliberate targeting of conservatives.

Read More: Has Digital Censorship Arrived in the West?

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