Snapchat apologized in a statement on Thursday after the app unintentionally listed New York City as “Jewtropolis” due to its use of a third-party open-source mapping database.
Snapchat, along with other apps such as CitiBike, Street Easy, and Jump Bikes, used the third-party data startup Matchbox, which gathers geographical data from the open source database OpenStreetMap. OpenStreetMap, in turn, gathers geographical data from user-generated input.
Snapchat and these other companies caused controversy on Thursday when their maps referred to New York City as “Jewtropolis,” due to the user input from OpenStreetMap.
Whatever mapping service that Snapchat, CitiBike, StreetEasy, (perhaps others) use — it seems — is showing New York City as "Jewtropolis" this morning. pic.twitter.com/nsVe8goLyo
— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) August 30, 2018
“Snap Map, similar to other apps, relies on third-party mapping data from OpenStreetMap, which unfortunately has been vandalized,” a Snapchat spokesman told Buzzfeed News on Thursday. “This defacement is deeply offensive and entirely contrary to our values, and we want to apologize to any members of our community who saw it. We are working with our partner Mapbox to fix this as quickly as possible.”
— saintconfucius (@saintconfucius) August 30, 2018
— Robin Hall (@walkerdad) August 30, 2018
Buzzfeed News reported that one OpenStreetMap user, MedwedianPresident, was accused of changing New York city to “Jewtropolis” earlier in August.
Snapchat has yet to respond to a request for comment from Breitbart News.
Snapchat is not the only Silicon Valley company to face public relations blowback over their use of open source data.
In May, Google briefly listed “Nazism” as an official ideology of the California Republican, largely due to the search engine’s reliance on user data from Wikipedia.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) wrote in a tweet in May, “Sadly, this is just the latest incident in a disturbing trend to slander conservatives. These damaging actions must be held to account.”
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) May 31, 2018
In July, Wikipedia placed Congressman Steve King (R-IA), Ron Paul alongside cult leader Charles Manson, and American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell on a list of “American White Nationalists.”
In August, editors of Wikipedia added President Donald Trump to a list of advocates for the “white genocide conspiracy theory” due to his recent tweets about South African farm attacks and proposed government land expropriation of the South African Boers. Donald Trump Jr., Fox News host Tucker Carlson, and best-selling author Ann Coulter were also included on the list of supposed conspiracy theorists.