Snapchat In-App Map Vandalized, New York City Labeled as ‘Jewtropolis’
Hey Dan! Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Snap Map relies on third party mapping data which has unfortunately been subject to vandalism. We are working with our partner Mapbox to get this fixed immediately.
— Snapchat Support (@snapchatsupport) August 30, 2018
The Weather Channel, Citi Bike, StreetEasy and other websites that utilize the mapping software company Mapbox were subsequently affected by the vandalization.
Although Mapbox is used by several developers and 400 million individuals each month, not all services were impacted by the recent vandalism. Other prominent companies, including Vox and Vice, didn’t notice any disparity in their data, as reported by The Verge.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Eric Gundersen, who currently stands as the Mapbox’s chief executive officer and founder, noted that while Mapbox gathers human data and artificial intelligence to check for vandalism, the company is still uncertain as to how the incident slipped through the cracks.
Mapbox added that their artificial intelligence system immediately flagged the vandalism, but “human error” caused the incident to remain live. The company has stated that the issue was resolved within an hour of the edit going live. Gundersen went on to note, “This is now 100% fixed and should have never happened. It’s disgusting.”
Mapbox apologized to customers and users who were exposed to the attack, and reassure that “security experts are working to determine the exact origin of this malicious hate speech.”
During a discussion with Business Insider, a Mapbox spokesperson specified that the maps utilized are derived from over 130 different data sets, which possess “strong double validation” monitoring systems. The edit was reportedly made by a source who had attempted to publish several other hateful changes.