In recent times news of Google ‘removing’ Palestine from their Google Maps services has been circling once again. This became a big ordeal back in 2016 and well, to clear things up Google hasn’t ever put Palestine on their maps.
According to Arab News, Google never placed Palestine on their maps which was said by a spokeswoman from Google back in 2016. While Palestine should be shown just above Israel on the map, all you see is one big Israel. Since news of this has been going around once again, many have taken to Twitter under the hashtags ‘PalestineIsHere’ and ‘FreePalestine’
PALESTINE HAS NEVER* BEEN ON GOOGLE MAPS !!!!
PUT PALESTINE BACK IN THE MAPS! #PalestineIsHere
REMOVING IT FROM THE MAP DOES NOT MEAN IT CEASES TO EXIST!
SPREAD THE HASHTAG AS MUCH AS YOUUU CANN !
LET US JOIN THE ONLINE CAMPAIGNS ON TWITTER PEPSS !✊🏼✊🏼#FreePalestine🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/sNWu2jDlIM
— Benmabrouk Abyr (@3022b0cd59434c7) July 17, 2020
According to The Guardian, this likely has something to do with how Google prefers to stay out of disputes like the ones going on in that area. While there is a country called Palestine, not everyone around the world accepts its presence, for instance, while Palestine is recognized by the United Nations and over 100 members of the UN, the US does not recognize it as such which is probably contributing to why Google and even Apple don’t list it on their maps.
I24 News wrote as follows on this topic:
The controversy playing itself out on social media Thursday echoed a similar episode in 2016, when Palestinian journalists similarly accused the US-based Internet giant of removing Palestine from its maps.
In 2016, Google clarified that the label “Palestine” had never been present on its mapping service, which instead includes labels for the West Bank and Gaza, as well as their respective outlines on the map.
“There has never been a ‘Palestine’ label on Google Maps, however, we discovered a bug that removed the labels for ‘West Bank’ and ‘Gaza Strip.’ We’re working quickly to bring these labels back to the area,” Google said in 2016.
What do you think? Should these giant companies be pushed into labeling Palestine or are they doing the right thing based on how the US itself operates and what the US recognizes? I for one am on the fence, I could see why they’re doing it but also don’t think it’s right to not mark Palestine on maps considering all the people there are and have had to experience.