Entering A Racist Slur Into Google Maps Gets You Directed Straight To The White House, & Google Is Very, Very Sorry About That
Where would we be without the ubiquitous Google Maps? Lost, bewildered, and unable to tell the White House from a racial epithet — wait, what? The Washington Post discovered this week that Google Maps was sending racists to the White House through its search platform. And, well, the words being searched weren't very polite, to say the least. Google publicly apologized for the glitch first thing Wednesday.
The Washington Post said it was tipped off to the alarming search results by a reader. I tested the racially charged Google Maps search Wednesday morning and found that if you search several racial epithets in the Washington, D.C. area, the app still directs you to the White House, the home of President Obama and his family. The app even zooms in on the White House, in case you needed some more clarity about what you were looking for.
Among the racial slurs that will send you directly to the White House are "n-----," "n----- house" and "n----- king." A general worldview search for "n----- house" also sent us to the White House. Other general worldview searches for "n----- house" directed us to the Underground Railroad TV headquarters in Chicago.
And if you search for "n----- lover" in the Washington, D.C. area, you are directed to the Lincoln Memorial. How lovely.
A spokesperson for Google apologized for the apparent search glitch in a statement on Wednesday. However, the tech giant wouldn't say what was causing the disturbing glitch at this time:
Some inappropriate results are surfacing in Google Maps that should not be, and we apologize for any offense this may have caused. Our teams are working to fix this issue quickly.
And according to TMZ, if you Google Maps the term "dumb fucks" in D.C., you're taken straight to... the Supreme Court. Ouch.
Just last week, Google was forced to disable its Map Maker editing platform, which allowed everyday users to publicly edit and personalize Google Maps, following a number of high-profile pranks. One of these pranks reportedly involved someone editing Google Maps to show the Android robot urinating on the Apple Logo, ABC News reported. Yes, really.
"We thank each one of you who responded to us with your support and thoughtful suggestions on how to resolve this situation," Google Map Maker product manager Pavithra Kanakarajan recently said in a company blog post. "We are considering all options that will help us turn on editing as soon as possible, and we will keep you posted on the progress we make."
Images: screenshots/Google Maps (4)