Snapchat map renames New York 'Jewtropolis'

The app said a third-party service was subject to 'vandalism,' and the faux-pas was quickly reversed.

August 30, 2018 20:41
1 minute read.
Snapchat map renames New York 'Jewtropolis'

A screenshot shows a Snapchat map on which New York City is labelled as 'Jewtropolis'. (photo credit: screenshot)


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The mapping service used inside applications include Snapchat, FourSquare and The Weather Channel was changed on Thursday to read “Jewtropolis” in place of New York.

Users started posting images of screenshots from affected apps on social media on Thursday, and Snapchat was quick to respond.

“Thanks for bringing this to our attention,” the company wrote to one user on Twitter. “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.”

The change shouldn’t be too surprising, since Mapbox operates in an open, easily-edited operation system. According to its website, it “is powered by open data from OpenStreetMap.

Think of OpenStreetMap as the Wikipedia of maps. It’s a project founded on the belief that when data is open, everyone can work together to build the map. Anyone can quickly add roads and buildings to keep up with a changing world.”

Within a few hours, the name had been returned to New York on the map application.

While many social media users were amused by the hacking, others were not. The Anti-Defamation League asked Mapbox on Twitter: “Have you taken down this antisemitic vandalism yet? We’re ready to help.”

Others found the whole situation amusing instead.

“This is ridiculous,” wrote Chabad social media editor Mordechai Lightstone. “Everyone knows Jewtropolis is in Brooklyn, not Manhattan. Never trust crowdsourcing!”

Buzzfeed world news editor Miriam Elder joked: “If we also control the weather why is it so hot in Jewtropolis today?! Someone did not think this through.”

And Author Laura Silverman wrote that “Us Jews seeing this: wow this is bad and a bit scary but also seriously you had JEW YORK right there and went with mediocre word play Jewtropolis instead?”

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