Google got in trouble this week for allegedly removing the ‘Palestine’ label from the neighboring region of Israel.
According to Google, there was nothing it could do because the label never existed in the first place.
Google told The New York Times in a statement:
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 back these labels to the area.
A company spokeswoman also denounced the GIF that showed the label disappearing from Google Maps, saying that it was fake.
It isn’t clear why this push against Google from supporters of the Palestinian cause flared up only recently. But it’s certain that this is about more than just fixing a bug. As Naomi Dann, a spokeswoman for Jewish Voice for Peace, told The New York Times, “Maps have always been political, and the ways that borders are demarcated on them is always political.”