“Jewtropolis” is just the latest racial controversy on Snapchat

Social media platform Snapchat received a negative outcry from users on Thursday, August 30 when they discovered New York City had been renamed “Jewtropolis” on Snapchat’s mapping feature, “Snap Maps.”

This change was visible for a few hours on Thursday morning, until around 9 a.m.

Users were confused (to say the least) when they discovered the app’s new name for New York City.

Snapchat however, may not be to blame for the incident.

The app was not the only one subject to this anti-Semitic hacking. Other apps, including StreetEasy and Citi Bike also saw uses of the term on their platforms. These apps use a third-party mapping system called “Map Box” which partially receives data from its users.

Once the issue was brought to the attention of Snapchat, they issued an apology on Twitter and the problem has been resolved.

Snapchat’s parent company issued a statement saying, “Snap Map, similar to other apps, relies on third party mapping data from OpenStreetMap, which unfortunately has been vandalized. This defacement is deeply offensive and entirely contrary to our values, and we want to apologize to any members of our community who saw it. We are working with our partner Mapbox to fix this as quickly as possible.”

Mapbox also released a statement saying, “Mapbox has a zero-tolerance policy against hate speech and malicious edits to our maps. This morning, the label of “New York City” on our maps was vandalized. Within an hour, our team deleted and removed that information. The malicious edit was made by a source that attempted several other hateful edits. Our security team has confirmed no additional attempts were successful”

Although the issue has been taken care of, it begs the question of who would do something like this and will they do it again?