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Snapchat’s NYC Map Renamed ‘Jewtropolis’ in What Mapbox Calls ‘Hate-Speech Attack’

Anti-Semitic remark removed after being live for a few hours

Last Updated: August 31, 2018 @ 7:44 AM

New York City was marked “Jewtropolis” on Snapchat on Thursday morning, after Mapbox, a company that provides mapping services to several apps, was hit by what it called a “hate-speech attack.”

“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,” Snap Inc. said in a statement to TheWrap. “As soon as we were alerted to this, we began working with our partner Mapbox to fix it, and it is now corrected on the Snap Map.”

By about 10:00 a.m. eastern, the anti-semitic slur was removed. Mapbox works with a myriad of organizations, including Vice and the FCC, although they were not impacted by the hack. Its services reach about 400 million people. The company said it was investigating the source of the cyberattack in a statement.

“Mapbox has a zero-tolerance policy against hate speech and any malicious edits to our maps,” Mapbox said in a statement on its official blog.  “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.”

Mapbox relies on a mix of human moderators and artificial intelligence systems to safeguard its network. CEO Eric Gundersen added the hack was “disgusting” and “should have never happened” in a statement to TechCrunch.

Snap did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.