Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Map Maker will open again for business early next month. To prevent the same kind of mischief that forced Google to stop the tool for some time, its hiring moderators.
Google was compelled to shut down Map Maker earlier this year due to unauthorized inappropriate incidents on its maps. The incident pointed to flaws in the approvals process.
Google realizes that to keep Map Maker clean is a huge responsibility. Hence, they are passing the responsibility to its users. After a number of incidents such as the image of 2,500 foot Android robot urinating on an Apple logo at some location in Pakistan and the very offensive racial renaming of the White House, Google’s product manager, Pavithra Kanakarajan announced that the site would be temporarily inaccessible for editing from May 12, 2015 onwards.
The search giant is seeking people within the Map Maker community to moderate edits made within particular countries. Country-specific moderators’ looks to be a wise decision taking into account the political nature of maps and the potential opportunities that the editing tools give to create culturally insensitive or offensive content.
Pavithra Kanakarajan said that whenever someone try to vandalize the map, many users acted swiftly to drop the offending feature and showcased genuine ownership for maps within their region. Hence, Google has come to the conclusion that the most reliable and quick method to keep the maps clean is a community of well-intentioned users.
Kanakarajan added that Google wanted users to have greater influence over the edits made in their respective countries. While certain edits will still need moderations by Google operators, this is different from the past where the majority of user edits were reviewed by Google operators.
Google seems optimistic that having regions leads to oversee things will be sufficient to prevent the kind of vandalization that had occurred in the past.
With great power comes great responsibility is a phrase that is relevant to the new community of Map Maker Moderators.