Google Shuts Down Maps Editor After ‘Android Bot Peeing’ Hack

Google temporarily shut down Google Maps Editor after the controversial debacle involving an image featuring the Android logo peeing on the Apple logo.

Google Maps Editor

The online tool has been around for years and provided a way for Google users in countries that don’t have detailed maps to add various details to the maps. Unfortunately recent months, some people have been using the tool for pranks. Another fairly recent prank involved someone adding a fake business called “Edwards Snow Den” located next to the White House. This prank exploited a loophole allowing a user to change its business’ address after the creation of its listing on Google Maps.

Google to shut down Maps Editor

Google plans to shut down access to the entire system starting Tuesday, May 12. There is a new message that pops up whenever a user tries to edit Google Maps. The message links to a greater explanation in the Google Map Maker Forum. The message includes a confirmation from Product Manager Pavithra Kanakarajan, in which she clarifies the decision to shut down Maps Editor. She admitted that the escalating number of attacks is the primary reason Google is temporarily shutting it down.

Google’s plans for Maps Editor

It will remain closed until the search giant can figure out a way to add smarter mechanisms to the system in efforts to prevent it from happening again. Right now, all edits are going through a manual review process. However, that isn’t a long-term solution. Blog SEO Roundtable first noted Kanakarajan’s post, which pointed out that Google has already made several changes to change the spam issue.

However, the fix is going to take more than just a few days. Creating a stronger spam protection system won’t be an easy task, even though Google already has a lot of experience in that department. Google’s efforts to improve Map Maker certainly do not go unnoticed.