Fact Check: Did Google remove Palestine from Google Maps? Know the truth

This claim has also spread on public Google Help forums and social media platforms like TikTok, with numerous videos gaining millions of views.

Trending, USA, Politics & Geography, Israel-Palestine Conflict, Google Maps, Misinformation, Social Media, Disputed Territories, International Relations, Cartography, Geopolitics, Fact Check, Google Maps Palestine- True Scoop

In June 2024, a claim started circulating that Palestine was removed from Google Maps. A post on social media platform X garnered over 252,300 views, with individuals urging the hashtag #putpalestineback on the map and sharing #googlemap. This claim has also spread on public Google Help forums and social media platforms like TikTok, with numerous videos gaining millions of views.

This claim, however, is not new. In 2016, Google was similarly accused of removing Palestine due to a glitch that caused the Gaza Strip and West Bank to disappear.

Did Google remove Palestine?

A UK-based media portal quoted a Google spokesperson saying, "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 these labels back to the area."

Despite this, a search on Google Maps using the word ‘Palestine’ generates an animation on the map that goes straight to Israel.

In reality, Google Maps does not include ‘Palestine’ because while most countries in South America, Africa, and Asia recognize it as a state, the majority of Western countries, including Japan, South Korea, Myanmar, Panama, Australia, and others, do not. These nations, for the most part, favor a two-state solution, which would eventually lead to the recognition of Palestine. However, their condition is that a Palestinian state should result from direct negotiations between Israel and a national Palestinian Authority.

As a result, Google treats the Palestinian territories Gaza and the West Bank the same way it treats other disputed territories: with labels and dashed gray borders.

Other disputed territories that appear as such on Google Maps include the Golan Heights to the north of Israel and to the west of Syria, which Israel seized in 1967 during the Six-Day War and annexed in 1981. The rest of the world considers it Syrian territory under military occupation, while the U.S. and Israel recognize it as Israeli territory.

Another disputed territory on Google Maps is the Crimean Peninsula, south of Ukraine, which Russia took from Ukraine in 2014 and has occupied since then.

In 2020, Google was accused of altering the borders of Jammu and Kashmir, a territory in dispute between Pakistan and India. In India, the region was displayed as entirely under Indian control, while in Pakistan, it appeared as disputed.

These examples show that maps are inherently political. They are not merely descriptive; they can shape our understanding of the world.

In 2021, there was a rumor that Google Maps was holding a vote on whether to identify Israel or Palestine, which was debunked.

View post on Twitter