Google Maps mis­tak­enly shows ‘McCain Se­nate Of­fice Build­ing’ on maps

Ripon Bulletin - - Dollars & Sense/nation -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Google Maps wasn’t wait­ing for the Se­nate.

While law­mak­ers de­bated a pro­posal to re­name a build­ing af­ter the late Sen. John McCain, Google Maps dis­played “McCain Se­nate Of­fice Build­ing” on its web­site for sev­eral hours Wed­nes­day.

A search for “Rus­sell Se­nate Of­fice Build­ing” di­rected users to the same build­ing. The er­ror was fixed later Wed­nes­day.

Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., pro­posed re­nam­ing the Rus­sell build­ing in McCain’s honor af­ter the Ari­zona Repub­li­can died Satur­day from brain can­cer. Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell, R-Ky., said he’ll form a bi­par­ti­san panel to so­licit ideas on ways to honor McCain.

Google said in a state­ment Wed­nes­day that it em­pow­ers peo­ple to con­trib­ute lo­cal knowl­edge to its maps, “but we rec­og­nize that there may be oc­ca­sional in­ac­cu­ra­cies or pre­ma­ture changes sug­gested by users.”

It was not clear how the er­ror oc­curred.

The mix-up comes as Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has charged Google and other U.S. tech com­pa­nies of bias and un­equal treat­ment, in­clud­ing rig­ging search re­sults “so that al­most all sto­ries & news is BAD.” On Wed­nes­day, Trump tweeted a video that ac­cused Google of pro­mot­ing former Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s State of the Union ad­dresses on its home page, but not his. “#StopTheBias,” Trump tweeted.

A Google spokesper­son dis­puted the al­le­ga­tion, say­ing Google’s home­page did high­light the livestream of Trump’s State of the Union on Jan. 30, 2018. They added that the com­pany has “his­tor­i­cally not pro­moted the first ad­dress to Congress by a new Pres­i­dent, which is tech­ni­cally not a State of the Union ad­dress” and didn’t do so in ei­ther 2009 or 2017.

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