Everyone who has used Google maps to find their way around a city will have stories galore about how they took several wrong turns or landed up at a wrong place thanks to the app. However, here's a goof-up that's sure to leave Google Maps more red-faced than usual.
If you are so inclined and type the words 'Anti-national' or 'sedition' on Google Maps, you will be directed to Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Now these are not the only keywords which will lead you to JNU. Apart from 'Anti-national' and 'sedition' if you search 'Kanhiya Kumar', 'Umer Khalid', 'Arnab Goswami', 'Intolerance' and even 'Rahul Gandhi', Google maps will lead you to the JNU campus. It looks like many BJP leaders are tagged to JNU as well. The list includes Smriti Irani, Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh.
In an India Today report, a Google spokesperson has been quoted saying, "We are aware of the issue and we are working on it to get it fixed".
Following the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, the word 'anti-national' and 'sedition' frequently comes up in conversations regarding JNU. However, how JNU came to be tagged with those words in a map application is plain bizarre.
The application faced a similar issue last year in the US. It was found that, if one searches for 'Ni*ga house' on the maps, the user is directed to the White House. Google rectified the error and then apologized. Google has a tool called Mapmaker where users can add and edit places. It seems like some troublemakers edited the location to include these words.
If you go to Google Mapmaker and search for JNU you would find that a lot of requests to mark the university 'leftist' and 'Jihadi' university has been filed.
Here's how Twitter reacted to this news:
JNU as "anti-national" on Google Maps? Google India says it is aware of the issue, working to fix it.— Javed Anwer (@Javed_Del) March 25, 2016
Tried searching "anti-national" in Google Maps. Yes, it showed JNU.— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) March 25, 2016
Then tried "nationalism". Then also, JNU.
But "patriotism" is in Atlanta
Try searching Smriti Irani on Google maps... you will get JNU!! WHAT'S UP Google."?— N.Chandramohan (@Moet51) March 25, 2016