Weekly updates:

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Weekly updates

Crowdsourcing content has a lot of potential benefits for companies. People love to feel like they’re contributing to a larger cause and big corporations who rely on a lot of minute details in their services love free labour so, in a perfect instance, there’s a good exchange of values going on when a company allows its users to shape and contribute content. Just ask Jimmy Wales who, in between hitting me up via email for desperate cash injections, has built an empire on the collective knowledge of thousands of strangers [CITATION NEEDED].

Unfortunately, there are a lot of assholes out there in the cruel internet wastelands and not everyone dreams of a utopia where our minds can culminate as one to provide perfect global services. Such is the case with Google’s map customisation service Google Map Maker. One dedicated cartographer shaped a series of park submissions in Pakistan to look like the Android mascot (Google’s mobile operating system) urinating on the Apple logo. While it’s the online equivalent of those Calvin peeing car window decals, it’s obviously not a good look for the company given the professional rivalry and, after removing the five assets that made up the graphic, Google issued a public apology via the Washington Post.

It’s the second major gaff that’s been located since Google launched the program. The first was another park that read ‘Google review policy is crap’, the very existence of which succinctly conveyed its own point. Will this change how Google initially allows users access to the service or will they just start wielding a big old banhammer? We imagine that if they felt a public apology was necessary, then it might be a little from column A and a little from column B. In the meantime, this could become a sport in the vein of geocaching where instead of going outside, you just scour an online map of the earth to try and find vaguely controversial user submissions. Thrilling!