20:45 GMT08 August 2020
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    Google addressed the lack of a label for a Palestinian state on its Maps service back in 2016, blaming a “glitch” for the temporary deletion of the West Bank and Gaza Strip labels, but clarifying that the company never actually labeled Palestine on its maps in the first place.

    Social media users have accused Google and Apple of scrubbing Palestine from Google and Apple maps, posting hundreds of tweets criticizing the American corporations’ alleged decision to do so.

    The only problem is, the companies never “removed” anything, and there’s been a petition circulating on Change.org for years asking the mapping services to put the labels where pro-Palestine users feel they belong. Some users criticized their fellow Twitterians for jumping on the bandwagon of demanding the label ‘be put back’ before researching the issue in any depth.

    Google addressed claims that it had “deleted” Palestine from its maps in 2016, saying it had no such label in the first place, but confirming that a bug had temporarily removed the labels for the West Bank and Gaza Strip and had since been fixed. Allegations that it had silently deleted the Palestine label prompted the #PalestineIsHere hashtag to trend.

    Apple Maps was also mixed up in the furore, both in 2016 and more recently, although its mapping service doesn’t label Palestinian territories or differentiate them from Israel.

    Although few users noticed it, Bing Maps also doesn’t label Palestine, although the West Bank and Gaza can be found on its map.

    Yandex Maps, the mapping service of the popular Russian search engine, does label Palestine, however.

    Palestine as labeled on the mapping service of Russian search engine giant Yandex.
    Palestine as labeled on the mapping service of Russian search engine giant Yandex.

    The 'State of Palestine', formally classified by the United Nations as a de jure sovereign state, has been recognized by 138 out of 193 UN members, including most of Asia, Africa and Latin America, but not the US, Canada, Mexico, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand or Japan.

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