Google has blocked maps in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus because users claim that the Russian military uses them to coordinate airstrikes.
Maps can no longer be edited because Google has blocked them, and it is deleting all places and things that have been shared, such as photos, videos, and business information in those countries since February 24, Engadget writes.
The technology giant made the decision “out of plenty of caution” after people on social media claimed that the Russian military relied on places created by users on maps to coordinate airstrikes on Ukraine.
According to a report by BuzzFeed News, posts are circulating on applications such as Twitter with screenshots of maps showing marked places with “FERMERSKE GOSPODARSTVO” or on the Ukrainian “farm” in Kyiv.
People allegedly claimed that the signs made by users that said “farm” or “agriculture” created on February 28 coincided with the locations of the rocket attacks on cities that include Kyiv and Kharkiv.
However, Google said that some of the users change that mark location in Ukraine as “farms” were made a year ago. Despite that, it disables the contributions of users to the maps since the Russian invasion began.
A company spokesman said: “As a precaution, we are removing user contributions such as photos, videos, reviews, and business information and all places sent by users from Google Maps in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus since the invasion and temporarily blocking new changes.” .
A few days ago, the technology giant also removed data on live traffic on maps in Ukraine, most likely to protect the locations of fleeing locals. He also blocked the Youtube channels of the Russian state media RT and Sputnik across Europe, after the European Commission announced that it would ban what it calls the “Kremlin media machine” in the EU.