When Maps and Tech Neutral Don’t Meet

The Guardian: Google Maps Palestine row: why neutrality in tech is an impossible dream

Imagine if it would have more of an impact for Palestine to be recognised as a sovereign country by Google than by the UN. It’s a suggestion that’s caught fire – a five-month-old online petition demanding Palestine be labeled and bordered in Google Maps has gained more than 250,000 signatures just over the past few days.

The issue is far more nuanced than the instantaneous outrage about Google “wiping Palestine from the map” would suggest. Google has never actually labeled the country, which isn’t officially recognised by the US or much of the west. The swiftness of the backlash, though, is not just about the wish for justice on behalf of an occupied people, but about the belief – now punctured – that our technology is neutral, that it presents an unbiased, infallible version of the world. — The Guardian


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