A map vandal transformed New York City into ‘Jewtropolis’ on a variety of apps, leaving residents both confused and outraged.
New Yorkers quickly discovered the change on Thursday morning as they opened up everything from Snapchat and the Weather Channel to Citi Bike.
The apps Jump Bikes, StreetEasy, and the real estate website Zillow were also affected.
Numerous users posted photos of the maps on social media, tagging the companies to report the hack and demanding that it be quickly addressed.
A map vandal has transformed New York City into ‘Jewtropolis’ on a variety of apps, leaving residents both confused and outraged. Pictured is Snapchat
New Yorkers quickly discovered the change this morning as they opened up everything from Snapchat and the Weather Channel to Citi Bike (pictured)
It was soon discovered that each of the hacked companies used the service Mapbox, a San Francisco-based start-up which provides custom online maps for websites and applications that also include Foursquare, Lonely Planet, and Evernote.
More than 420 million people around the world use maps created by the company. But it wasn’t Mapbox that was directly hacked.
The company crowdsources mapping data from OpenStreetMap, which describes itself as ‘a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world’.
MapBox calls OpenStreetMap the ‘Wikipedia of maps’.
‘It’s a project founded on the belief that when data is open, everyone can work together to build a map,’ the company explains on its website.
Apps ranging from Jump Bikes (left) to Snapchat (right) were affected in the hacking
The real estate website Zillow (pictured) was also affected by the hacking on Thursday
‘Anyone can quickly add roads and buildings to keep up with a changing road.’
A spokesperson for Snapchat revealed on Thursday that OpenStreetMap had been vandalized.
‘Snap Map, similar to other apps, relies on third party mapping data from OpenStreetMap,’ they said in a statement to Buzzfeed.
‘This defacement is deeply offensive and entirely contrary to our values, and we want to apologize to any members of our community who saw it.’
‘We are working with our partner Mapbox to fix this as quickly as possible.’
It was soon discovered that each of the hacked companies used the service Mapbox (pictured), a start-up that provides custom online maps for websites and applications. MapBox crowdsources from OpenStreetMap, which was directly hit by the vandal
Mapbox also released a statement, saying that its team ‘deleted and removed’ the ‘Jewtropolis’ label within an hour.
‘Mapbox has a zero-tolerance policy against hate speech and any malicious edits to our map,’ the statement read.
‘The malicious edit was made by a source that attempted several other hateful edits. Our security team has confirmed no additional attempts were successful.’
A vandal on OpenStreetMap previously renamed New York City ‘Jewtropolis’ earlier this month, but it is unclear if Thursday’s hacking was done by the same person.
The first vandal also changed street names to ‘Donald Trump Avenue’, ‘Zionist Cannibal Drive’, ‘Pedophile Bridge’, ‘Adolf Hitler Boulevard’, and ‘S**tload Circuit’.