Social media users demand ‘Palestine’ added to Google Maps

The viral post claimed the label for Palestine has been removed and people shared posts saying they were angered that there was “No Palestine” on both Apple and Google maps. (Screengrab)
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Updated 20 July 2020

Social media users demand ‘Palestine’ added to Google Maps

CAIRO: A post going viral among Arab social media users Thursday accused Google of removing Palestine from all online maps.
The users shared screenshots of Google Maps that show an outline of the map with the labels for “West Bank” and “Gaza Strip” as well as “Israel” labeled alongside them. 
The viral post claimed the label for Palestine has been removed and people shared posts saying they were angered that there was “No Palestine” on both Apple and Google maps.
However, in 2016, when users claimed the same thing, Google responded saying the name Palestine has never existed on its maps. 
A Google spokeswoman said at the time: “There has never been a ‘Palestine’ label on Google Maps.”
A spokeswoman said there was a bug that removed the label for “West Bank and “Gaza.” 
“We’re working quickly to bring these labels back to the area,” she said. 
The move comes while Israel President Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
The threat has triggered global criticism with many countries calling it ‘human rights violation’.

 

 


TWITTER POLL: Almost 3 of 4 readers think there is more to the massive blast in Beirut

Updated 07 August 2020

TWITTER POLL: Almost 3 of 4 readers think there is more to the massive blast in Beirut

  • Impact of the blast was also reportedly felt 200 kilometers away in Cyprus
  • Mushroom clouds and spherical blast waves are conflated as nuclear in nature

DUBAI: Almost three of four readers think there is more to the massive explosions that hit a Beirut port on Tuesday, according to an Arab News straw poll on Twitter.

The blast, caused by a stockpile ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse, generated a shock wave so devastating that it levelled buildings near the port and caused extensive damage over much of the rest of the capital, killing more than 100 people and injuring thousands.

The impact of the blast was also reportedly felt 200 kilometers away in Cyprus.

Specifically, 73 percent of more than 1,000 readers who responded to the poll do not believe the explosion was an accident compared to about 27 percent who thought it was back luck that the ammonium nitrate – unsafely stored for six years – has been the cause of the deadly Beirut blast.

The enormous explosion consequently created a mushroom cloud over Beirut, stoking fears and rumors on social media and, among conspiracy theorists, that a nuclear bomb has been detonated in the Lebanese capital due to the sheer magnitude of the blast.

About 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate was involved during Tuesday’s explosion. Ammonium nitrate is a crystal-like white solid commonly used as a source of nitrogen for agricultural fertilizer, and is relatively safe when stored properly. It, however, becomes deadly as an explosive when mixed with other chemicals and fuel oils.

Some experts pointed out that people who are not accustomed to seeing large explosions may confuse mushroom clouds and spherical blast waves as nuclear in nature.

Others believed the Beirut explosion lacked two hallmarks of a nuclear detonation: a ‘blinding white flash’ and a thermal pulse, or surge of heat, which would otherwise had started fires all over the area and severely burned people’s skin.