Google Apologizes For 'Maps' Snafu That Saw Android Peeing On Apple Logo

As an Android fan who couldn't imagine "suffering" with an iOS device, I admit that I sometimes get a good chuckle out of some of the jabs that are thrown around. And, it really goes both ways - Apple can give it just as well as Google. But I am not sure of the last time I saw an insult as good as this one, right inside of a Google product:

Android Peeing On Apple

Yes, that's the real Google Maps, just south of Islamabad, Pakistan. Unfortunately, the graphic has already been removed, as well as some others. In case you think Apple was hit too harshly, another now-removed message was seen in a field: "Google review policy is crap". In another area in Lahore, Pakistan, a Skype logo could be seen.

Given the other messages, it becomes pretty obvious that Google itself had absolutely nothing to do with a graphic showing an Android robot urinating on an apple - and it's probably a good thing, as you can't get much more unprofessional than that. Well, you can, but that's not the point. Google confirmed as much in a statement to The Washington Post. "We’re sorry for this inappropriate user-created content; we’re working to remove it quickly," said Google's Mara Harris. "We also learn from these issues, and we’re constantly improving how we detect, prevent and handle bad edits."

The reason such messages hit Google Maps isn't because of a hacking; it's because the community is allowed to contribute data. As far as I was aware, Google is supposed to have the final say in committed changes, so either that's not the case, or a seriously slack editor was working this particular day.

This highlights the issue of what can happen when users have such free control over such a popular and trusted tool, though, and it does raise concern that Google might end up locking it down if this digital graffiti continues. While it might be funny to some, it could potentially cause Google more headaches than it's worth.