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Understanding Google My Business & Local Search

Google Maps: Will Edit Wars go Politically Postal?

The community edit hijackings started in the Payday Loan industries to create location confusion, moved onto theft in the floral industries, were highlighted with a bit of pranksterism with the Microsoft Escort example and subsequently moved into the consumer complaint arena. As Ben Allen noted in his blog: You Deserve a Rake Today at Ickdonalds.

There is certain trend to these hijackings and they beg a larger question: When will politics enter the wiki world of Google Maps hijacking? In the not too distant future, the next frontier for use of the Maps community edit feature could very well be as a virtual reflection of real politics. The disputes of the world often shift to the internet as the broad reach of the platform creates opportunity for widespread impact and the anonminity provides cover to the perpetrators.

When will PETA take over McDonald’s? When will the Armenians take over the Turkish Embassy? When will the Service Workers Unions take over WalMart? These listings all remain unclaimed in Google Maps and seem to be likely targets for partisans of these particular real world battles.

I can only imagine the conversation between Eric Schmidt and the Turkish ambassador explaining how this could have happened.

You can see battle lines forming, albeit in a limited fashion, with edit wars in several of the unclaimed listings that I highlighted last week. These edit wars, once the province of Wikipedia, have now made their appearance in Google Maps. Two examples can be seen in the edit histories of the unclaimed Apple Corporate listing and Google’s unclaimed Cambridge record.

Take a look at the edit history of Google’s unclaimed listing in Cambridge to get a glimpse of the opinions that have already been expressed via Maps about Google:

Nov 6, 2008
Google Inc
5 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
Changed address to 5 Cambridge Ctr # 3-6 Cambridge, MA 02142 from 5 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA
Changed phone number to (617) 575-1300from (617) 575-1301
Moved location 0.1 mi from 
Changed name to Google Inc from PP Toucher Corporation
Added category Software Company
Removed category Big Brother HQ
Removed category Fights Zombies and Mutants
Removed category Going To Take Over The World
Removed category Hatchery/Conditioning Center
Removed category I can’t believe this is editable
Removed category ISP (through toilets!?)
Removed category Shut up!!!
Removed category ¡Avi!
Edited by Chasity
Changed name to PP Toucher Corporationfrom Cyberdyne Corp.
Added category I can’t believe this is editable
Edited by Leon
Nov 5, 2008
Added category Fights Zombies and Mutants
Removed category Fights Zombies
Edited by Joe
Nov 4, 2008
Added category Shut up!!!
Removed category Software Company which alleges it never does evil
Edited by tiura
Nov 3, 2008
Moved location 0.1 mi from 
Edited by Micah
Nov 2, 2008
Changed name to Cyberdyne Corp. fromNo youz can’t
Edited by I
Changed name to No youz can’t from I Can Haz Cheezburger?
Edited by bob
Changed name to I Can Haz Cheezburger?from I Can Has Cheezburger?
Added category Going To Take Over The World
Edited by Queenie
Changed name to I Can Has Cheezburger?from testing
Edited by Pete
Added category Hatchery/Conditioning Center
Edited by bsjskier
Changed name to testing from Google Inc
Edited by Brian
Added category Big Brother HQ
Edited by D
Added category ¡Avi!
Removed category Avi Raz
Edited by bsjskier
Added category Avi Raz
Added category Fights Zombies
Added category ISP (through toilets!?)
Edited by bsjskier
Nov 1, 2008
Added category Software Company which alleges it never does evil
Removed category Software Company
Edited by Mark Bernay
Moved location 34 ft from 
Edited by Mark Bernay
Oct 29, 2008
Changed phone number to (617) 575-1301from (617) 575-1300
Edited by mblumenthal
Moved location 63 ft from 
Edited by mblumenthal
Moved location 78 ft from 
Changed address to 5 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA from 5 Cambridge Ctr # 3-6 Cambridge, MA 02142
Edited by mblumenthal
Moved location 48 ft from 
Edited by mblumenthal
Google Inc
5 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142