Google Maps #Unless Palestinian

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My name is Tariq and I live in a small village near Nablus called Tell. I’m writing to tell you how Google Maps discriminates against me, and puts me in danger of attacks by settlers.

It is not unlike how the Israeli government treats me as a Palestinian.

Google’s unofficial motto is “don’t be evil” – but intentionally or otherwise, Google is complicit in the Israeli government's erasure of Palestine.

Will you sign my petition asking Google to stop erasing Palestine?

When I search Google maps, our village doesn’t show up until you zoom ALL the way in – but illegal Israeli settlements are displayed several layers earlier.

When I try to travel from Tell to Ramallah, Google maps simply can’t find a route.

Instead, I have to map my way from a nearby settlement (Kdumim). But when I do that, it gives me directions through Road 6, a highway in Israel which I am not allowed to use because of numerous checkpoints which don’t allow Palestinians.  

It’s a tragedy that Google Maps sees us all as settlers with freedom of movement, when this is my home.

When I get close to Ramallah and try to use Google Maps again, it directs me to settlement roads that can put me in physical danger because of the possibility of accidentally going into a Jewish settlement and encountering violent settlers.

Will you support my petition asking Google to stop erasing Palestine?

Google is the biggest source of digital geographic data in the world, and holds immense power to shape and legitimize certain interpretations of the physical world and the politics that underpin it – and right now it’s using that power to promote the Israeli government’s view of the world.

But it’s more than that. This is literally about how I get from one place to another – and Google’s current set-up could even put my life at risk.

It’s hard to describe how insulting it is to be rendered invisible over and over again by commonplace things everyone else takes for granted.

Will you support my petition asking Google to stop erasing Palestine?

Fixing Google Maps won’t change everything – but it will remove an insult no one should have to live with.

Thank you.


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