A malicious edit to the label for New York City on map service Mapbox made it past a monitoring system, resulting in an anti-Semitic slur briefly showing up on apps and sites Thursday morning, including Snapchat's Snap Map and Zillow's StreetEasy.
Mapbox posted a statement saying its team found and resolved the issue within the hour.
"Security experts are working to determine the exact origin of this malicious hate speech. We apologize to customers and users who were exposed to this disgusting attack," the statement said.
Whoever was responsible for the change tried to make other edits but wasn't successful, the statement said. Mapbox's AI system flags more than 70,000 changes to maps every day, for review by a human, the statement said, adding that human error let the change get through.
Mapbox didn't immediately respond to a request for additional comment.
Snapchat parent company Snap said it began working to fix the issue as soon as it was alerted.
"Snap Map, similar to other apps, relies on third-party mapping data from OpenStreetMap, which unfortunately has been vandalized," aspokesperson said in a statement. "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. As soon as we were alerted to this, we began working with our partner Mapbox to fix it, and it is now corrected on the Snap Map."
In a statement, a Zillow spokeswoman said, "An issue with one of our third-party map vendors resulted in an offensive term appearing on some StreetEasy maps this morning. We are deeply sorry and addressed it as soon as we knew. The vendor is working on a fix, and in addition, we have replaced those maps on our site."
Motivate, the company that operates Citi Bike also confirmed it was affected. "Motivate works with a third-party mapping company, MapBox, to provide riders with a map of the Citi Bike network. This issue is with MapBox and has affected several companies including ours. It has been resolved, and Mapbox must ensure the public that disgusting slurs like these don't appear again," a spokesperson said in a statement.
Jump Bike didn't respond to a request for comment.