Google is Refining Its Anti-Boob Algorithm After a Woman Flashed Google Maps

Illustration for article titled Google is Refining Its Anti-Boob Algorithm After a Woman Flashed Google Maps
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A remote road in Pingtung County, Taiwan has suddenly become a highly-rated attraction on Google Maps for the thirstiest denizens of the internet thanks to a video uploaded by a tourist that shows her bare breast.


According to the New York Post, which preserved the clip that has since been removed from the platform, the video shows a young woman checking over her shoulder to make sure no one is looking—a move that doesn’t make a ton of sense considering the video was uploaded to a service that has more than two billion monthly active users—before exposing her breast to the camera, along with what looks to be some sort of empty food container that is likely of far less interest.


The 18-second video has apparently become a hit with the locals living around the area, which is primarily known for its agriculture. The Post noted people have been posting comments on the video, joking about visiting the quiet country route “straight away.” One posted a review stating, “I’ve never thought about going there but now I want to. It definitely seems like a lively area.”

Not much is known at this point about the person responsible for uploading the clip. According to Google’s own guidelines, people who contribute photos and videos to Google Maps have their profile linked to the content, which displays their name as it appears on their “About Me” page—though it’s easy to create a fake account. The account hasn’t been linked to anyone, and local media has only referred to the woman in the video as “western,” per the New York Post.

Google started encouraging users to share photos and videos last year with its “Local Guides” feature that allows users to earn points in exchange for contributions to Google Maps, though the boob video is probably not what the company expected. Google has guidelines for “user contributed content” on its Maps platform that outright prohibits “content that contains sexually explicit material,” which the intentional nipple slip likely comfortably falls under.

Google has removed the video, likely at the behest of user reports or at least tipped off by the hundreds of reviews pouring on for a far-flung road surrounded mostly by farmland. According to the New York Post, Google told Hong Kong-based tech blog Apple Daily that it is investigating how the clip was uploaded to the platform.


The company also reportedly said it’s working on “strengthening the system’s automatic detection mechanism” to catch future attempts to flash the world, which means somewhere in the Google offices, there is a person feeding pictures of nipples to the company’s image detection software.

Gizmodo reached out to Google for details about the incident. We will update this post if we hear back.


[New York Post]

Nights and weekends editor, Gizmodo

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Gizmodo reached out to Google for details about the incident.

thanks for keeping abreast of this emerging situation, aj.