They Fooled Stupid
Yesterday, rumors flew that GoogleMaps had blanked areas of Georgia in an attempted to "remain neutral" in the Russia/Georgia conflict. These rumors were traced to the "Information Age" site, and to this cached version of a piece entitled "Google embroiled in Georgian conflict":
Yesterday, it emerged that the company had removed details of all roads, towns and cities in Georgia from its Google Maps online mapping service, as well as from the maps of neighbouring countries Azerbaijan and Armenia. According to the Azerbaijan Press Agency, the relevant maps went blank as soon as fighting broke out. However, satellite information was still available earlier today.
Several observers highlighted the fact that Google co-founder Sergey Brin is Moscow-born.
Meanwhile, Google is involuntarily providing cyber-refuge to Georgian websites that have been disrupted by Russian hackers. Georgian news site Civil.ge relocated to a domain on Google’s Blogger blogging infrastructure after a cyber-attack, reportedly originating in Russia, took the website down."
Well, anyone who took a quick look at Google realized that the maps were still there--they just contain very limited information, as do many of the maps from that part of the world(check out Kazakhstan or Niger, for example)--and today the story appears in an amended form. Apparently, the FP blog, among others, also reported the original story--sourced to allies of the Georgian Republic--uncritically. Suckered again, suckers!
So: a recurring theme. Journalists refuse to spend five minutes with teh Googles, and get rooked...this time by the freaking Azerbaijanis! Shame, stupid journalists! Shame!