UPDATE (7PM, Nov 9): After the US Elections and with Donald Trump declared President-elect, the editors over at Google Maps decided no more games.
A quick check on Libingan ng mga Bayani on Google Maps at 7pm today showed it was labeled, plain and simple: Heroes Cemetery. It took two searches before we found ourselves there, by the way. The first search yielded no results at all. Here’s what it looks like now:
Look for Libingan ng mga Bayani on Google Maps and what will greet you is an irreverent little edit: Libingan ng mga Bayani at Isang Magnanakaw.
Look for it again and the old name will be restored. Do it again and you’ll see something like Libingan ng mga Bayani at Isang Hindi.
People are obviously angry, taking every shot they can, to protest the supremely heartbreaking decision of the Supreme Court to allow the burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Heroes Cemetery.
Apparently, Google Maps works like democracy—you know, that thing Marcos took away from us when he declared Martial Law in 1972.
Anybody can edit entries on it through the Google Map Maker, a service set up by Google itself that encourages third party submissions.
Tech blogger Jam Ancheta likens it to the popular Wikipedia. “Yes, it’s like Wiki with approval processes for every edits made.”
But here’s the thing: According to Jam, if the map maker who suggested the edit already has a long list of successful edits, his succeeding suggestions are automatically approved. “Parang may trust ratings din si Google.”
Now, considering the swift change on the name of Libingan—less than 24 hours since the atrocious decision happened—perhaps it’s safe to say the one who made the edit has been a diligent map maker who was able to cut through the process.
But alas, it doesn’t end there. Every five minutes, Google restores it back to the venerable name, and every five minutes, a dissident vandalizes it again.
It got to a point where Libingan ng mga Bayani could not be searched. “Nakakita na ako ng mga nagva-vandalize ng names sa Google Maps pero hindi yung nawawala yung name sa search results,” Jam verifies our hair-raising experience.
At the moment, we are seeing a tight game among four active editors on the Libingan ng mga Bayani entry. You can be sure we’ll keep you posted.
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