Google describes staggering scale of ‘abusive modifications’ to its Maps app

Google says it blocked more than 100 million “abusive edits” on its Google Maps platform in 2021, using both human and machine learning models.

In one blog post on how it kept Google Maps reliable amid a torrent of malicious activity last year, the company explained how to combat abuse on the platform and keep fraudulent changes seen by users less than 1%, despite receiving 20 million user edits every day.

Google says scammers are constantly trying to update legitimate business profiles with abusive content
modifications, for example, but a combination of its AI and human teams managed to shut down most of them.

Google says it has identified 7 million fake business profiles, of which 630,000 were reported directly. It says 12 million attempts to create fake profiles were stopped at the source, as were 8 million fraudulent attempts to claim legitimate profiles.

“Thanks to continuous improvements in our machine learning, our technologies and teams have disabled more than one million user accounts due to non-policy compliant activity, such as vandalism or online fraud,” added the company in the blog post.

Google also discussed its efforts to stamp out review bombings and says 95 million non-compliant reviews have been blocked or removed, many of which were designed to harm local businesses “often spurred by public attention. on differences of opinion”, including on issues like Covid. One million reviews were removed after being reported directly to Google.

“In 2021, to prevent non-compliant content from appearing on Google Business Profiles, we implemented protections on more than 100,000 businesses after detecting suspicious activity and attempted abuse,” the company said. society.

“The local knowledge contributed by our global community is an important part of what makes Google Maps more than just a navigation tool. We will continue to invest in keeping this information up to date and reliable so that you can discover information about the world around you.

Lance B. Holton