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Newspaper accuses Google of representing Rio de Janeiro as a “cluster of favelas”

In an article released on Monday, the newspaper O Globo accuses Google of valuing a “cluster of favelas” around its map service, Google Maps.

“The map of the South Zone serves as an example: the neighborhood of Humaitá does not appear at first, as with Ipanema, Leblon and Jardim Botânico. At that point on the map it is indicated as ‘Favela Humaitá’ ”, mentions the publication.

“The traditional neighborhood of Cosme Velho, which houses one of the main tourist spots in the city – the Corcovado cable car – is also not on the map, which favors the unknown favela Vila Imaculada Conceição”.

The problem with the service would be in the way that Google highlights the information contained in its maps. Depending on the zoom chosen by the user, some locations hide important points to display information that would be negative for the city.

In response to information from the Rio de Janeiro newspaper, Google’s press office reported a correction for the problem is underway. “As we respond, our team is working to improve the way information is displayed.”

In 2009, Google was accused of perpetuating Japan’s social divisions by publishing maps dating back to the feudal era, by identifying districts as a “dirty city” in its Google Earth service.