In what was meant to have been a peace-keeping move, Google may have inadvertently brought upon itself the wrath of Iran in its entirety. And now the otherwise mighty corporation is facing one rather intimidating lawsuit.
All of this, mind you, over a Google Maps omission. No, really.
Apparently, whoever is in charge of labelling bodies of water for Google Maps decided to play it safe, leaving a gaping blue blank in the space of what is alternately known as the “Persian Gulf”, the “Arabian Gulf”, the “Islamic Gulf”, the “Arabo-Persian Gulf” and sometimes simply “The Gulf”.
Iran, formerly known as Persia, is fiercely protective of its nomenclature — it has even threatened to forbid airlines from using its airspace unless they refer to the body of water exclusively as the “Persian Gulf”.
Google previously listed two names for the body of water, Persian Gulf and Arabian Gulf, but removed both names from Google Maps earlier this month, saying the change was an effort to be neutral in the naming dispute.
Unless Google amends its maps soon, they can expect to face off against Iran in court. Truly. PC Mag reports that “Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told the Associated Press Thursday that Google had better fix things or the company will be hit with ‘serious damages’.” [AP via PCMag]