Maps user-generated content policy

Google is dedicated to helping you discover the world around you. User-generated content (UGC) on our services is intended to enhance your experience and to help you preview and explore places nearby or across the globe. We work hard to make sure content published by our users is helpful and reflects the real world.

If you contribute to Maps, you may be considered a Local Guide. As a Local Guide, you are identified with a badge or icon, earn points, and be placed into a level based on how much content you contribute. You may be eligible to receive perks and events invitations. To make changes, including exiting the Local Guides program, visit My Account. For additional information on the Local Guides program, review the Local Guides Program Terms and Conditions.

Google’s content policies for Maps UGC are designed to help ensure that everyone viewing UGC has a positive experience and to keep Maps fair and honest. While most of the millions of contributions we receive each day are authentic and accurate, we sometimes receive policy-violating content. We use a combination of people and machine-learning algorithms to detect such content and to help prevent others from finding it. This policy outlines the criteria for how to publish UGC on Maps and how we address inappropriate or policy-violating content.

For example, posts or edits must be based on real experiences and information. Deliberately fake content, copied or stolen photos, off-topic reviews, defamatory language, personal attacks, and unnecessary or incorrect content are all in violation of our policy. Further, we generally remove full posts (for example, a photo post with a text review attached) even if one part of it is in violation. For more on what is and isn't allowed, go to Prohibited & restricted content. If you find subjective content, such as reviews, media, place questions or answers, or profiles that you believe violate our policies or the law, refer to the Report and fix inappropriate content policy and the Report inappropriate user profile policy to take action.

If suggested edits are inaccurately placed on the map or are incorrectly associated with a place, the contribution may be rejected. To track your edit, you can check the place on the map. Because we have other sources that may overwrite approved edits and appeals, edits may not show. If you are the owner of a place, you can learn how to add or claim your Business Profile on Google. If you come across misleading information or fraudulent activity on Google Maps related to publicly available factual information, you may edit it. Learn more about how to edit business information in Google Maps. If the place is found to violate the previously mentioned policies or the Business & place eligibility policy, the place and its information may be removed from Google Maps and deemed ineligible to be re-published.

To detect policy-violating content, our machine-learning algorithms scan contributions for signals of suspicious user activity. The policy-violating content is either removed by our automated models or flagged for further review by trained operators and analysts who conduct content evaluations that might be difficult for algorithms to perform alone. We remove content because it violates our policies or Terms of Service, or to comply with legal obligations.

To protect users from finding inappropriate content, we deploy many other tools, such as suspending UGC for specific places, geographic areas, and categories of places. These measures may be deployed reactively to counteract a spike in content that violates our policies, or proactively if we believe that they’re necessary to prevent content that violates our policies. We may also restrict feature access or suspend Google Accounts that violate our policies. Removing content, rejecting edits, or restricting feature access may include preventing uploaded content from being displayed to other users. We remove UGC and suspend Google Accounts globally and indefinitely. When your content is removed because it violates our guidelines, it’s removed globally and indefinitely. When your Google Account is restricted from accessing or contributing to Maps features, you aren’t able to use those features anywhere in the world.

Check back occasionally, as we may update our policies.

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