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Mapbox is used to power a number of sites and apps, including Snap Maps, seen here. Photo: Snapchat

Mapbox CEO Eric Gundersen told Axios the company will implement more protections for its data after a "disgusting act" of vandalism led its maps to briefly label New York City as "Jewtropolis."

Why it matters: Mapbox, a highly-touted startup, powers maps for Snapchat, Facebook, Tinder and other major apps.

"This is a disgusting act," Gundersen said in a telephone interview.

The vandalism was the result of a single OpenStreetMaps user who made dozens of changes designed to insert anti-Semitic language onto maps in New York, New Zealand and elsewhere, Gundersen told Axios.

However, Gundersen took full responsibility for the incident. "This was a Mapbox issue," he said. "None of our customers did anything funny. This is 100 percent our issue."

While Mapbox' AI system caught all the attempts and quarantined them, a human override allowed one to go live, affecting all of Mapbox's partners, including Snapchat.

"We’ve built out all these systems to make sure the hatred and increasing bile being created on the internet doesn’t impact us, and it did today," he said.

What's next: Gundersen said Mapbox will look to add either a second layer of human interaction to override the AI quarantine, a final machine learning check on human-approved changes, or both.

Go deeper

Twitter debuts subscription products to help double revenue by 2023

Photo: Cole Burston/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Twitter said Thursday that it plans to increase the amount of money it makes off of its users by allowing them to pay creators directly for content they like.

Why it matters: The company is trying to broaden its revenue stream away from being dependent mostly on ads, and particularly on ads from big brands.

DHS directing $77 million to combat domestic violent extremism in states, cities

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

For the first time, states and localities will spend at least $77 million of Department of Homeland Security grant money on combatting domestic violent extremism, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced on Thursday.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism has been on the rise in the U.S., spurred on by growing polarization and the mainstreaming of online conspiracy theories. In the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Mayorkas has made fighting the problem a "National Priority Area."

Senate confirms former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as energy secretary

Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate voted 64-35 on Thursday to confirm former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as secretary of the Department of Energy.

Why it matters: Granholm, only the second woman to head the department, will play a key role in President Biden’s efforts to accelerate the U.S. shift to clean energy and help other countries do the same.