Google has updated a help document regarding restrictions on posting user-generated content to Google Maps. We are talking about reviews, photos and videos that users can add to Maps.
“We are committed to helping people find useful and trustworthy information on Maps, including through helpful content provided by the user community. However, in cases where user contributions for certain categories are consistently useless, harmful, or off-topic, we may limit or suspend their posting of user-generated content,” the document explains.
It also describes 3 types of restrictions:
- Short-term – used when there is a large influx of the same type of irrelevant comments for one particular place (for example, during a real event that attracts comments to a certain topic in a certain place). Restrictions are removed immediately after the event and the fading of user activity.
- Long-term – by regularly posting spam, relevant and low-value comments in a certain category or region. Prisons and police stations are an example – comments cannot help users with choosing such a place, however, they often contain aggressive and offensive content.
- Partial and Complete – Depending on the scope and structure of the content infringing policy, certain categories of places may have restrictions on posting some or all types of UGC (including text reviews, ratings, images, videos).
NIX Solutions reminds that Google Maps is consistently fighting the publication of fake reviews. So, from the summer of 2022, the service notifies the authors of unpublished reviews about the reasons for their rejection by moderation. In most cases, the reason given is that Google’s systems and moderation processes considered the review to be fake.