Is Apple anti-Trump? iPhone maps stop giving directions to Washington DC ahead of 'March for Trump' rally
Instead of showing them directions to their destination, the message 'directions not available' appeared on the bottom half of the screen
Apple users took to social media late on Tuesday, January 5, night to complain that maps on their iPhones refused to show them a way to Washington DC where the March for Trump' rally was pre-scheduled to take place. This led a number of people to wonder whether the tech company was deliberately sabotaging Trump supporters' plans to join the protest.
A slew of users posted screenshots of their Apple maps after they typed in Washington DC. Instead of showing them directions to their destination, the message "Directions not available: Directions are not available at this time because of current road conditions" appeared on the bottom half of the screen.
Although there was no evidence to support the claim that the tech company has tweaked its maps on purpose to bring about a disadvantage for Trump supporters, it did not stop the president's supporters from spreading the rumor on the social media platform.
One of the first pages to claim so was Code of Vets, a group that worked to ensure better lives of veterans. "Why did @Apple turn off directions to Washington DC?" tweeted their account along with the glitching Apple map. Stephanie Hamill, Host of ‘In Focus’ on @OANN wrote, "This is nuts. Apple Maps won’t give directions to DC before the pro-Trump rally tmw. If you don’t believe me, try it on your phone..."
A user wrote, "APPLE MAPS CANCELLING DIRECTIONS TO WASHINGTON DC" Another said, "This is for real..." The next quipped, "Apple Maps have already shutdown how to get into and out of Washington, DC area :("
One of them urged Apple to make a statement regarding the issue as it was leading many of the Twitter users to spread baseless rumors. "Apple Maps drops the pin at the mall automatically when you type in 'Washington DC.' Because all the roads around the mall are closed it can't complete the request for directions. Apple should make a statement though. We know all too well how misinformation spreads," the person said.
This is nuts. Apple Maps won’t give directions to DC before the pro-Trump rally tmw.— Stephanie Hamill (@STEPHMHAMILL) January 5, 2021
If you don’t believe me, try it on your phone ... pic.twitter.com/zqnf5ghoWr
🚨APPLE MAPS CANCELLING DIRECTIONS TO WASHINGTON DC 🤪 pic.twitter.com/gu0gS8Crjh— NEWS MAKER (@NEWS_MAKER) January 5, 2021
Apple Maps have already shutdown how to get into and out of Washington, D.C. area :(— JK (@JK36788766) January 5, 2021
After the brief outage, the maps were restored and began showing directions to Washington DC again. Ahead of pro-Trump demonstrations planned this week to protest the upcoming certification of President-elect Joe Biden win in the 2020 election by the Congress, Mayor of the District of Columbia, Muriel Bowser called for the National Guard to be mobilized and urged residents and others to stay safe and be cautious.
"We're asking DC residents and people who live in the region to avoid confrontations with anybody who's looking for a fight," Bowser said. "And the best way to do that is to avoid the area."
Over 300 District of Columbia National Guard personnel will support the city government Tuesday and Wednesday. They will be responsible for providing crowd control at Metro stations and helping with street closures, the guard said in a statement. Maj Gen William J Walker, commanding general of the DC National Guard, said they would have a supporting role.
Acting Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee warned demonstrators that guns are not permitted. "We have received some information that there are individuals intent on bringing firearms into our city, and that just will not be tolerated," Contee said.
The rally in question was planned for Tuesday evening at Freedom Plaza and all day on Wednesday on the Ellipse, including a 1 pm Wednesday march to the Capitol, The Associated Press reported. Trump has encouraged the rally, and on Sunday tweeted "I will be there. Historic day!"
I will be there. Historic day! https://t.co/k6LStsWpfy— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2021