Ahead of March 4, a highly anticipated date for QAnon supporters, some conspiracy theorists have instead been focusing on why online maps show only the word “Washington” without the “D.C” in searches for the nation’s capital.
There has been much discussion as to why services such as Google Maps and Apple Maps do not mention the District of Columbia.
A search for Washington on Google does leave out the “D.C.” label on the map, but names the District of Columbia on the state boundaries.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of the QAnon supporters have suggested there is a hidden meaning. Some claim D.C. used to appear on the maps but has been removed, with one even suggesting that this is proof the nation’s capital has been “dissolved.”
“Did maps always just say Washington? Thought it said Washington DC?,” asked a user called @GhostEzra on the encrypted messaging app Telegram.
Another user replied on @GhostEzra’s channel—which has more than 214,000 subscribers and is popular with QAnon followers—writing: “I just searched Washington DC on my iPhone Apple Maps & it just shows Washington, no DC. This is the same for Google maps & mapquest.
“DC is dissolved.”
Google on left. Duck duck go on right. Try it yourself. Maps show Washington DC as Washington now. Just a weird coincidence. pic.twitter.com/VFQp4IxTel
— Secret Squirel (@cbcool2532) March 3, 2021
Others have downplayed the significance of the missing letters.
“I’ve lived in Alexandria [Virginia] for 4 years and it has always shown Washington on mapquest, Waze, Google maps etc.. since it’s Washington, D.C. it just shows the immediate locality.. not the state,” one Telegram user wrote.
Another added: “It always said Washington in the middle of the map and then Washington dc at bottom. This is normal because the name would cover too much of the map.”
Others uploaded photos of road atlases from as early as 1986 to show that the practice of omitting “D.C.” was not new.
“I live in the DC Metro area. I think they always said just Washington,” wrote Dina D’Arcangelo.
“No, on this one it really did always say Washington. Washington being the name of the city. Google Maps doesn’t show the name of the ‘state’ (which is what the DC part is, even though it isn’t a real state),” added James Everly.
Ahead of the January 6 riots at the Capitol, there had been claims that Google Maps and Apple Maps were not providing directions to Washington D.C. in order to deter supporters of Donald Trump from attending the protest planned for that day.
The PolitiFact website ruled this claim mostly false, adding that its researchers were able to get directions to Washington D.C. using both maps. The site suggested some errors occurred when giving directions as a result of planned street closures on January 6.
Google and Apple have been contacted for comment.
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