Tech uber-lord Google is in real strife after its Google maps contractor reportedly refused to acknowledge one of Sydney’s most preeminent gay establishments – the famed Midnight Shift on Oxford Street.
Last night Fairfax Media reported that Google Maps did not support gay-friendly establishments and would remove such bars and clubs from its listings.
The Midnight Shift’s promoter, Ash Doran, was quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald as saying: “In a conference call at the moment with Google as they are advising that they are removing Midnight Shift’s google page ‘because it’s a gay bar’ and Google ‘no longer supports gay bars’ and they will be doing it to other gay bars.”
In worse news for the tech giant, Mr Doran had posted a response from Google that appeared to confirm its stance that said that gay nightclubs did not meet the company’s “quality guidelines”.
A Google spokeswoman in Australia has confirmed that Mr Doran’s account of the events were true.
“We’re truly sorry that this happened,” she said in a statement given to B&T. “Gay bars are welcome on Google Maps, as they have always been. We’re taking immediate action internally to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
To its credit, Google was one of 50 Australian companies that took out full-page ads in News Corps’ The Australian in late May supporting gay marriage.
Google’s PR manager, Andrew Ure was quoted in the Fairfax Press as saying: “We’re truly sorry that this happened. We’re big believers in diversity,” he said. “We will make sure the Shift’s listing stays proudly up.”