There’s the really sweet one about how one man’s dead grandma lives on in Google Street View.
A Facebook friend of mine experienced a similar thing when moving her own grandma out of her house for the last time and a photo was snapped for the site.
For as lovely as those stories are, Jose Barrera’s story is at the opposite end of the spectrum.
As Yahoo Shine reports, Barrera’s 14-year-old son was found shot to death near their California home four years ago. Recently, a Google Maps image of his son’s body hit the Internet and a local reporter brought the photo to Barrera’s attention after confirming it was his son, Kevin. The image shows the teen’s body with cops and others standing nearby investigating the still unsolved murder.
“The memories have been coming back really fast… It’s really painful.” Barrera knows it’s his son. “I was there,” he says. “The police came to my house and said, This is your son,’ and I said, No it’s not” and then they took me there.'”Although he tried, Barrera couldn’t get through to Google. But Yahoo Shine, God love ’em, stepped in and contacted the right people at Google. Since then the company issued the following statement:
“Our hearts go out to the family of this young boy. Since the media first contacted us about the image, we’ve been looking at different technical solutions. Google has never accelerated the replacement of updated satellite imagery from our maps before, but given the circumstances we wanted to make an exception in this case. We believe we can update this in eight days, and we’ve spoken to the family to let them know we’re working hard on the update.”
The response is actually a pretty big deal as it’s not easy to get a photo removed from a major search engine like Google. However, I think it’s pretty clear to anyone who reads this story that there is no question but that the photo should come down immediately. I can’t fathom having access to a photo of my dead baby let alone the thought that any weirdo in the world could sit their and gander my child’s lifeless body.
Take down the photo, Google. Sooner rather than later.
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