Google Maps removes offensive prank reviews of Jeffrey Epstein’s private island

Google Maps has taken down prank reviews and location tags from its map of Jeffrey Epstein’s private island.

The search engine took down the listings mocking Epstein’s victims after they were raised more than once by the Independent.

The 75-acre private island in the US Virgin Islands, Little St James, was once home to billionaire and sex abuser Jeffery Epstein.

Its owner liked to call it "Little St Jeff"; while locals apparently called it "paedophile island” after allegations that numerous teenage girls were abused there.

Two user-submitted locations on Google Maps called the island "Rape Center" and "Boy Thrussy Chaimber", using a sexual slang term related to the throat.

Reviews mocking the victims were left under the so-called rape centre, included a four-star rating claiming: "Great service and entertainment. Can recommend!"

While a one-star rating said: "Name’s a bit sketchy, explains the place well". On average the site had a rating of 4.7 stars.

The reviews and both location listings attached to Little St James were removed by the search engine on Thursday (November 11) after being on the site for between three and four years.

A spokeswoman for Google said: “As soon as we were made aware of these listings, our teams took immediate action to investigate, remove policy-violating content, and put protections in place to prevent further abuse.

"We have clear policies that prohibit offensive and fake contributed content, and our automated systems and trained operators work around clock to monitor Maps for suspicious behaviour.

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"We encourage our users to report misleading places and inappropriate content, which helps us improve our automated detection systems and keep the information on Maps authentic and reliable.”

Little St James has been under intense scrutiny since Epstein’s apparent suicide in 2019. Prosecutors say it was the heart of an international abuse network that flew girls between 12 and 17 years old around the world in "sexual servitude" for the benefit of rich clients.

Court documents filed by the attorney general of the US Virgin Islands allege that Epstein used the island’s seclusion to resist inspection by the authorities and prevent victims from escaping, ferrying them to and from the airport on nearby St Thomas via his private helicopters.

The "Rape Center" on Google Maps was placed at the location of a strange blue and white striped temple structure whose purpose has been a subject of dark conjecture, while the "Chaimber" was placed near Epstein’s main mansion complex at the north end of the island.

Google relies on users to populate its worldwide map, with rules requiring that they be "based on real experiences and information", and forbid content that is "deliberately fake" or "unnecessary or incorrect".

Yet they have struggled with fake content, from jokes to deliberate attempts to ruin businesses’ reputations.

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