Don’t Worry, The Google & Shift Bar Incident Was Just A Misunderstanding

You might have seen the recent controversy surrounding Google, and the Shift Bar which is based in Sydney.

If not let me give you the backstory; Essentially what happened is that the Shift Bar were told that they would be removed from Google Maps “because it’s a gay bar”.

This came about because the bar were in contact with Google in order to inform them of a change of name for the establishment. The club were then given the news that they would not be supported, which caused their marketing manager to say via Facebook: “In a conference call at the moment with Google as they are advising that they are removing Midnight Shift’s google page ‘because its a gay bar’ and Google ‘no longer supports gay bars’ and they will be doing it to other gay bars. So much for equality Google. This is actually insane!”

At first, this all seemed (unfortunately) on the up-and-up, as the club received an email from Google confirming this stance.


“We’ve looked into your account and it looks like your business is not eligible for display on Google Maps per our quality guidelines. Specifically, Gay night clubs. We have raised the request with our support team for its removal.”

However, it seemed someone on the team was a bit naughty, as Google officially said that the Shift Bar were never actually removed from the Google Maps service, and blamed the incident on a breakdown in communication and training.

“We’re truly sorry that this happened. 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.”

So while they aren’t completely innocent, this was not an official change in stance or an official statement from Google, as some are claiming. This is a fairly major breakdown of communication, but it does sound like one person or team was either completely mistrained, or was doing this with malicious intent.