Note to Google: Iranian-American Group Challenges Google Earth

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I have gotten in trouble in the past for the insensitive and apparently now-politically incorrect use of such aphorisms as “off the reservation” and “going native” — both of which have drawn complaints from some well-meaning watchdogs who heard me use those terms on radio interviews.
But now, language and cultural sensitivity have entered a new phase. I won’t take sides — too dangerous.
The National Iranian-American Council is protesting Google Earth’s use of the term “Arabian Gulf” to describe what NIAC and apparently many others have classically called the “Persian Gulf.”
And no, the State Department has told me that Google’s actions were not done in response to any sanctions actions against Iran.
Good luck to all parties.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

7 comments on “Note to Google: Iranian-American Group Challenges Google Earth

  1. David says:

    It has never been called Arabian Gulf, have you ever called India as France or USA as UAE? Persian Gulf is the same, why should we use the wrong term for it? Arabs think that they can achieve their aims by having stakes at Google and Reuters

    Reply

  2. arash says:

    i just want to say shame on google, google shows that arabs can change the historical facts by giving money to unethical corporations like Google

    Reply

  3. reza says:

    It is not a standard, not in international business. The official international standard name is “Persian Gulf”, like Indian Ocean or Gulf of Mexico!!!

    Reply

  4. reza says:

    It is not a standard, not in international business. The official international standard name is “Persian Gulf”, like Indian Ocean or Gulf of Mexico!!!

    Reply

  5. john somer says:

    Why not take a nice neutral position and call it the Arbanian Gulf. Me, during the Falklands war, being in Uruguay, I used to speak of the Falkvinas

    Reply

  6. erichwwk says:

    So what does the new Chairman of the New American Foundation Board — Google CEO Eric Schmidt say?
    I find it odd that you seek answers from the State Department instead, as they were not the ones capable of making that change.

    Reply

  7. Lightflyer says:

    The term “Arabian Gulf” is standard amongst the English language speaking embassies in the Gulf region and is used as standard in reporting home (unless some in-house reporting manual dictates otherwise). Its standard because it is the usage when talking to Arab interlocutors (and many Arab speaking westerners tend to think it is more accurate). The desks at home also appeared to use the convention. The “Arabian Gulf” convention was one of the first things I learnt on posting to Riyadh, “Its just one of the things we do, old chap”.

    Reply

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