By Adrian HarveyScotland & Wales have disappeared from the map!Actually it’s not fake news at all it’s completely 100% true. Some lazy developer in California took one look at the British landmass and went ‘England’. Ignorantly eradicating hundreds of years of history and millions of people’s heritage and so far he/she has got away with it. I’m surprised actually because every American I have ever met claims either Scottish or Irish descendants as a badge of credibility so I’m extremely surprised Trump hasn’t intervened already!It’s not like the Scottish (or the Welsh for that matter) are shy and retiring folk who don’t have anything to say for themselves. Nicola Sturgeon sit down! Where does the developer think whiskey comes from and he/she has obviously never watched rugby or eaten lamb…
What am I on about? Did you know if you use Whatsapp and type a country’s name a little flag emoji appears?That’s cute and I guess it’s educational but it’s also inaccurate and unhelpful when it’s conditioning our children to think that Wales (pop. 3m) and Scotland (pop. 5m) don’t exist as countries and don’t warrant a flag, whilst Guam (pop. 165k) the Isle of Man (pop. 85k) and Monaco (pop. 35k) are real places and thus, deserve to get a flag.Seriously try it. Just type any country you can think of into Whatsapp and bingo a flag appears. Now type Scotland or Wales and you are in the UK equivalent of Area 51. We all know it exists but it’s not marked on the map.Imagine if Whatsapp were owned by the EU (which by the way gets its own flag even though it isn’t a country but a broken trading group). You can just imagine Jean Claude Juncker over lunch and 3 bottles of vino, in a Brexit sulk, declaring the whole UK forfeit and ordering the developers to remove the Union Jack.Why should we care? Of course we should care, history used to be written by the victors now it’s written by nerds who failed their Geography GCSE or SATs. Large firms have a duty to get this sort of thing correct but we all know they have a history of getting it badly wrong. That’s why pretty much every industry and indeed country (even those that don’t warrant a flag) has regulations and laws that govern the way they operate to protect the consumer.Whatsapp (acquired by Facebook) it would appear believes itself exempt and quick to take the profits and slow to take responsibility, although there is supposed to be a Scottish flag appearing sometime in 2017. I won’t hold my breath. Getting it right is a duty of care and making sure your employees (developers included) know what they are doing and the consequences of getting it wrong, would appear good business practice even when a regulator isn’t keeping you in line.I suspect that Facebook has alienated more than one Scotsman or Welshman over failing to recognise their existence. Recent corporate history is littered with the carcasses of brands that get it wrong and die quickly. Perhaps Facebook should invest a small amount of this quarter’s $1.51 BILLION in profit in ensuring accuracy and employee competency?