Fact Check: Apple Maps And Google Maps Directions To Washington, D.C., Were NOT Down Ahead Of Rallies To Support Overturning Election

Fact Check

  • by: Victoria Eavis
Fact Check: Apple Maps And Google Maps Directions To Washington, D.C., Were NOT Down Ahead Of Rallies To Support Overturning Election Still Working

Were directions to Washington, D.C., from Apple Maps and Google Maps purposefully shut down to prevent Donald Trump supporters from reaching rallies in support of his crusade to overturn the election he lost? No, that's not true: Both applications were still providing directions to D.C. and within D.C. Lead Stories staff from coast to coast tested a variety of cities of origin and destinations near the National Mall and found the online route-finding apps were functioning as normal.

The claim appeared in a Facebook video (archived here) where it was published by @sean.feucht on January 5, 2021. The caption read:

UNREAL!!! 🤯🤯🤯 Google maps won't give you directions to DC right now. Neither will Apple Maps. You know why? They don't want you going to a certain BIG RALLY tomorrow! I bet the Big Tech hypocrites fix this "bug" before Jan 20th. They must think we're all idiots. #HoldTheLine Hold the Line

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Jan 6 15:35:45 2021 UTC)

The video features a screen recording of someone using Apple Maps to calculate their route to D.C. from about 2,300 miles away and then a notice that says that driving directions are unavailable because of "current road conditions." It's possible this person recorded it following a weather event that closed roads.

Screen Shot 2021-01-06 at 11.07.50 AM.png

Screen Shot 2021-01-06 at 11.08.04 AM.png

Let's test this out. A city that is approximately 2,300 miles driving from D.C. is Boise, Idaho. At the time of writing, these driving directions are available on Apple Maps and Google Maps from west to east, and east to west:

IMG_4313.jpegIMG_4314.jpeg

Lead Stories staff on the West Coast also tested the apps and found no lockdown of driving directions to the nation's capital.

Driving, biking and walking directions are also working within the District on both Apple Maps and Google Maps.

Lead Stories reached out to Apple and Google for comment and will update this article with any response.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:


  Victoria Eavis

Victoria Eavis is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She recently graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. In her last few months at Duke, she was a reporter for a student news site, The 9th Street Journal, that covers the city of Durham, North Carolina. 

Read more about or contact Victoria Eavis

Different viewpoints

Note: if reading this fact check makes you want to contact us to complain about bias, please check out our Blue feed first.

About us

International Fact-Checking Organization

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Follow us on social media

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion