Isn’t this just terrible?

Quite appalling:

Google’s “experiment” in Australia to remove major news sites from search results is hiding important news stories from hundreds of thousands of Australians.

In some cases filtering out mainstream news publications from search results is also resulting in lower-quality publications being promoted, including a news website known for spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories.

The background here is that Oz is trying to make Google pay for news snippets. The newspapers are in favour of this. Google not so much. So, Google is suggesting that it just won’t put news in the engine. This is not making the newspapers happy. Google has even gone so far as to say that if they must put the news in then they’ll close the engine in Oz.

So, what next? Well, newspapers run stories about how appalling the world will be if news isn’t in the engine. Lower value sites. Misleading stories. Democracy in peril, obviously.

The solution is equally clear. Newspapers must allow free use of their stories in the engine in order to protect democracy, eh?

4 thoughts on “Isn’t this just terrible?”

  1. Just tried Google. Haven’t noticed any problem.

    Interested to see the examples in the Guardian chart seem to preferentially cut out more right wing sites. Perhaps that’s what Google feel have the power.

    About all I can say is I dislike the newspaper proposal that Google (or indeed anyone) be compelled by the government to purchase something at a price set by that government.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    Lower value sites. Misleading stories. Democracy in peril, obviously.

    The government has evolved a modus vivendi with the deadwood media. They protect each other. The Australian government thinks they are protecting their clients. They may be right, they may be wrong.

    But the outrage is over the idea they may be driving ordinary people to sources of information the Australian Establishment does not like. That threatens both sides.

    So they still have a problem – Google has a lot of cash and their friends in the deadwood media do not.

  3. The Google News function is useful. Instantly you get a spread of articles on current affairs that’s gone through some sort of editorial process – and its interesting to see the different takes. But there are occaisions where your not looking for current affairs or even a curated version of them. In which case normal search and you see a greater mix of content.

    but on utubes – at least in the non signed in version- you don’t get to filter on news- the algorithm has inbuilt bias towards those sources. So you put something in – you get an avalanche of mainstream, without even selecting a News filter. I find that more insidious.

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