I’m generally very relaxed about Google and it’s projects, even when they could potentially open up web surfing to their prying eyes. But their plan to rate news stories by accuracy has me feeling uncomfortable, because it begs the inevitable question: Whose accuracy?
Taking a typical example: Hutton. Newspapers still widely report that the Government sexed up the September dossier, and yet no inquiry has yet found that to be the case. So are the news stories inaccurate? Not in my opinion, because I agree with them. But those who disagree would argue that they were indeed inaccurate.
Obviously, all news sources are editorialised, but Google seems to have tried to be as balanced as possible, by using algorithms to sort through the news, and present lots of different angles from lots of different sources. But rating these sources by accuracy will doubtlessly make it far more editorialised, and it’s important that users are made aware of this, and get to know what the editorial line is. Otherwise, this could lead to people thinking they’re getting impartial news when in fact they’re receiving anything but.
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