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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 13 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 13 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

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.

Fox, anyone?

This 631st post was filed under: News and Comment.

More posts worth reading

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Free Wigs (published 13th May 2004)

Photo-a-day 293: Granada Studios (published 19th October 2012)

I oppose tax breaks for marriage (published 10th January 2014)

Star Wars (published 25th July 2004)


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