Google and the News Industry: Now That We Have Won, Do You Our Want Help?

November 16, 2022

I read a remarkable essay cum PR piece called “Google Collaborates with News Industry to Combat Misinformation.” I am not a very good reader, maybe third or fourth grade level on good days. I think the essay in the Connecting with Google Blog means, “Now that we have decimated real news, we at Googzilla want to help you.” I immediately thought about the Marshall Plan. Google’s approach seems to be a somewhat GenX approach to what strikes me as an old-fashioned problem.

The write up says:

Our work at the Google News Initiative supports both journalists and fact-checking organizations doing the work to fight misinformation.

Hmmmm. I can search YouTube and find information which strikes me as hitting all the boxes: Propaganda. Check. Misinformation. Check. Disinformation. Check. Reformation of factual material. Check. Content violating one or more laws. Check.

The essay continues:

Our goal is to strengthen digital skills and provide new ways for journalists to verify sources, fact check, and explore different forms of storytelling.

I would humbly suggest that the “goal” is to generate advertising revenue, minimize the impact of numerous anti-trust and related legal actions, and retain a firm grip on the digital dog leash that publishers are allowed to wear; for example: Site traffic. Check. Location information about individuals. Check. Email scanning. Check. Opportunities to receive Google outputs. Check.

The essay adds:

Misinformation is a critical issue, and it cannot be solved by one organization alone. We are constantly seeking new ways to partner with the leading fact-checking organizations globally and are incorporating best practices into our products. There’s more to do, and more to come. Our third Fighting Misinformation Online event will take place in Brussels on November 29, 2022, a forum for those working across sectors to come together to tackle misinformation.

Yep, humble words. Plus it includes an advertisement for itself.

Pure Google. Check.

Stephen E Arnold, November 16, 2022


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