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Google Tests Local News App to Let Anyone Publish a Local News Story

     
12:26 pm on Jan 26, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google is testing a news app to allow anyone to publish a local news story. It's limited to two cities, Nashville and Oakland.
“This is very much in the testing phase and aimed at hyperlocal stories and events for people to share, and for local media to take advantage of,” spokeswoman Maggie Shiels told me. “People everywhere want to know what is going on in their own backyard at a very local level, ranging from local bookstore readings to high school sporting events to information about local street closures.” Google Tests Local News App to Let Anyone Publish a Local News Story [slate.com]


[posts.google.com...]
12:26 am on Jan 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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...to allow anyone to publish a local news story.
Oh oh... This won't go well.
10:22 am on Jan 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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That's what I was thinking. Fake news could be a big problem with this.
10:16 pm on Jan 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I like the idea in theory. But in practice, I'm very pessimistic.
That's what I was thinking. Fake news could be a big problem with this.
That's what I was thinking as well. But then I realized that they might have more credibility than the current sources of news.

I was trying to think of some way that people could have "credibility" factors associated with their accounts. The more credibility points a user has, the less likely they would be to blow their reputation (and lose points) by publishing fake news. But just about any system could be gamed. And of course the accounts of individual "reporters" could probably be hacked even more easily than those of major news reporters.
11:17 pm on Jan 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If this catches on, it may further degrade the validity of real news.

There is such a thing as facts, even if some dispute those facts for personal bias. Giving them more tools to level the playing field is a dangerous enterprise.
12:19 pm on Jan 30, 2018 (gmt 0)

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People have to learn to use these tools. We had much worse problems with false facts when moveable type was invented than any the internet has created!
1:12 pm on Jan 30, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have reservations similar to some already expressed, but I can also see, with some moderation (assuming that will happen, perhaps analogous to Facebook Groups), that there might be some sense of group responsiibility, which can be very strong.

Perhaps, this might ultimately have some of the currency of Twitter. Oakland, which across several bridges from me, is a fascinating choice, particularly when paired with Nashville. Both strong music towns, Oakland taking up some of the art scene that's been driven out of San Francisco and Berkeley because of rents (and that scene now seems to be struggling there, also because of rents). Oakland's also becoming kind of a foody center. Definitely has some local problems issues on top of that, and Google and Apple busses do run there.

The East Bay Express, which covers Oakland, is a strong, opinionated free weekly paper with a long history that's also building a web present, and the local public TV station has a strong local online news presence, so Google isn't exactly filling a vacuum here. Perhaps, this is an attempt to dip the toe in FB's new local waters.

I don't know where Nashville's at in terms of grass roots, etc.

1:16 pm on Jan 30, 2018 (gmt 0)

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[webmasterworld.com...]

#1 ;)
5:03 pm on Jan 30, 2018 (gmt 0)

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As always, the devil is in the details.
5:48 pm on Jan 30, 2018 (gmt 0)

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What came first? The ad or the idea? I bet the idea was baked for an in-house ad platform (eventually). Nothing better than free content to monetize. Fools will write.
10:15 pm on Feb 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm genuinely confused why this is a good idea. So anyone can post news? Journalists write (well, good ones anyhow) under a code of ethics. Opening up this option seems strange. If this is to promote underground or local scenes... what about a daily or local events calendar instead?
10:50 pm on Feb 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Things to keep in mind:

1) This is a test. If it spawns a #*$!storm of fake news, it's unlikely to get beyond he test stage.

2) As the original post stated, this is for "hyperlocal" news--things that range "from local bookstore readings to high school sporting events to information about local street closures.” Such items tend to get short shrift in mainstream media (unless you live in a small town). It sounds to me like "news meets Nextdoor."