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Google Removes "In The News" From Desktop Search over "Fake News" Criticism Renames it "Top Stories"

     
12:58 pm on Dec 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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That "Fake News" issue is just not going to go away too easily, so Google has decided to remove the "In the News" part from its desktop SERPs. It's obviously not going to stop the fake news stories, but they won't be taking so much prominence with that title. It'll now be called "Top Stories."



In the wake of criticism over fake news on its platform, Google is removing its "In the news" section from the top of desktop search, and replacing it with a carousel of "Top stories," similar to what exists on mobile.

This move had been planned for quite some time, and is being rolled out globally, according to Google.Google Removes "In The News" From Desktop Search over "Fake News" Criticism [uk.businessinsider.com]

[edited by: engine at 10:01 am (utc) on Dec 9, 2016]

1:05 am on Dec 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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There are Fake News sites popping-up all over. Many of these are from Eastern block countries who are inventing stories purely for the income generated through click-bait proliferation of social media, but to many internet users the distinction is not so clear, especially if these stories reflect a similar cultural or political viewpoint as theirs.

The distinction of actual events is pivotal to trust factors important to major players like Google, Facebook, and others. IMO even more needs to be done since Fake News is fast approaching the norm.
8:14 am on Dec 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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This is not merely about "fake news" but control of sources. Will have to see how this works out, though I'm not convinced that a) it needs be done and b) would be a comment too far. :)

What I do take away from the announcement is that desktop results are being changed/remodeled to the rising tide of mobile ... and that makes more sense than any desire to manage "fake news" .... though that provides excellent cover for making the change.
5:38 pm on Dec 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Now, what I do not understand is, how can "fake news" sites can be showing at Google News? I thought that sites appearing at "Google News", were manually approved / added, isn't it ? (I don't mean each article/page of course). I do remember, 6 years ago, I owned a site, which I had submitted for approval to Google News, the review process and requirements were extremely picky, at the point i had to give up. You had to prove that your site was a reference in your domain, and explain how your articles were elaborated, etc... you also had to follow a lot of requirements, like listing sources, as well as the identity of authors who contributed to each article, and for each author to explain in which way s/he had the skill and knowledge to write about a particular subject, etc, etc... Did this change?
5:39 pm on Dec 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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The distinction of actual events is pivotal to trust factors important to major players like Google, Facebook, and others

<politics>
It's usually pretty easy to spot fake news thanks to sites like Snopes. Maybe less so when it's like this: [en.wikipedia.org...]
</politics>
10:01 pm on Dec 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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There is a ton of fake news! The false flag attacks by government agencies, the propaganda machine in America (ABC, CNN, Fox, NBC, news papers, magazines, etc) and other countries. What is sad that as an American I find RT (Russia Today) more reliable than anything "mainstream American" because there are no major American news sources, everything legitimate is now on much smaller scopes.

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4:35 am on Dec 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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This has nothing to do with "Fake News", well not directly. My guess is that Google is removing the in the "News" so that the FCC does not decide to regulate it as it does other organizations who's primary field is news, such as the New-York Times, Reuters, etc... The recent interest placed on the fake news issue is putting pressure on regulator to act against Google, Facebook and others. By Google removing the word "News", they can no longer be viewed as news organization or broadcaster, since they only display the "top stories" which may or may not include stories that are news.
3:00 pm on Dec 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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What is sad that as an American I find RT (Russia Today) more reliable than anything "mainstream American" because there are no major American news sources, everything legitimate is now on much smaller scopes.

Do you? And based on what? On your own fact checks or based on the feeling that they are more in line what you believe to be true?
3:56 pm on Dec 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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When there is one player in the search space, this is what happens. Not Google's fault as Google says. Fact is, a funnel to the people lends to manipulation. History tells us that. There is too much power in the qualifying "news" or "top stories" websites. What they write and tell us is gospel. The globe with a handful of newspapers. Changing the name of this isn't going to do anything. This is going to get ugly unless there are more avenues to finding websites and content. Facebook and Google? Help us all.
7:25 pm on Dec 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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So rewording "In the News" to "Top Stories" makes the fake news go away? Sounds more like a disclaiming effort. Maybe they should simply advise readers to not believe everything they read on the internet.
8:12 pm on Dec 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Sam is right, this has nothing to do with fake news. It was part of the Google desktop UI change. It is just a wording change for the headline for the news box.
2:28 pm on Dec 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I don't think any of the tech companies really want to get rid of fake news stories because they generate huge revenue.

But right now fake news is the talking point and tech companies are being pressured to take some type of action.

Bing has changed a couple words. That was their action. So if anyone points their finger at Bing, they can say they don't include news anymore, just stories.

Same with FB. Did they remove all the fake news, not even. What they did do is add a user-side option to tag a story with an alert that says the facts may not be agreed by other users.
6:41 pm on Dec 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Does the word “News” have some sort of clearly delimited meaning under US law that would make “In the News” qualitatively different from “Top Stories”? (And if so, is it significant that TV news always uses some variant of “Our Stories Tonight”?) I Am Confused.
6:55 pm on Dec 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@lucy24 yes the FCC regulates news organizations. As such these organizations have certain responsibilities and duties, like verifying the veracity of what is published. Clearly this is not a task that Google, Bing, FB, Twitter or any other tech company wants to take on. Because if they had to compete on equal regulatory standings with established news organizations they would likely fail. It is similar to companies like Uber, where their only real competitive advantage is their ability to skirt costly regulations (taxi permits).
 

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