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Google Adds Trust Project Labelling

     
6:47 pm on Nov 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Google is adding Trust Project labelling for newrooms to add to their content.

There are eight trust indicators, include:-
Best Practice
Author Expertise
Type of Work
Citations and References
Methods
Locally Sourced
Diverse Voices
Actionable Feedback

Google says the publishers involved in this work include the BBC, dpa, The Economist, The Globe and Mail, Hearst Television, Mic, La Repubblica, La Stampa, The Washington Post, the New York Times, and others.

It's not yet worked out to add these trust indicators to articles in Google News or Search, so it's an ongoing project, but it's clear it'll be adopted and will soon, no doubt, help towards adding trust to news and the sources.
[blog.google...]

Trust Protocol Phase I MVP
The Trust Project is collaborating with 14 leading news organizations to implement the first phase of the Trust Protocol. After the Phase I Tech MVP has been released, news organizations will advance to the Trust Project MVP, which is the minimum requirement for membership in the Trust Project for 2018.
[scu.edu...]

There's a full list of the indicators in that link above.
10:34 pm on Nov 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The full list includes the "founding date". Don't know for sure how it might be used. But I started a thread a few weeks ago about how, in my opinion, google should give more trust to older sites.
12:11 am on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It's an interesting problem to tackle, and it seems like Google are taking a fairly balanced approached by leaving the deductions to the reader based on hints provided by Google.

On a philosophical level, I wonder if there are any truly subjective variables that Google can use to discern news/facts from opinion/interpretation, when relying on 3rd parties.

Its best shot, all the way since Pagerank has been 'consensus among trusted parties'.
1:10 am on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Some of the publications they mentioned fail in the "diverse" department.
6:51 am on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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None of those publications are fake news sites, which is the point, no matter what little detail you disagree with. The point is to counter deliberate misinformation campaigns from disreputable sites, often setup by interests hostile to democracy. Not everyone is equally educated and a lot of ignorance and hate gets shared on social media.
7:05 am on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Agreed. Often those the changes are meant to affect, ignore them so those that are already playing by the rules just get more regulation.
8:02 am on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Trust Project MVP
Anyone have any idea, in the context of this "Trust Project", what "MVP" stands for?

12:23 pm on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Minimum Viable Protocol =
minimum requirement for membership in the Trust Project for 2018
2:29 pm on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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None of those publications are fake news sites, which is the point, no matter what little detail you disagree with. The point is to counter deliberate misinformation campaigns from disreputable sites, often setup by interests hostile to democracy. Not everyone is equally educated and a lot of ignorance and hate gets shared on social media.


I didn't say they were fake, I said many did not have "diversity" which is one of the claimed tenants of the program. News which is one sided, even when not deliberate misinformation, is hostile to healthy democracy.

The majority of the participating news outlets are liberal/left, not diverse.
The founders and funders are liberal/left. The companies behind the project, all liberal/left. The council, primarily liberal, with a few centrists.

And no, I am not saying this as a conservative, I am a libertarian with views on both sides of the isle, and I tend to piss off conservatives with some of my social views. But I see an attempt to steer what people read via Google in a certain direction, not just stamping out fake news. Fake news has been going on for a long time on the internet, on both sides of the political spectrum. It never seemed much of a concern to Google/Facebook until a certain individual diametrically opposed to their political leanings was elected to office (who I didn't vote for, btw). Do a Google search on fake news, and state sponsored fake news with dates prior to the recent USA election cycle... there was plenty of it.
2:50 pm on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This isn't about "bias", which is a matter of opinion.

What it is about is INTENTIONALLY false or fake news, especially false or fake news that is artifically promoted and spread by ads, bogus accounts and so-called robots.
3:13 pm on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This isn't about "bias", which is a matter of opinion.

What it is about is INTENTIONALLY false or fake news, especially false or fake news that is artifically promoted and spread by ads, bogus accounts and so-called robots.


"Best Practices: Who funds the news outlet and their mission, plus an outlet’s commitments to ethics, diverse voices, accuracy, making corrections, and other standards."

"Methods: For in-depth stories, information about why reporters chose to pursue a story and how they went about the process."

"Diverse Voices: A newsroom’s efforts to bring in diverse perspectives."

"Actionable Feedback: A newsroom’s efforts to engage the public in setting coverage priorities, contributing to the reporting process, and ensuring accuracy."

Their words, not mine.
3:47 pm on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Well, it depends. It might not be about "bias", but it is about creating "trust".

Is £350 Million a week [telegraph.co.uk] "fake news" "true" or "legitimate hyperbole"

Is every family £4300 worse off by 2030 [ft.com] one of the same options?

Or, venturing into slightly more unfamiliar political territory, is Breitbart ever going to get a "Trusted" flag? What about Fox? Or alternatively, HuffPo.

Sure, you can argue that the centre-left news entities are not purveyors of fake news, but they are also being explicit promoted as purveyors of Truth.

All of them have an editorial line. The truthiness [en.wikipedia.org] of their articles is enhanced by the endorsement, implying a settled, endorsed worldview.

When people who do not share that view see it promoted as Truth, do you think that enhances or undermines societal trust? Promotes or destroys faith in "mainstream media"?

The answer is to get some centre-right news outlets certified, so this campaign is not quickly demonised as a secret lefty plot to further delegitimise the views of flyover America, or Brexit Britain.

I realise the anglo-saxon world is only a subset of members here, but I lack any insight into Asian politics, and I don't really feel able to comment on the other female leader expecting an election to shore up her support, only finding her authority diminished, her majority gone, her future uncertain. Still, at least senior members of the party are the correct nationality. Good times all round.
3:48 pm on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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motorhaven - I don't understand your point. Do you mean that you disagree with those criteria that you quoted?
3:53 pm on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Shaddows -- The problem is INTENTIONALLY fake news.
4:04 pm on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I agree, the problem is intentionally fake news.

But the solution, as currently constituted, is flawed. The Trust Project is trying to certify objective truth, but the people prone to actual fake news (at least according to the BBC, so certified as True) do not trust centre-left sources.

By only certifying centre-left outlets as True, how can the initiative work? It brings the scheme into disrepute in the eyes of the intended audience, because there is no outlet publishing their views. Therefore, they are being told their views are untrue.

If I told you that your views were untrue, and I have a certificate to prove it, would you
a) Change your views
b) Disbelieve the certificate
4:06 pm on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Aristotle - I don't disagree with the criteria. I'm saying right from the starting gate they aren't living up to it.

If they want to lean one way or another that's their prerogative, and frankly, that part doesn't bother me. However, I believe they shouldn't blow smoke about diverse voices being an objective if they choose to go the route they have taken (so far). Its much like claiming gender diversity when 69% of their workforce are men, and complaints about "bro culture" abound.
4:19 pm on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I've seen many people on the left, center and right prone to actual fake news, and those on the left do not trust center/right news, just as the right does not trust center/left news. . It's not a one-sided problem.

[businessinsider.com...]
"The most surprising finding of our study is that fake news affects both the right and the left, the educated and uneducated"
4:33 pm on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I've seen many people on the left, center and right prone to actual fake news, and those on the left do not trust center/right news, just as the right does not trust center/left news. . It's not a one-sided problem.

Quite!

It is vital, in order to give the Project credibility, that people of all stripes can find a source that is trusted.

From the launch partners, left-leaning people will be able to find palatable sources of real news. Right-leaning people have no palatable sources, which means that
1) As most people seek like-minded information sources, Righties will not benefit from this initiative as there are no trusted sources that they will find palatable
2) Given that all Project sources are not trusted by the Right-wing individuals, they will find no reason to trust the project, thus rendering the Project pointless for that demographic.
4:56 pm on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Well some of the criticisms are valid, but in my opinion the project is still worth pursuing.

But I don't want to get into any lengthy auguments with anyone, so am going to drop out of this thread at this point.
2:19 am on Nov 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hi everyone.

So practically. What can a mid-size news website do to improve its standing? What are some practical advice that a website, which is not a fake news, creates unique and original content, can do today to improve few things? Adding some metatags? or putting some of these info on the website? Any help would be greatly appreciates.
9:43 am on Nov 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This is a great step but the main thing is required which is need to be remove fake news.
9:49 am on Nov 23, 2017 (gmt 0)

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>So practically. What can a mid-size news website do to improve its standing? What are some practical advice that a website, which is not a fake news, creates unique and original content, can do today to improve few things? Adding some metatags? or putting some of these info on the website? Any help would be greatly appreciates.

Nothing, you need to hang in there for several decades until you become trusted. I know you and your readership might consider you trusted today, but in Google's eyes, old and established = trusted, unless you break the rules, then you are out on your ear!

We have mainstream media sites that now largely do nothing but copy someone else's articles and claim they are unique. Just this week I found articles on Yahoo, AOL and TVGuide that had all copied MSN content and included a totally stupid sentence because they couldn't be bothered to read what they were copying. The profession of journalism is now largely in the toilet, except for a few organizations that are attempting to keep up standards. Google is going to embrace the few that maintain standards and allow the rest to go under the bus. I actually don't disagree with this strategy, it should have been implemented 20 years ago.

As for anyone attempting to create a news source today, go for it, but it will take decades before Google trusts you. There is no quick way to win anymore.

The BBC has 95 years of quality news reporting behind it. For the most part they are seen as non-controversial, very little bias and usually a very high standards organization. They have made a few mistakes, but who isn't going to do that in 95 years? On the whole most people trust them. A site with only a handful of years behind it can not compete in this market of trust.

Instead you should try to build an audience that loves your content. Hopefully you can do that without being politically biased, a mistake many other news sources have made in the last 10 years. Make the content concise, don't waste your reader's time. Make your content entertaining or amusing or thought provoking. Give them something that the BBC, or the like, does not. In time you can develop a loyal following and the respect of Google.

An example: IMHO Urban Dictionary is a piece of junk (I'm too old to appreciate it), but it has a loyal following and Google respects that. It fills a market gap of satire and/or entertainment in the world of word definitions that no other site comes close to. Urban Dictionary ranks highly for a huge number of queries because it offers diversity, even if us old farts think that diversity is junk! Why not use that model to style your news site on?

If all you want to do is run yet another news site.....sorry I'm not placing money on your success. You need a secret sauce, I have suggested a few. Attempting to compete with the likes of the BBC on trust is fool hardy, it would take 50-200 years to out-trust the BBC. Instead outplay them, you might not be the most trusted, but you are the preferred news source because you are the most concise, or the most entertaining, or the most thought provoking.

Hope this helps :)
8:31 am on Nov 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I wonder how this affects me.

I have a news website that covers MMA, tons of unique content with unique video, photos, etc.

We have a pro staff, newspaper writers, guys with magazine experience.

We break stories on a regular basis.

Around since 2003, so creeping up on 15 years.

20 million page views a month.

Would be a shame if site like mine took a hit with this.
9:08 am on Nov 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Would be a shame if site like mine took a hit with this
So do the research and make it work to your benefit.
 

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