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It's google's job to give balanced news (4, Insightful)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342025)

keywords and phrases that match users' precise searches and to write in informal, accessible language.

The article also suggests that using the name is full form, repeatedly, and using keywords in your title makes it receive a higher rank of google news.

Yahoo news is filtered by people; google news is completely automated.

From porn to religion... from the left to the right... many groups have figured out how to manipulate search results. It's life or death in the web world to optimize, It's google's responsibility if they are going to deliver news that they deliver both sides of a story.

Re:It's google's job to give balanced news (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342072)

This manipulation would never happen in the mainstream media.

Regards,
Dan Rather

Re:It's google's job to give balanced news (5, Interesting)

Nos. (179609) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342079)

However, the question becomes, is Google actually serving news? I honestly don't know. They are basically doing screen scraping (or RSS feeds) to display topics from other sites. Does this consitute serving news? Tough to say. Obviously the content is current events, however, Google doesn't write any of the content. Where does their responsibility lie?

Re:It's google's job to give balanced news (4, Funny)

Red Alastor (742410) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342117)

I don't know, where does Slashdot responsibility lie ? They are doing exactly the same thing.

Re:It's google's job to give balanced news (3, Funny)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342428)

Except that Google doesn't post dupes a week later :)

Re:It's google's job to give balanced news (4, Interesting)

Jahf (21968) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342144)

Google isn't reporting or delivering news. It is indexing those sites that do.

I don't see Google as the place to go when I want to find out what is happening today. I find it the place to go when I read a blurb on one news site and want to get more details or an alternate view from another site.

It would be like using a stock exchange ticker to decide what company is making news ... the bigger the company or the more controversial the news, the bigger they change in their symbol. That doesn't mean it is relevant to me or that there is not more important news out there.

Re:It's google's job to give balanced news (3, Insightful)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342498)

Google isn't reporting or delivering news. It is indexing those sites that do.

But if it wants to remain relevant, it needs to make sure it index those sites in such a way that a balanced presentation of respectable news sites are presented for a query. If the top stories continually run along the lines of "John Kerry is a Gay Commie Space Alien" just because some 2nd tier nutso conservative blog figured out how to best exploit the indexing algorithm, Google News will quickly become useless.

Re:It's google's job to give balanced news (1)

wrttnwrd (549262) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342473)

I'd say it's up to the Kerry campaign to do a better job of online PR. All Google News does is collect and index the content. If Kerry wants to have an spider-killing splash page and put very little effort into his online campaign, well, who's fault is that? Basic SEO is hardly a hidden art, these days.

I just finished a piece reviewing the Bush and Kerry sites - some of it's relevant to this whole discussion: Reviewing JohnKerry.com [conversati...keting.com] .

Claims of conservative bias? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342030)

Flame on!

So there really was something to see here! (2, Funny)

datastalker (775227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342033)

I'm glad I didn't move along. ;)

Re:So there really was something to see here! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342191)

Every time you have to reload a slashdot page because something didn't get displayed, or you get that nothing to see here error, remember:

slashdot uses mod_perl

mod_perl is obviously not appropriate for high traffic sites.

In other news... (1, Insightful)

grifter7 (73822) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342037)

...discovery made that Google is actually trying to profit from it's own tools...

Re:In other news... (4, Interesting)

TidyKiller (786958) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342418)

At the announcement that Google would become a private company (please excuse poor use of terminology), I've heard a lot of SE Gurus talk about the negatives that would follow. According to said Gurus, Google is incredibly influential because it is turned to the most for searches. The way sites are indexed can give them a big lead against other sites.

People are damned cynical. I think that Google will be recieving a lot of flak in the future for doing what it should do as a company: make a profit. If leaning towards the right makes them a buck, then I find it hard to believe they'd do otherwise. It may not be right, but it is their right.

Google News Republican Bias? (-1, Troll)

StalinJoe (622511) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342040)


I'm shocked! When will we find out that Fox has been making huge institutional purchases of google stock?

So much for not being evil.

Re:Google News Republican Bias? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342131)

Has anyone ever though that maybe just maybe the media is conservative bias themselves? Its pretty hard to find unspun news these days..

Re:Google News Republican Bias? (5, Funny)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342397)

No. All media has a liberal bias. I saw it on Fox (which also has a liberal bias, being part of the evil monolithic media itself.)

Re:Google News Republican Bias? (2, Informative)

StalinJoe (622511) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342419)

Actually, if you RTA it describes how because of a language anomality (John) google pulls up fringe sites when quryying for John Kerry. Similar queries for GWB pull up more actual news sites that at least try to honor their duty to report both sides.

So basically, visiting a flame site is not the same as visiting a biased news site that honors it's duty to give inches of column space to both sides of the spectrum. Yes, they pick and choose, but at least somtehing from the opposising side is there.

Crying that /. moderators mod anti-conservative posts as flamebait won't get me far...but anyone who moderates at -1 is supposed to look out for abuses like this. Ah well, life isn't fair, it is?

Anyone know how to research large institutional purchases of google stock?

Google outsourced? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342083)

"Krishna Bharat, chief scientist for Google News, ....by phone from India"

Here come the naysayers! (4, Funny)

Eeknay (766740) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342088)

And so the circle is complete. People will now start to attack and slander a once good service, because, hey, it's had its good run. I for one welcome our new evilmegaglobecorp, Google.

OT, Sybase Ads (-1, Offtopic)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342091)

Every once in awhile, when I click on a slashdot story (Firefox 1.0 preview), a new tab opens up with the Sybase download page for the crippleware linux database.

It does this all by itself. The first couple of times I figured I must have accidentally clicked the link, but I can confirm now it's doing it all on it's own. It's just too hard to accidentally click the mousewheel on the sybase ad when my finger is nowhere near it.

What's the deal, Taco? Did you just try to invent a new twist on the pop-up, pop-under?

The bias is in american culture (2, Insightful)

SteroidMan (782859) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342098)

I mean look at US News and World Report which is probably the widest read news weekly. Look how straight-laced Kerry has had to go to even attempt to appeal to the Midwestern, Rust Belt, and Southern voters. The US, like it or not, is a very conservative country.

Re:The bias is in american culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342158)

"US News and World Report which is probably the widest read news weekly" -- probably because it's written with a 3rd grade vocabulary and is about as deep as a wading pool?

Re:The bias is in american culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342197)

like it.

Re:The bias is in american culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342224)

Isn't Newsweek more widely read?

Re:The bias is in american culture (5, Insightful)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342246)

Only if "probably" means "definitely not".

Time and Newsweek both have significantly higher weekly circulation. US News doesn't even seem to try to hide its bias; it seems like the very first thing in every issue is an editorial expressing views slightly to the right of Karl Rove.

Re:The bias is in american culture (1)

isa-kuruption (317695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342260)

Kerry has to appeal to the midwestern, rust belt, and southern voters because he was born in the big city, lives in the big city, and spends more time traveling between vacation spots than the average voter from these regions spends working.

Re:The bias is in american culture (-1, Troll)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342304)

LOL... Did you ever attend a public high school? ANY college or university? Do you ever watch the NEWS? (even fox news has a lot of liberals). I think the number is 67% of the US population has liberal leanings. 95% of the media is liberal.

I believe google would be doing the correct thing if it's biasing towards conservative news stories - it will help even things out on google. (when i say it will help even things out on google, i mean it will help even things out on google, in case you thought i meant even things out in the world -- that's fox news's job, and they do a very good job)

I'll bet you $20 I get modded down.

Re:The bias is in american culture (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342472)

And 92% of people using persentage are moron trying to look intelligent. US media "liberal"? ROTFL!

True. (2, Interesting)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342314)

Thats quite likely, but look at the consequence of it. Kerry has to "act" to try to "relate" to a sizable portion of the country he wants to lead. It comes off as very fake. Although Bush and Kerry both came from very privledged backgrounds, somehow Bush can relate to people of other backgrounds. We've turned national politics into a cult of personality. Bush just has a more likeable personality, so he will get elected.

Re:The bias is in american culture (-1, Flamebait)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342407)

I've said it, my dad has said it, and I'm saying it again: If George Bush wins, it just shows that leftists have no place in this country. So we're moving to Canada or New Zealand, and you fascist bastards can have your damn country music and sport-utes.

It is not Googles responsibility (3, Insightful)

cbelle13013 (812401) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342106)

I'm mildly confused how something automated can have a "conservative leaning" when people aren't doing the crawling.

No, its not going to crawl through a Ih8tebu5h's livejournal entry for 'news' or other blogger oriented 'news'.

Wasn't there a slashdot article a while ago about Google having a seperate section for bloggers so they didn't skew news? Not that all bloggers are liberal, but most of the internet savvy folks I've met are.

Re:It is not Googles responsibility (4, Funny)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342334)

Not that all bloggers are liberal
Hardly. To its credit, blogging seem to attract self important sociopaths of every political hue.

Re:It is not Googles responsibility (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342446)

And that is different than TV/Radio how?

Re:It is not Googles responsibility (3, Insightful)

Zebbers (134389) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342355)

Some human coded it somewhere down the line.

Re:It is not Googles responsibility (1)

GreenCrackBaby (203293) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342386)

If I made a similar service to filter out stories on copyright, but restricted my searching to the websites of RIAA and all the big hollywood studios, so you believe there would be a bias present in my summary service?

Simple fact is that if Google wanted to have this bias, they could do it very easily. Whether or not they do have this bias is up for question, but the story gives a good demonstration of how negative Google's results made Kerry look.

Re:It is not Googles responsibility (1)

Ba3r (720309) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342404)

Note that this is coming from the Online Journalism Review. Sounds to me, rather, that the linked Article is a bit biased against a perceived competitor with that big pie-in-the-sky editor position. Of course Journalists will be against something that aggregates and treats their articles as chunks of impermanent data; nothing is more destructive to the ego than being shown you your true insignificance, especially in a cold, scientific way.

Re:It is not Googles responsibility (1)

mental_telepathy (564156) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342461)

No, its not going to crawl through a Ih8tebu5h's livejournal entry for 'news' or other blogger oriented 'news'.

Did you read the article? Several of the sites are blatantly pro-bush. What's the difference between a blog, and a blog pretending to be a news site so that they can get on Google news?

Re:It is not Googles responsibility (2, Insightful)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342482)

I'm mildly confused how something automated can have a "conservative leaning" when people aren't doing the crawling.

It's possible because the leaning doesn't have to be intentional. (At least not on Google's part.) It could be an accidental result of how their code works, and/or it could be a result of the system being intentionally gamed by people trying to skew Google's results.

So.... (3, Insightful)

cr0y (670718) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342110)

Not trying to troll here, I don't understand why people are trying to call shinanigans on Google, if they have a bias then that is their right to. If you do not like the services they are providing then don't use it. It's not like they are slandering anyone or posting false headlines.

Re:So.... (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342133)

It's a percieved conservative bias, not a liberal one. That's the "problem".

Bias is okee-fine, so long as your bias and my bias are the same.

Re:So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342357)

You're stupid.

Re:So.... (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342481)

It's a percieved conservative bias, not a liberal one. That's the "problem".

Running across this article today after reading this item [littlegreenfootballs.com] yesterday on Google News' inclusion of the Daily Kos hatesite as a "news" source is amusing. The last article on the page (at this time) gives this explanation from Google:

While our news sources vary in perspective and editorial approach, their selection for inclusion is done without regard to political viewpoint or ideology. An article's placement on our main page is determined entirely by a mathematical algorithm, based on many factors including how often and where a story appears on the Web. We do make an effort to group sites that seem biased with contrasting sites, to give a well-rounded perspective on the topic.

We hope that you will find reports within Google News that strike you as unbiased as well as those espousing obvious viewpoints. The beauty of this service is that you get to determine which accounts you wish to read.

When the current page (as I write this) links to four articles from the Guardian and two from al-Jazeera vs. one from the Telegraph, it does lead to some questions of how their algorithm makes its decisions about what to present. The actual selections may have been done by a computer, but the computer is running software that somebody wrote to make those selections.

Re:So.... (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342500)

I used to think there was an overall liberal bias on Slashdot. I'm not sure anymore...articles about politics frequently jump above a thousand comments, with people slinging lead from all sides.

And there are many political journals on Slashdot (or spawned by prolific Slashdot users). And there are plenty of people swinging for both sides in those, too.

Re:So.... (4, Insightful)

revscat (35618) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342171)

Not trying to troll here, I don't understand why people are trying to call shinanigans on Google, if they have a bias then that is their right to.

Sure, but if they paint themselves as being equananimous in their presentation then they should be held up to that standard, and criticized when they don't meet up to it. If they want to be biased one way or another then so be it, but they should be upfront about it. It's like Fox; it's not so much the fact that they are conservative I disagree with, it is that they are dishonest in saying they are fair. I actually subscribe to a couple of conservative magazines because of their quality, but they do not deny or try to hide their slant.

To put it another way: Lying is wrong.

Re:So.... (2, Insightful)

maxpublic (450413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342373)

That would depend on what you define as 'fair' or 'biased'. Seems to me that most folks define 'fair' as "whatever I happen to agree with", and 'biased' as "whatever I happen to disagree with"; and that includes the so-called liberals as much as the so-called conservatives.

As a small-l libertarian I don't see much in the way of unbiased news regardless of the source. The very assumptions that most stories are based on are biased in and of themselves, even if the piece is written in the most unbiased manner possible. Example: both the left and the right operate on the assumption that forced government schooling is a good thing, and only argue about how this schooling should be executed. Neither side ever questions the concept of forced government schooling itself, and the media (regardless of whether you class it as 'left' or 'right') also supports the idea of forced government schooling by adopting the assumption without question.

This happens all the time, over a vast array of subjects. Very few people ever question the concepts themselves, just the manner in which those concepts are implemented. From my point of view, any news article which jumps on the bandwagon is biased from the outset and cannot be said to be 'fair' or 'balanced' in any way at all.

It's also one of the reasons I see so little difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. They may quibble over the details but they agree whole-heartedly on all the major points. What good is having two parties when neither of them wants to examine the fundamental assumptions of the system they operate in, much less do anything to change that system in any marked way? The states goals of both parties are so closely in line with one another that it's often difficult to see any real difference. The trivialities are played up to *seem* like big differences, but both parties like things just the way they are and will never work to rock the boat that they both profit from.

Google isn't to blame for any perceived bias; Google can't help but be biased, just like all the other news organizations out there. It's a part of the game and I doubt they even realize that bias is inherent to the system, so long as they never question the system itself.

Max

Re:So.... (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342409)

Its not a bias on the part of google its just a quirk built of their algroithms and the structure of the content being searched.

To put it another way its a "Systemic Anomoly".

Sorry, that just popped into my head and I couldn't resist, but really thats what this seems to be.

Re:So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342415)

Liberal Democrat, NRA member.

Does this mean you think the government should buy you your firearms?

Re:So.... (4, Interesting)

Zapman (2662) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342486)

If you actually RTFA, you'll see the real reason burried a little more than half way down:

"I think what you're seeing is an odd little linguistic artifact," said Zuckerman, former vice president of Tripod.com and now a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society who studies search engines. The chief culprit, he theorized, is that mainstream news publications refer to the senator on second reference as Kerry, while alternative news sites often use the phrase "John Kerry" multiple times, for effect or derision. To Google News' eye, that's a more exact search result.

Basically, google is doing exactly what we told it too: looking for the most links with 'john kerry' in it.

"Computers are out to destroy us. This can be proven by the fact that they do exactly what we tell them."

Re:So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342505)

Doesn't the fact that they explained how they got their news mean they're NOT lying? Sheesh.

games people play (0, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342118)

Google: another system to game. Of course it's being distorted by a "conservative" bias. "Conservative" really means "corporate", the ideology of the 1950s "corporation man". Corporations have money and time to game any system for profit, and no reason not to. Their competition, regular people, don't have the resources or organization, and have human characteristics like "fairness" and "conscience" holding them back. Any parity between corporations and people speaks of only the innate power of the people.

Re:games people play (1)

sutterpants (775017) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342405)

"Conservative" and "corporate" are absolutely not one and the same. I'm conservative: I believe you'd have a hard time calling me "corporate" (and an even harder time calling me a corporation).

Corporations have many reasons not to "game" systems for profit, in particular in the United States. Public opinion regarding business right now is so low that businesses cannot afford to be caught engaging in unethical behavior. A not too minor point in this discussion: corporations don't compete with people; corporations compete with other corporations.

Also, many (in my opinion, a majority, but I have no research to back up this claim) corporate leaders contribute significantly to charities and their communities, both from their own pocketbook and from the organizations. Don't forget that these corporations are being led by people, with those same human characteristics of "fairness" and "conscience."

Re:games people play (1)

buck-yar (164658) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342434)

Conservatism != Corporatism. I am a conservative and I own no business, hold no high paying job, and think fairness is spelled out by freedom, not liberals version of wealth redistribution.

And I think your "regular people" who you say "don't have resources or organization" are the fabric of this society and make this world work by their great work.

What do you call capturing one persons money for another? Theft? I'd have a conscience too if I did that.

Re:games people play (1)

RobRancho (569680) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342488)

Corporations have money and time to game any system for profit, and no reason not to. Their competition, regular people, don't have the resources or organization, and have human characteristics like "fairness" and "conscience" holding them back.
I would disagree. Corporations (especially large ones) are multifaceted and hardly coordinated. They do, in fact, often lake the capitol resources and collective will to orchestrate such conspiracy.
Their competition, regular people, don't have the resources or organization, and have human characteristics like "fairness" and "conscience" holding them back.
The larger, and more publicly-visible, a corporation is, there more critical the public opinion will be regarding their actions. On the other hand, individual's actions are mostly hidden from the public eye and therefore not held accountable to ideals such as "conscience" and "fairness."

This just in... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342120)

i) world saturated with unreadable political blogs, many right wing.
ii) man who is actually President gets more genuine international news coverage (speeches, commentary, policy, state visits and campaigning) than man who isn't (basically just campaigning).

Thus aforementioned blogs tend to show up prominently in News digests about non-President, because there isn't much to say about him.

/ ~Rocket Science

google? (2, Funny)

Mavness (794186) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342132)

google has news?

Article text has excellent theory. (5, Insightful)

mopslik (688435) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342142)

"I think what you're seeing is an odd little linguistic artifact," said Zuckerman, former vice president of Tripod.com and now a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society who studies search engines. The chief culprit, he theorized, is that mainstream news publications refer to the senator on second reference as Kerry, while alternative news sites often use the phrase "John Kerry" multiple times, for effect or derision. To Google News' eye, that's a more exact search result.

Seems reasonable enough to me. Most of the major news I catch does indeed refer to Kerry without his first name. Likewise for Bush.

Hardly an intentional bias.

Re:Article text has excellent theory. (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342204)

Likewise for Bush.
Actually, I'd imagine they use the phrase "The President" or "President Bush" more than just "Bush".

Re:Article text has excellent theory. (1)

mopslik (688435) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342261)

You'd think that, but I generally find articles appear like this one [cnn.com] . Only at the beginning do they toss the "President" moniker out there.

Or, in general:

Earlier today, President George W. Bush did X. When asked about this, Bush commented "Y". Opposing groups criticized Bush for his stance on Z. Bush's staff had no comment on these accusations.

Re:Article text has excellent theory. (1)

CosmicDreams (23020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342299)

I've seen Mr. Bush more often than any you mentioned above.

Re:Article text has excellent theory. (2, Interesting)

Tenebrious1 (530949) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342396)

Actually, I'd imagine they use the phrase "The President" or "President Bush" more than just "Bush".

See, that's why there's a conservative bias. Liberal media labels Bush as the "antichrist", "devil", "shrub", "@sshole"... any number of derogatory terms; and each time some term is used is one less time the name is mentioned, and thus you get a very low ranking.

I've seen anti-bush articles where his name is not even mentioned because anyone reading the article *knows* who it's talking about... I'd guess such wouldn't score high enough to appear on Google News.

Re:Article text has excellent theory. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342521)

Liberal media of course meaning everything published in the civilised world. Those of us in the CIVILISED world want to know when you yanks are going to get rid of terrorist chimp-man.

Re:Article text has excellent theory. (4, Informative)

slungsolow (722380) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342360)

The majority if news organizations follow standards similar to the AP Style Guidelines [utexas.edu] . When dealing with proper names you usually would do the following:
On first reference, use a person's full name, including the middle initial, and title if important to the story. On second reference, use only the last name with no title. In the following example, for instance, we assume that on first reference the person was called Dr. Donald Drumm. The following are possible second-reference uses: The doctor agreed. Drumm agreed.

Re:Article text has excellent theory. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342422)

Exactly. This is what Zuckerman is referring to with regard to the major news sites.

Raises more questions (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342471)

Okay, you make a good point, but if you think about it, why doesn't "George Bush" bring up the same kind of results? The uses of "President", "George" and "Bush" are used just as much as "Senator," "John," and "Kerry."

The next paragraph partially answers this:

With an occasional exception, Weblogs are generally not found among the Google News results, so Zuckerman had some advice for aspiring political publishers who want to game the search engines: Don't blog -- start an alternative news network. Use terms like George Bush and John Kerry frequently, rather than their last names alone, in both your text and headlines. Publish new works frequently.

While this is a good tactic for news publishers, I have a problem with Google blaming the algorythm and telling people to try to change to match the algorythm. Perhaps the algorythm is flawed? Perhaps there are too many "alternative news networks" spreading nothing but biased coverage (for either side of the campaign). Perhaps weblogs should be included? I'm no media writer but I've seen far more blogs for democratic candidates and their supporters than republicans. Perhaps the republicans create "news networks" because that's a typical republican thing to do?

No news source is perfect but there seem to be some simple answers to fixing any kind of bias here which is more than just a linguistic aberration.

gna4 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342143)

and commit7ees [goat.cx]

Crosshairs (3, Interesting)

moankey (142715) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342149)

So now they are IPO'd it seems they are under a different microscope.

Pre-IPO couple of college kids that worked hard and are smart and made the world better.

Post-IPO, this company is the new MS, look at all the sinister, conspiring things they do, always knew they were no good.

Whats next Google supports terrorism? I guess whatever sells papers or click throughs.

conservative bias? (1, Offtopic)

sholde4 (815798) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342153)

Google has a conservative bias? "miserable failure" -> I'm Feeling Lucky damn liberal hippys.

Thank God (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342155)

I'm glad we don't have to worry about censorship here on /.

Maybe, just maybe (0, Offtopic)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342176)

It looks that way because of how the liberals and Kerry have been making such asses of themselves lately. The libs had it...and then they threw it away. -1 Troll.

fair and balanced? (1)

das_katz_socrates (641745) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342181)

This might be a stupid question and I'll probably get modded offtopic for it but...

Where is it law that a news reporting agency (which Google news essentially is) has to provide both sides to the news. The way I understand it is they can display results (report) however they damn well please.

Sure it isn't very ethical to skew your news reporting to uphold your political views but it's been happening for centuries.

Shameless plug... (0, Offtopic)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342205)

Krishna Bharat, chief scientist for Google News, said he was puzzled by reports that the service has been skewing politically in one direction.

I'll risk being modded offtopic and mention that Krishna Bharat happens to be a graduate of the GVU [gatech.edu] (Graphics Visualization and Usability) lab at the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. I happened to meet him on one of his visits to the school, and he being the first (and only) rep from Google I've met, I found him to fit the Google stereotype pretty snugly. His old webpage at GaTech is here [gatech.edu]

In any case, I did manage to flunk the Google interview, though I got a TShirt in return, so I guess it's okay.

Re:Shameless plug... (1)

SoumyaRay (458361) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342440)

Dunno if this is what 'chief scientist' means at google, but the GillBates0's link to Krishna's webpage also describes him as the creator of google news.

What's bias? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342226)

Because they don't manufacture documents to conform to your world view they're biased?

There's no crying in math (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342264)

Liberals victims of vast right-wing search engine conspiracy!

Did you know? They were originally going to call the search engine the O'Google Factor.

News Flash: There is no unbiased news (4, Insightful)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342283)

Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but there is no unbiased news anymore. The media...print, radio, online...is mostly controlled by a few of the major conglomerates. Not only that, but they all have their slants on what is reported and how it is reported. Here's an interested quote from WSJ Opinion Journal [opinionjournal.com]

"The chairman of the entertainment giant Viacom said the reason was simple: Republican values are what U.S. companies need."

It's nice to know the media is deciding what to let through and what to report "in our best interest".

Re:News Flash: There is no unbiased news (1)

Too many errors, bai (815931) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342342)

Would he care to elaborate what the hell "Republican values" are?

Re:News Flash: There is no unbiased news (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342374)

They're exact same as "Democrat" values.

Attaching the "liberal" and "conservative" labels to the parties no longer makes any sense.

Re:News Flash: There is no unbiased news (4, Funny)

the arbiter (696473) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342516)

Republican values: They are the party of business.

1. What you do with your body is our business.
2. Telling other countries what to do is our business.
3. What you think is our business.
4. Giving your tax dollars to the wealthy is our business.
5. What you say is our business.
6. Your religious beliefs are our business.
7. Ensuring big business pays its fair share is none of our business.

Clear that up for you?

Re:News Flash: There is no unbiased news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342502)


"The chairman of the entertainment giant Viacom said the reason was simple: Republican values are what U.S. companies need."

It's nice to know the media is deciding what to let through and what to report "in our best interest".


And yet viacom allows left-wingers at cbs news to run the show...

Our polarized society is the problem (4, Insightful)

humuhumunukunukuapu' (678704) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342287)

This is just a reflection of how polarized our society has become; it was accelerated post 1994, and 9/11 -> Iraq has sent it around the moon and back again.

The article really just re-enforces my thought that it doesn't really matter what news source you read at any point in time, as long as you are reading many different sources on every side of an issue [to the extent possible]. Then you can settle on the truth being somewhere in the middle.

but this is just bullsh!t no matter which side you are on:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/09/24/politics /main645393.shtml [cbsnews.com]

Re:Our polarized society is the problem (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342474)

Yup. I'm an Evangelical pastor and frankly I have no place for this kind of crap. And if I catch anyone in the congregation spreading this insanity, we will have words.

I'm freaking sick of politicans co-opting the good news for their political gain; and watching Christians eat it up without thinking.

And the Republican party is, by far, the most guilty of this type of religious manipulation.

Beta? (2, Insightful)

dema (103780) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342289)

In defensive of Goolgle, Google is still considered beta, even if it has been so for a quite a while.

Re:Beta? (2, Informative)

dema (103780) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342318)

Ack, Google News is still beta. Oops.

Conservative Bias!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342323)

I guess that's why Daily Kos, that bastion of conservative thinking, was listed yesterday on the "front page" of google news as a news source?!

My iPod has a liberal bias (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342341)

EVERY time I select Toby Keith it plays the Dixie Chicks.

What a load of crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342349)

That surely doesn't explain why Xinhua (Chinese State News) seems to have a rather disproportionate ammount of coverage on Google News.

Should put Dan Rather in charge! (0, Troll)

hitech69 (78566) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342356)

That's right, you know Dan's going to be hitting the streets looking for a job soon enough. Let's make sure we keep Dan employed, and put him in charge of censoring the news for google...hell he could just make it all up for them. :-)

Does everyone have to beleive in conspiracy theory (1)

JMS-Web (662292) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342368)

The article also suggests that using the name is full form, repeatedly, and using keywords in your title makes it receive a higher rank of google news.

I find that hard to believe.

When many sites release news, it's timing from highly ranked sites more than keywords that get Google news to pick it up. Also probably has a little bit of relevance attached to the scrape as it goes by... *Smack forehead* Doh!

What does this title tell you?

"From the Filly Files: A win is a Win"

Does it have ANYTHING to do with a specific team or sport?

no... yet it got indexed by Google News and was the primary story for a short period of time under the search "Patriots" in Google News.

I find it hard to beleive you can game the newsbot with keywords in teh title the same way you can build your ranking in the regular seach results.

oh.. yeah... here's the link to that article:
http://patriots.theinsiders.com/2/297337.html

Optimizing is Evil. (2, Interesting)

Viceice (462967) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342370)

I was in a meeting with clients the other day. The company was looking to create publicity for their new product and I was there to look into an ad project.

Anyway, in the briefing for the product, I found out that the name they had given to the product was very generic, stright out of the english dictionary (for sake of the story, lets call the product "Apple").

So I asked the marketing guy and one of the directors who was there why they had chosen "Apple" when if soembody were to google Apple, they would get 1001 links about the computer company, then about the fruit, before people would get to their company.

The answer? They said they paid a company who promised that for their fee, they could get the company's page on their product called "Apple" within the top 4 search results on EVERY search engine. (Fat chance)

My point is, optimizing is an evil business every step of the way. If you ask me, it's downright fraud.

p_lus 2, TrBoll) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342381)

Love of two is BSD's acclaimed FreeBSD's codebase became their hand...she Raise or lower the you need to succeed prima donnas, and to tHem...then megs of ram runs Will recall that it platform for the best. Individuals to its laid-back said. 'Screaming a way to spend core team. They Centralized models resound as fitting empire in decline, GNAA and support a need to play code.' Don't smells worse than a area. It is the The curtains flew according tothis EVERY CHANCE I GOT community. The

I realize it's anecdotal, but (3, Insightful)

switcha (551514) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342385)

I just did a search for each, and Kerry's was pretty much down the line (pos/neg), while "George Bush" yielded four hits out of ten in the first list just from dailyKos.com, a, by any standards, rampant Bush-bashing blog. Actually, I briefly scanned the articles and only 2 were neutral/positive for Bush.

Apparently, it falls the other way as well, but the very fact that a blog on either extreme of the spectrum is showing up that much is a little disconcerting.

Punditry of all stripes is great and I read a ton of them from both camps regularly, but I come to Google News for news, not the OpEd page.

I'm not so sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342387)

I actually use google news quite a bit and considering all the articles I see pop up from:
http://www.aljazeera.com/cgi-bin/conspiracy_theory [aljazeera.com]
I find that 'conservative' bias a bit hard to believe.

Re:I'm not so sure... (1)

JMS-Web (662292) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342431)

Excellent point. Add to that the Communits papers coming out of China, and one wonders if the person who made that statement actually uses Google News.

I have a simpler explanation (5, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342388)

This isn't about optimizing, it isn't about bias at Google, it isn't explained by ritually invoking the evil spectre of Fox News...

The "second tier" conservative sites write positive things about George Bush and negative things about John Kerry. The analogous liberal/left sites (who don't seem to rate sneering comments about their importance) write negative things about George Bush but have zero positive enthusiasm for Kerry. Therefore, "George Bush" gets both pro and con results; "John Kerry" only gets con. No conspiracy required, just an uninspiring candidate.

You can see the same thing, by the way, on bumpers. Here in John Kerry's home state, there are a zillion anti-Bush bumper stickers and about as many pro-Bush stickers as pro-Kerry stickers. Are cars optimizing their bumpers for my eyes?

Re:I have a simpler explanation (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342452)

True.

I've seen plenty of "Bush in '04" bumper stickers, plenty of "Re-defeat Bush", or "Bush sucks", etc bumper stickers. Signs too, lots of Bush signs, lots of anti-bush signs. The majority are of the anti-Bush persuasion, to boot.

I haven't seen a single "Kerry in '04" bumper sticker or sign. His only appeal is that he's not Bush.

Google News has Bias! (1)

One Childish N00b (780549) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342406)

Panic in the streets as Google is revealed to not be the second coming of Christ and embodiment of all that is well and good!

Seriously, did you really think Google wasn't biased? That Google wasn't capable of taking 'sponsorship' from certain people in order for them to secure a more prominent podium for their views? Everything Google does is for money, just like any other company. They're not evil, they're just incorporated. We don't gasp in surprise when Microsoft bend the facts a certain way, so why are we shocked when Google does it? If you truly believe Google is benevolent to a fault, you're living in a dream world. They exist to make money, not give you 100% unbiased news. I would say it's very hard to write without a political slant, but as this was just an algorithm and not stories themselves I'm more inclined to think this was deliberate - the sad truth is, lies pay, and while every twist of the facts wrings a few more dollars of 'sponsorship' from conservatives, they'll keep on twisting - less so than Fox News, admittedly, but twisting all the same.

Disclaimer: Yes I did read the article, I just refuse to believe you could 'accidentally' create algorithms that favour low-end right-leaning sites. This is either a reflection of the Google guys' own political views, or a good dose of sponsorship... but the former wouldn't have made for a good rant, now would it? Now what's the punishment for insulting Google? -1, Troll? OK, thanks..

Google part of 9/11 conspiracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10342450)

There are grainy pictures that show a cluster of Google computers attached to the undercarriage of the plane that crashed into the first world trade center tower. Coincidence? I think not.

Google-like Systems Need to Understand Expertise (4, Insightful)

ctwxman (589366) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342480)

One of the biggest shortcomings of the Google News method is not taking into account the source's expertise, implied or otherwise. For instance, domestic US stories are often headlined using Xinhua or The Scotsman as the lead source. It would seem that you will get more detail and understanding from a source closer to the story, or specializing in the story's subject. A Connecticut newspaper or TV station is going to give me more detail and perspective on a story taking place here than someone far away. This weekend, this headline was featured on Google News (I wrote about this in my blog, so I have it at hand): The Sopranos buries the competition. That's a valid story in entertainment news, but the source was, "The Scotsman - Scotland's National Newspaper Online." The next listing was for the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) followed by ABC News and Planet Out. Truth is, as interesting a tool as Google News is, we still need editors and reporters to weigh facts and sources and see inherent weakness or bias in what is often passed off as complete and balanced facts.

Absolutely Correct! (0, Troll)

deacon (40533) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342491)

Because we all know there is no Liberal Bias [google.com] , the only possible bias can be conservative!

By Lenin, it is all so simple, cannot you fools see it?

[The preceeding was a rhetorical question. After the revolution, your answer will be checked to see if it conforms to "socialist civilized norms", and those in need of re-education will be sent to mine uranium in the "re-education" camps.

That is all.

Bias (1)

gordgekko (574109) | more than 9 years ago | (#10342492)

I'm pretty sensitive to bias in the media considering that I am a journalist interested in the subject and I have to say that I've detected no overt (or subtle for that matter) bias in the stories that Google News presents. I see stories from both conservative and liberal newspapers when I do searches on news stories. If there's conservative bias, it must be very subtle.

Statement of bias: I am a conservative so perhaps by judgment is being colored. Also, Google News has run a number of stories from my online magazine so perhaps I'm feeling kind towards them.
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