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Google News Will Now Allow You To Tell Your Side  (View post) [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, August 8, 2007
16 years ago8,563 views

We wanted to give you a heads-up on a new, experimental feature we'll be trying out on the Google News home page. Starting this week, we'll be displaying reader comments on stories in Google News, but with a bit of a twist...

We'll be trying out a mechanism for publishing comments from a special subset of readers: those people or organizations who were actual participants in the story in question. Our long-term vision is that any participant will be able to send in their comments, and we'll show them next to the articles about the story. Comments will be published in full, without any edits, but marked as "comments" so readers know it's the individual's perspective, rather than part of a journalist's report.

As always, Google News will direct readers to the professionally-written articles and news sources our algorithms have determined are relevant for a topic. From bloggers to mainstream journalists, the journalists who help create the news we read every day occupy a critical place in the information age. But we're hoping that by adding this feature, we can help enhance the news experience for readers, testing the hypothesis that – whether they're penguin researchers or presidential candidates-- a personal view can sometimes add a whole new dimension to the story.

We're beginning this only in the US and then, based on how things go, we'll work to expand it to other languages and editions.

Above 1 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Edit: I updated the article just now, some minutes after posting, because I received information on existing comments examples. The screenshot on top, the links & screenshot at the bottom, and the link & quote from the Google help entries on this have been added.

Alan Hope [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

It's a recipe for disaster. How do they determine who has standing to comment? What about comments arising from the comments? How are news organisations whose reports are questioned to respond?

A facility like this risks turning Google News into a version of Usenet, and at some point Google is going to have to shut down each comment thread, if that's what it turns into. Wait for the cries of censorship then.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Arf, it's no longer Google News, it's Digg :-/

Seth Finkelstein [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Hmm ... I wonder if this applies to columnists ... and bloggers who are in Google News :-)

Sandro [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

Afaik, google shows only a summary of the News. So those People are commenting the summary.. People who only read the original Source will never see the Comment. Bad solution... Exept they enable for example the Google Toolbar to show the amount of "official comments to this Information/Page/News" or something.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

On a side-note, Google just told me they won't be adding comments themselves (on news stories circling around Google) for the test phase. What happens after that they can't tell yet...

alek [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Certainly a strong move by Google to make their News page become the portal for eyeballs by offering original comment (via other people) in addition to aggregating content from other places.

Wouter Schut [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Why don't they use openid to verify someone?

Gabe [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

Something else bothers me about this move.

Google is now hosting original news content that is off limits to crawlers per robots.txt. (I checked.) So Google News wants YOU to make YOUR site's news crawlable so it can aggregate it, but won't permit the same for its own news content.

Jitendra Gupta [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

This is getting into Digg territory...Very interesting.

Wayan [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

As someone in the news often, and often controversial, how will I know when/if someone comments on an article I am quoted in? Or wrote?

Will I be altered that someone is going to comment? Can I respond before publication? And once published, will there be an RSS feed to alert me?

Everynode [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

>> and the Google News moderators verify submissions speedily and rather objectively. <<

How can the moderators possibly be in a position to be objective? Or do they simply split the difference? Either way they're making a value judgement call – editorializing.


News story: "World Is Round"
26 Comments: "World is Flat, from the Flat Earth Society"
Result: Google moderator concludes world is roundish but also quite flat looking?

Insane. Google is way, way out of its depth here.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Everynode: The Google moderator doesn't need to come up with a conclusion on who's right, their only judgment call – they say – is to verfiy the identity of the submitter (to verfiy that they actually are the ones which are part of the story). For the sake of argument let's say that is true, then I wonder though what they will do with e.g. a comment that will link to something deemed illegal in the US...
I also wonder if they'd let through a comment like "HEWHEUIHEIHWEIUHWEIUWEHWIUEWIUEH!" if it's verified it's from the sender :)

or [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Doesn't google block its news site from being crawled partially because then they would be double indexing the search results from their own news sites. Other than the start page isn't google news mostly search results. With the new comments they now have content, but how will they sort out preventing double indexing their own site, since the comments are on the news site.

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