Google News Limited Comments, Not Cool, Not Evil, Just Careless

August 9, 2007

It’s all around the blogosphere, Google News is going to allow limited editorial comments from those involved in the news. Basically, you get a chance to tell your side of the story if you are involved. Big wow factor. Google, our savor. Well, perhaps not.

For starters, Google TOS and robots.txt restrict others from accessing Google News content, i.e. you can't crawl Google News, including those limited "editorial" comments. So whereas Google can scrape the Belgian newspapers, bend their arm, and get away with it, Google won't allow its editorial content to be indexed elsewhere. Some talk about how Evil the corporation has become. Techcrunch talks about hypocresy

I would not go that far (of course Arrington's usual yellow-press tone will surely say such things). I think Google has just either not thought this through properly, or is making a big deal out of an editorial possibility that will only used the odd time here and there. Google has played this PR campaign carelessly, and as a consequence are looking as either hypocrits or stupid.

How are they planning to scale the editorial model? Do you trust an algorithm to detect which of the comments should become editorial since the posters are involved in the news? The algorithm would basically be a sophisticated version of Turings AI test. But instead of machine vs human, honest human vs evil human. Maybe not. So, instead they have humans do this, check references, and approve a comment as being editorial. Imagine the fury of the masses when their comments don't get editorialized. Good luck boys.

Anyway, I just think this is stupid. Noug' said.

blog comments powered by Disqus