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Google Plans To Remove 'In the News' Section From Its Desktop Search Following 'Fake News' Criticism ( 154

Nathan McAlone, reporting for BusinessInsider: Following criticism over fake news on its platform, Google plans to remove its "In the news" section from the top of desktop search results in a matter of weeks, according to a source familiar with the matter. It will be replaced by a carousel of "Top stories" similar to what now exists on mobile. This move had been planned for quite some time, the source said. The removal of the word "news" will, hopefully, help draw a sharper line between Google's human-vetted Google News product, and its main search product. Earlier this month, Google faced scrutiny when one of its top results for "final election count" was fake news. The top result in Google Search's "In the news" section was a Wordpress blog named "70 News," which falsely claimed Trump won the popular vote by a margin of almost 700,000. He didn't.
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Google Plans To Remove 'In the News' Section From Its Desktop Search Following 'Fake News' Criticism

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  • Google Desktop was discontinued over 5 years ago. What is this article even talking about?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The article do not refer to "Google Desktop", but to "desktop search". That is, the version of Google Search (i.e. that you see when browsing with a desktop browser, as opposed "mobile search" which is the term for the version of Google Search, you are presented with when browsing from a mobile browser. The two may, and often do, give different results as the user e.g. might want more timely or location based results on mobile, while the user might want more background stories when browsing

  • Who decides? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by BobSutan ( 467781 )

    Who gets to decide what qualifies as "fake news" vs "real news"? Thus far the bulk of the stories surrounding the subject are largely just the left-leaning mainstream media outlets being butthurt over Trump's win and Bannon giving Breitbart a huge heaping of credibility. This move by the left to censor various news outlets is largely just a response to them getting their comeuppance for their hubris.

    In the end let's call this #fakenews trend what it is: an attack on conservative and right-leaning media outl

    • This move by the left to censor various news outlets...

      There is no effort to censor anybody. The purveyors of "fake news" are free to publish whatever they wish. If Google, or Facebook, decides that they will no longer index such sites as if they were reliable sources, that's not censorship.

    • Re:Who decides? (Score:5, Informative)

      by slack_justyb ( 862874 ) on Monday November 21, 2016 @05:07PM (#53334469)

      Okay I'll bite. But I'm sure I'll regret it.

      So when the story is that Trump won the popular vote, that's fake news. It's pretty easy to show, Trump just up and up didn't win the popular vote.

      My favorite from the Denver Guardian (to which I might add there is no such organization called the "Denver Guardian" which the "Denver Post" who does exist had to post a story on their site to ensure that no one confused them with this made up organization) of "FBI Agent suspected in Hillary email leaks found dead in apparent murder-suicide." The story went a little something like this for those who forgot, "Investigators believe FBI agent, Michael Brown, 45, shot and killed his 33-year-old wife, Susan Brown"... Needless to say all of those names are made up, the event is made up, no one of any of those names were ever shot/found dead in the Walkerville, MD area or by those names in the state of Maryland period.

      One more just to hammer the point, Denzel Washington's support of Donald Trump. First, Denzel Washington openly supported Obama in 2008. Second, the words quoted as coming from Washington were actually someone else's words. Finally, Washington was never public about whom he supported in the 2016 election. He could've supported Clinton or Trump, but the fact remains we don't know because he never made any public comments about it.

      Now some might argue that this is all lame crap anyway. Who cares what Denzel Washington thinks, seriously I can't remember the last movie I ever saw him in and he really doesn't strike me as being all that big of a political influencer!? One could say, "just look up the popular vote and those who don't actually research deserve to be treated like idiots." And finally, the Maryland murder some might just reply with, "Well that's what they want you to think!!" Or as I've heard a lot of folks make the argument for, "Well CNN/MSNBC/(insert some liberal scum's name here) are posting stories that aren't based on fact! So who are you going to trust!?"

      The thing about it is that you need to take information in aggregate. We don't base scientific fact on just a single result, people shouldn't become homogenized to a single outlet, even though that is what every news site wants you to do when they say things like, "The most trusted source of ... ". Additionally, fact outright rids itself and refuses introduction of just false at face value results. Hence the reason we are sorely lacking in theories describing the relationship of unicorns to gravity, all of those theories tend to get ousted from the word go. And yes, one might argue that news is different from scientific fact, because news is subjective or whatever. The thing is, is that news is events that have actually happened. Finding out the exact details of what happened, why it happened, and what possible outcomes from it happening are domains of journalism and I would dare say that that's evidence that while the methods of getting from point A to B in science and journalism are different, they are both ultimately motivated by an underlying desire to find truth.

      Is there going to be bias, yes. Of course, there will be bias, it happens in science, it happens in news, it happens in politics, there's always some level of bias and we should always go into something with the understanding that there's going to be that bias there and it's the reason why we need multiple sources of information so that we can see where the points of truth intersect between the different sources. Fake news, is a source where zero of it's points intersect with any source of information and sometimes zero of its points intersect with reality. Yes, it's fun to go full on tin-foil hat and think that everyone is in on it and thus the reason no points intersect is due to some larger conspiracy, but geez I can tell you it gets very tiring working for the Illuminati having to modify all those Tweets and news stories from local vendors to keep all the sheep happy, it's just a ton of work.

      As someone

      • Thank you for your post. Sincerely. It's one of the best written things I've read here on this topic, as it has been rehashed dozens of times over the past couple weeks.

        People seem to want to focus all the attention on potentially biased news sources or whatever, but as you rightly point out, there are HUGE amounts of actual, literally FAKE news -- where everything in the story is false -- circulating and being passed around. Some of it is from trolls. Some of it is people writing parodies and hoaxes.

      • A long but good reply. Intentionally completely made-up news is not equivalent to bias or incomplete fact-checking. That is the false equivalence that seems to be being pushed by the trolls here on slashdot.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Re "Who gets to decide what qualifies":
      Teams of SJW's, staff from kingdoms, theocracies, cults, Communist nations, celebrities, NGO's, bureaucrats, mil/gov contractors, well funded activist foundations..
      Web 2.0 and social media will be turned into a huge safe space.
      Then they will come for search terms and stop search engines from finding actual results.
      Language limitations and real time corrections in comments, apps, email, browsers to stop people from reading different ideas.
      Free speech and fun will
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Well for a start, saying that it is left is false, far more accurate to call it the fake left. Liberal is to be open to knowledge and information not to be open to censorship, so not a left message at all, just a fake left message. Exactly the same as those fake conservative message, same deceitful people just hiding behind conservatism, just the same as they hide behind progressivism, when the only thing they believe in is exploiting everything and everyone to serve them.

      So for the majority of people the

  • Always remember that the reason newspapers post story corrections is to convince you that the rest of the information they printed was true. (Not quite sure how that translates to the Internet, but you get the gist).
  • So what's with all this worry now about "fake news"? Is that supposed to make me think that the mainstream garbage is all real? There is more bullshit and native ads on local, nightly, and 24 hour news then ever, but we are concerned about what someone deems "fake news"? The "fake news" could be substituted for "news we deem fake". The "we" being whoever wants to claim it is with out really having to prove so. It's the DMCA come to the news cycle. This leads to controlled propaganda news that has less truth
    • by PvtVoid ( 1252388 ) on Monday November 21, 2016 @05:02PM (#53334433)

      The "fake news" could be substituted for "news we deem fake"

      So I guess you're arguing here that reality is entirely a media construct? Because otherwise, if actual facts exist, then there is an easy, objective definition for "fake news": false information which is knowingly and deliberately reported in order to influence public opinion. There's an older word for it: "propaganda".

      • by NetNed ( 955141 )
        Did you not read my post? I used the word propaganda right in the post. Was kinda hard to miss. Wait, Void? Like Voidzero???
    • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

      Apparently it's the Chinese. They've suddenly taken a great interest in Westerners knowing what is "valid" news.

    • No. intentionally made-up "news" and biased news about actual events are not equivalent. The "fake" news problem is about actual fake stuff; intentionally and knowingly made-up stuff. Like with people in it that don't exist, etc.
  • Editorials as News (Score:4, Informative)

    by PineHall ( 206441 ) on Monday November 21, 2016 @05:00PM (#53334393)
    When I was trying to find out who really was this Trump guy, an editorial was one of the news links on the Google News front page. I clicked on the link to learn more about him and had to deal with an editorial rant. That really bothered me. It was a clearly marked editorial in the opinion section of the web site. Google's algorithms should be easily able to remove those from the news. If Google News wants to post editorials, they should be clearly marked as editorials in the links. My trust of Google News was damaged and I am much more suspicious of Google News now. They can do better and should.
    • These are usually marked as "Opinion:", so this is really just a processing mistake. This is obvious to anyone who has ever been to google news, so I don't know why you are pretending that google doesn't mark opinion as such. And you shouldn't "trust" google news for anything!!!! It's just a scraping service. If you don't pay attention to the actual source of the link you are part of the problem.
  • Good.
    Maybe now we can get the "From the Web" and the "Sponsored by Taboola" removed from Slashdot.
    • Slashdot is under new ownership. They're sorta scrambling to monetize the whole operation. As the site declines into becoming a tabloid, we will just have to deal with it. I guess.

      The 'filter' functions are constantly being tuned. It isn't just to block crapflooding anymore.

  • "Fake news" is fake.

  • I have to wonder if our country, or maybe the world, is under a "divide and conquer" attack. An attack that uses psychological warfare operations, through the news systems and media services (including social media).

    Or maybe it's just the political parties doing it? Nah... they are not smart enough. 8-P

    Am I just kidding? You tell me, I don't know for sure. 8-)

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!