Feeds

Tide of migrant BNP PR menaces Google News

News picks a bit illiberal?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Google News, which last year accepted that press releases counted as news, now apparently thinks press releases from the far-right British National Party count too.

At time of writing a search of Google News for 10 + million kicked up a BNP press release on the first page of results, and a little Googling around with a selection of likely trigger words (think of them yourself, think 'that was in the past', think 'we're not like that any more', think 'migrant', think 'creeping Islamification of the West') reveals a reasonable-sized stack of BNP bulletins. BNP on its own, of course, gets you Banque Nationale de Paris, largely, which is as it should be. The Register owns a t-shirt for this outfit, but obviously only wears it in France.

As a largely unscientific control we chose the UK's number three political party, the Liberal Democrats, which is definitely a lot bigger than the BNP. Tight searches of Google, web, for various LibDems documents did tend to kick them up fairly high, but Google News seems not to have LibDem news content. This one, which strikes us as quite newsy, and has even appeared in a real newspaper, for example, only shows up via the newspaper. Over at the Labour Party this one does appear, alongside the Home Office press release it's a straight lift from. We weren't going to do the Tories, but the tempting "Hoon guilty of inexcusable incompetence" turns out to be a Google News Googlewhack. But not for long, we expect (Update: Now it's not - The Telegraph liked it).

Anyway you get the idea. If press releases for political parties are OK as news, which they quite possibly are, then how do you judge what counts as a press release? But then why not automatically count what a major political party calls news as well, if you're going to count stuff a small and not very nice one calls a press release?

As we pointed out in our earlier take on press release as news, the road forks into the swamp at the point where you need to interface the automated system and the human judgment. And you can't plead innocence on the basis that you can't censor, because censorship has to be a basic component of the selection process.

Related stories

Google values its own privacy. How does it value yours?

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.