Feeds

Tide of migrant BNP PR menaces Google News

News picks a bit illiberal?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

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?

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.