: I honestly do not understand those who don’t understand the problem with GoogleNews including a nazi site in GoogleNews. Michael Zimmer writes:
The whole point of GoogleNews is that you have a wide variety of sources. You can read, filter, process, absorb what you want, and ignore the rest. A plurality of voices, perspectives and, yes, even biases is a positive feature of web-based news aggregation. Readers might actually learn something about the world (and themselves!) by reading about how people they don’t agree with (including anarchists, socialists, leftys, communists, etc) see an issue.
Here’s the comment I left there (pardon the caps for emphasis; it’s easier than bold in a comments box):
I honestly don’t understand how you don’t understand this: An EDITOR (or someone fufilling that function) at GoogleNews makes a SELECTION of sites to include in a NEWS service (read: JOURNALISM) and selects a NAZI site that actively goes on about hating people who are not white and Christian. This is not Google itself, which should vacuum up everything. This is a NEWS site. Is there no definition of news at all? Or more to the point, is there no definition of decency? Would you include Ku Klux Klan news? Would you include North American Man Boy Love Association news? These are choices and there are responsible and irresponsible choices.
So we start getting to the definition of news: not in a sense of certification (official news) but in a sense of value (worth knowing).
Is it worth knowing what nazis think is news? No, it is not. In no universe.
On the other hand, is it worth knowing what al Qaeda thinks is news? They, too, are hateful, murdering nut jobs. Well, I could see a debate there because there is value in knowing what this enemy says.
But there are questions about the line you draw — and GoogleNews cannot avoid that because it is making selections — and also about presentation: When you present hate sites as news you redefine news.
I stand by my contention that including a nazi site is irresponsible.
Meanwhile, BlogHerald thinks this is about blogger jealousy: They included nazis but they didn’t include blogs. No, if they never included a single blog, they certainly should not include nazis.
Neverdock thinks it’s still about GoogleNews liberal bias. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d think that somebody who thinks he’s funny at GoogleNews is saying to those who complain there aren’t enough conservative sites in the service: ‘OK, here is a right-wing site: a nazi site.’ But I’m not a conspiracy theorist. And I think that the right/left bias is a different and still-fascinating issue because it assumes you can catalogue right v. left and I say that’s a helluva lot more difficult than it sounds.
Oh, and if Agence France Presse wanted to pull its content out of GoogleNews wouldn’t a better, more Euro-PC rationale have been that they didn’t want to be associated with nazis?
: LATER: Michael Zimmer says in the comments that we should be clear that earlier in his post he said this: “I’m not here to defend or support the actual content of these various news sites….” Yes, to be clear, I’m not saying that Michael is defending nazi sites: He’s questioning my questioning of their inclusion and I’m questioning him back … and no, I’m not trying to be cute in the way I said that; believe it or not, I’m trying to be clear.