[Educator-Gold] JOURNALISM : NEWS : MEDIA : FAKE NEWS: Google Puts Fake News about Aliens at the Top of Search Results

 

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JOURNALISM :

NEWS :

MEDIA :

FAKE NEWS:

Google Puts Fake News about Aliens at the Top of Search Results

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Google Puts Fake News about Aliens at the Top of Search Results

The truth is out there (but not here)

by Casey Newton

December 7, 2016, 6:04pm EST

The Verge

http://www.theverge.com/2016/12/7/13877308/ google-fake-news-aliens-loch-ness-monster

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/jyhbl9p

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While the largest tech platforms continue to assure us that eliminating misinformation is both a) very important to them, and b) impossible, Googles search results were hijacked today by fake news about space aliens caught on camera sucking energy from the sun. A search for aliens turns up a breathless report from UK tabloid Metro about the alleged energy-sucking, which is sourced to a grainy video of unknown origin posted by an anonymous UFO fan channel. (We are not linking to this report on purpose!)

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The bogus story is newly prominent on Googles search results page, following a recent redesign that gives added weight to top stories in an effort to give Google more of a real-time feel. The new design also serves to highlight articles that use Googles Accelerated Mobile Pages format, a competitor to Facebooks Instant Articles format that makes stories load faster on mobile devices. As Kyle Chayka reported yesterday in these pages, publishers are using AMP and Instant Articles to camouflage themselves as legitimate  and platforms arent saying anything about what they plan to do about it.

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The publishers of these articles deserve their share of blame, of course. Every media company is locked in a death match for readers attention, and headlines have become much more sensationalist as a result. (The other two links in aliens results today are deeply misleading, but contain a germ of truth. Research cited in the second result refers to the possibility of microbial life  not the alien depicted in the accompanying image.)

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 – 4584
jwne@temple.edu
http://workface.com/e/daviddillard

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[Educator-Gold] JOURNALISM : NEWS : MEDIA : FAKE NEWS: Google Puts Fake News about Aliens at the Top of Search Results

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