Why? Because its Googlebots aren’t able to do the job of traditional editors and are, in fact, at the mercy of misinformation published direct to Web by news companies in the rush to inform.
Incorrect tagging and unchecked facts have led to major problems, as reported on the editorsweblog following the World Editors Forum.
Despite the ongoing deletion of subs/copy editors from newsrooms, it turns out that Google’s reps at the WEF reckon editors and fact-checking are more important than ever.
It’s a thought backed up by Pete Clifton, senior BBC News exec, who supports journalist gate-keepers (aka editors?) for processing its UGC:
It’s gone through all the filters that our journalism would have gone through. It’s quite labour intensive. We’ve another arm of our newsgathering operation – it can ultimately add to the richness of what we do, but we shouldn’t take it lightly.
Because taking it lightly would compromise the brand’s trustworthiness as well as making it potentially legal liable.
Can’t help thinking that although subs are seen as an editable expense at the moment, those who find money in the budget for them will win in the long run, because, y’know, you like to know where to go to get the facts. Or am I deluding myself?