Google Threatens To Shut Down Google News In Europe Over Article 11 As Publishers Whine About 'Publicity Stunt'

from the nuclear-option dept

As the EU continues to discuss and negotiate over the EU Copyright Directive, most of the attention is focused on the mandatory filters of Article 13, but the tax on news aggregators in Article 11 remains equally problematic. Last week, Google apparently started experimenting with showing a barren news search results page to demonstrate what Google News would look like if it complied with Article 11… and it basically would look like your internet connection was broken and Google News didn’t load properly:

In response, the giant EU news publishers — who are the ones pushing heavily for Article 11 and who think that it will somehow magically force Google to rain down cash into their bank accounts — started whining that this was a publicity stunt and “scaremongering.”

The suggestion that Google would roll out this type of product doesn?t seem a serious one, according to four publishing trade bodies the European Publishers Council, the European Newspaper Publishers? Association, the European Magazine Media Association and News Media Europe, which allege this is ?much more likely a way of scaremongering.?

[….] ?[Google] wants to portray a doomsday scenario that would never happen,? she added. ?It?s an interpretation that is distorted in order to provide a picture which makes it look worse than it is. Publishers have rights and can give those rights away. It?s just legal clarity to enforce those rights if you want to do, they are not obliged to comply.?

But… nearly all of that is incorrect. First of all, that result absolutely could happen. As we noted, when a similar law passed in Germany, Google ended up posting their results without context like that, leading German publishers to eventually agree to “license” the ability to post snippets… for nothing. And when a similar law passed in Spain (which barred free licensing), Google shut down Google News in Spain.

And… now it says it may do the same in all of the EU if Article 11 becomes law:

Google News might quit the continent in response to the directive, said Jennifer Bernal, Google?s public policy manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The internet company has various options, and a decision to pull out would be based on a close reading of the rules and taken reluctantly, she said.

Given that it already used this option in Spain, it’s not hard to see it doing so for the entire EU.

It truly is bizarre that the publishers keep pushing this same bad solution and somehow magically expecting better results. Once again, the publishers are absolutely free to make use of robots.txt and remove themselves from Google’s search results if they don’t feel it’s providing value in the traffic. But they don’t do that. Indeed, I’d bet that nearly all of these big publishers that are pushing for Article 11 hire “search engine optimizers” to help them get more traffic from Google. What they’re now demanding is not only that Google give them more traffic… but that Google also pay them… to send them traffic. This is entirely nonsensical.

But it might soon become the law in the EU and Google would be smart to shut down Google News entirely, rather than give in to what is little more than an attempt at bureaucratic extortion, pushing a successful company to pay out money to old media giants who sat around and refused to adapt to the internet.

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Comments on “Google Threatens To Shut Down Google News In Europe Over Article 11 As Publishers Whine About 'Publicity Stunt'”

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145 Comments
Gedenken Nichtsogut says:

Google would rather lose-lose if not TOTAL control.

News sites make Google’s product for it, and are asking only some TINY actual return for it.

Google will not pay even a pittance, as its prior deliberate harm to Spain shows.

That’s the attitude of tyrants: MY WAY OR NO WAY.

And of course Masnick, taking Google’s "support", likes this threat.

My bet is that Google won’t follow through with it, but FINE if does! — Not least because shows its true nature: wants TOTAL control and NEVER to pay for the values it rakes off.

Bruce C. says:

Re: Google would rather lose-lose if not TOTAL control.

Here’s the thing. They can’t force Google to buy a license. If Google decides it’s more cost-effective to cease displaying news snippets rather than pay these licensing fees, that’s their privilege.

I suppose the EU could pass a law that mandates search engines to display results from websites in a neutral manner, but then they’d have to deal with their other initiatives like the “right to be forgotten” and blocking pirate or offensive content. If the EU wants to construct a thicket of mutually conflicting laws, it can, but that will only serve to make the internet completely unusable there.

Bergman (profile) says:

Re: Re: Google would rather lose-lose if not TOTAL control.

Actually, given the way the EU parliament has greater power than the US Congress, and the US was able to enact the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, the EU might actually be able to force Google to buy licenses.

Of course, even a huge multi-national corporation like Google will quickly go broke in a country that requires them to buy every single copyright license in the world, so that would likely be an excellent way to cause <i>all</i> search engines to pull out of the EU.

No doubt the EU government will then complain about EU citizens not being able to use any search engines.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Google would rather lose-lose if not TOTAL control.

News sites make Google’s product for it, and are asking only some TINY actual return for it.

Google’s product is Google News. (Among other products. But this is the one currently under discussion.) News sites make Google’s content for it, and what they’re getting is the massive actual return of Google driving traffic to their sites, which they are then able to monetize.

Google will not pay even a pittance, as its prior deliberate harm to Spain shows.

That’s not what it shows at all. What it shows is that without the traffic which Google sends to their sites, harm does indeed come to them. Which proves that the traffic itself is valuable, so why should Google be paying them for it?

If anything, the news sites should be grateful that Google is not charging them for the valuable traffic they deliver. If we were setting up a system in which you turned over valuable gold jewelry to me, which would make more sense? Me paying you for the jewelry, or me demanding that you also pay me money in addition to giving me the jewelry?

Obviously the latter scenario would be totally insane. So how can any sane person support the principle behind Article 11?

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: Google would rather lose-lose if not TOTAL control.

You forgot to mention also that Google doesn’t even want control. They currently give the control to the sites so anyone who thinks Google shouldn’t be allowed to freely link to them can easily prevent them from doing so.

Got nothing to do with control, they just don’t benefit enough from this activity to pay the tax.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Google would rather lose-lose if not TOTAL control.

News snippets are not “google’s product”. The snippets are included with each link to help users choose which links to click to go read the full article. Google can still include the links without the snippets but how useful is that for users? Not at all, imo. May as well not include the links at all.

On the other hand, the news providers gain all that traffic to their sites thanks to Google. For free. If Google decided to start charging news sites to be included in their search engine they would all scream bloody murder.

Your world view is pretty messed up, man. It’s probably too late for you to develop critical thinking skills but if you have young kids (grandkids more likely, if at all) do them a favor and stay out of their lives. They need a better example and role model.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Google would rather lose-lose if not TOTAL control.

"Your world view is pretty messed up, man. It’s probably too late for you to develop critical thinking skills but if you have young kids (grandkids more likely, if at all) do them a favor and stay out of their lives. They need a better example and role model."

The problem with the people insisting that Google are to pay for Google building the map which shows people where to find news sites is that those people aren’t interested in facts. They’re interested in google providing linking and indexing while paying the agency getting the favor for the "privilege" of being allowed to serve.

No wonder google would choose to walk. News agencies have had the option of not letting google index their pages since the invention of html. In fact every news agency specifically needs to include the index marker to have their web page show up and be indexed in search.

Article 11 is nothing other than an utterly shameless attempt made by unscrupulous marketers to make the seller pay the buyer for the privilege of providing services and goods.

I actually hope article 11 passes. It will utterly kill every organization who lobbied for it without harming Google.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Google would rather lose-lose if not TOTAL control.

I actually hope article 11 passes. It will utterly kill every organization who lobbied for it without harming Google.

I was with you right up until this point. While bills like this stand to help Google, contrary to those that think that it’ll ‘show them’, the massive harm it will inflict on others is not even close to a worthwhile cost, and in fact as TD has pointed out before the larger publishers pushing for crap like this also stand to benefit from it as it stands to kill off large numbers of smaller competitors.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Google would rather lose-lose if not TOTAL contr

"and in fact as TD has pointed out before the larger publishers pushing for crap like this also stand to benefit from it as it stands to kill off large numbers of smaller competitors."

Certainly, a great number of minor actors will vanish.
However, I very much doubt the big ones will have much to laugh about either. When Google news was dismantled in Spain the big actors were hurt less than the small ones – but I very much doubt those news agencies left appreciate being the sole actors left when the net effect is still a loss.

A pan-european google news block will leave all of Europe a vast fiscal sinkhole where any news agency becomes a red spot in the international ledger for the owning conglomerate.

Article 11 is a shit law but let’s face it, the lobby behind it will keep pushing for this legislation until they actually get to feel why everyone advises against shooting yourself in the foot.

I for one, am beginning to get tired of continually manning the barricades in the name of common sense against people who keep trying to lobby themselves a darwin award. Maybe it’d be better to just let them have that rope and noose they want to play with.

GedenkenConfused says:

Re: Google would rather lose-lose if not TOTAL control.

Uh.. Google news doesn’t have any product.

Google news shows people headlines of News sites product.
The headline does not include the entire story.

If a user wants to see the entire story, they have to click the “link”, which takes them to the news site – not a google site.

I understand that you’re confused and scared by technology outside the grasp of your apparently limited mental faculties, but that does not excuse your commentary that is blatantly, factually, irresponsibly false.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: 'I love the smell of blatant hypocrisy in the morning...'

Funny how that works, no? When it comes to potential infringement the cry is ‘If you don’t like the terms, do without!’, yet when it comes to Google ‘doing without’ after having been presented with terms they don’t like it’s framed as some nefarious scheme by the company to ‘harm’ the ones who presented the terms, as though they owe people not only free traffic but to pay the ones getting said traffic too.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: 'I love the smell of blatant hypocrisy in the morning...'

"Funny how that works, no? When it comes to potential infringement the cry is ‘If you don’t like the terms, do without!’, yet when it comes to Google ‘doing without’ after having been presented with terms they don’t like it’s framed as some nefarious scheme by the company…"

You’re seriously surprised about the copyright cult doing a 180 in their narrative as soon as what they claimed they wanted turned out not to be so good for them?

I actually hope article 11 passes. It will kill every corporation which lobbied for it which will go a very long way towards teaching a certain subset of the market about the concept of consequences.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 'I love the smell of blatant hypocrisy in the morning...

You’re seriously surprised about the copyright cult doing a 180 in their narrative as soon as what they claimed they wanted turned out not to be so good for them?

Oh not in the slightest, I just enjoyed pointing out the glaring hypocrisy once again.

I actually hope article 11 passes. It will kill every corporation which lobbied for it which will go a very long way towards teaching a certain subset of the market about the concept of consequences.

It won’t though. Cause them to suffer a significant drop in traffic, resulting in whining like the spoiled brats that they are, yes. Kill them off, no. As Spain showed laws like this hurt the larger publishers, but they absolutely decimate the smaller sites/platforms that compete with them, such that much like Google it actually helps them.

If you want to see them suffer for their greed(which I can certainly understand), this law passing is not what you should be supporting.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 'I love the smell of blatant hypocrisy in the mornin

"It won’t though. Cause them to suffer a significant drop in traffic, resulting in whining like the spoiled brats that they are, yes. Kill them off, no. As Spain showed laws like this hurt the larger publishers, but they absolutely decimate the smaller sites/platforms that compete with them…"

Almost every major national publication is internationally owned, meaning that the big ones keep living because the loss can be absorbed by the parent corporation.

Article 11 will be pan-european rather than just shutting the door on a market venue in a single country. I have high hopes that the market losses will be beyond merely painful.

"If you want to see them suffer for their greed(which I can certainly understand), this law passing is not what you should be supporting."

True from every standpoint of principle.
However, I’ve come to the conclusion, after having seen consistent and resounding failure every time the copyright cult was appealed to with rationality, that it’s time to let darwinism weed out the actors too stupid to operate on the market rather than leaving the idiots with the soft exit option after society as a whole has had to mitigate the collateral damage.

Maybe, just maybe, if every news provider in europe needs to learn that factual reality isn’t subject to a skewed narrative at least their successors will be smarter.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 'I love the smell of blatant hypocrisy in the mo

Article 11 will be pan-european rather than just shutting the door on a market venue in a single country. I have high hopes that the market losses will be beyond merely painful.

Oh I’m not saying it won’t be painful, my point is that much like Google the large publishers can take the hit, whereas the smaller competition won’t be able to, such that those large publishers will find themselves being the only ones around for the foreseeable future, and in their shoes? Yeah, I think I’d be willing to take that hit.

A large hit to profitability in the short term in exchange for a near total elimination of competition, and rules in place to ensure that none can crop up? Seems like a deal to me.

True from every standpoint of principle. However, I’ve come to the conclusion, after having seen consistent and resounding failure every time the copyright cult was appealed to with rationality, that it’s time to let darwinism weed out the actors too stupid to operate on the market rather than leaving the idiots with the soft exit option after society as a whole has had to mitigate the collateral damage.

The problem is that the collateral damage stands to be massive, and will impact large numbers of innocent bystanders.

It’s one thing to watch as someone gets a darwin award driving a car off a bridge, despite being told multiple times that it will kill them, quite another when you’re in the car with them when they do it.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 'I love the smell of blatant hypocrisy in th

"A large hit to profitability in the short term in exchange for a near total elimination of competition, and rules in place to ensure that none can crop up? Seems like a deal to me."

That may be how these big media companies think, but I doubt it’ll be that easy.

To begin with just about every nation in the EU has some form of national news agency paid for in the form of public service.
Secondly there are multiple online news sources not linked to the main brands of EU news.

Both of the above will rapidly become the first search result shown on Google search once every competitor no longer provides snippets and/or linkage.

So the end result is one where these major incumbents de facto hand all the market visibility over to the non-profit sources. At that point they’ll find the ones they’ve legislated into obscurity are themselves.

I doubt the future is as rosy as they imagine, in case they want this to be a competitor shutout. I’d go as far as saying that I think what they truly want is far simpler – they want money, and are simply grasping that age-old tool of con men everywhere. Getting someone else to give you money for doing you what is, essentially, a favor.

Toom1275 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 'I love the smell of blatant hypocrisy i

In the absense of a snippet “taste test” to see what kind of quality might be behind a link, the alternative is to stick with the names you know and avoid anything unfamiliar.

So the bigger, more established names have the advantage of recognition under article 11 that newcomers will have difficulty scratching.

Ben S (profile) says:

Re: Google would rather lose-lose if not TOTAL control.

I have a question for you. If Google not linking to the news sites is harmful to them, how can anyone argue that the news sites are not getting a significant and worthwhile return from Google? This seems a pretty obvious case of these news sites wanting to double dip. Get paid because Google sends them free traffic which is then monetized with advertising, then get paid again by Alphabet Inc. because it sent them this revenue source.

Personally, I would love to see Alphabet Inc just charge for the service of being on Google News. Charge enough to cover the cost of the new licensing fee, plus a bit more. It’s only fair, isn’t it? If some one offers you a service to help you make more money, shouldn’t the person or group providing the service be compensated for it?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Google would rather lose-lose if not TOTAL control.

"My bet is that Google won’t follow through with it, but FINE if does! — Not least because shows its true nature: wants TOTAL control and NEVER to pay for the values it rakes off."

Heving google index your link and show visitors to your door is a service provided by Google. You want to ask the provider of a service to pay for the "privilege" of providing said service the joke will be on you.

I honestly hope you’re being paid for shilling. It would be a tragedy to see yet another clown do pratfalls without a salary.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Google would rather lose-lose if not TOTAL control.

Not least because shows its true nature: wants TOTAL control and NEVER to pay for the values it rakes off."

Why do you keep claiming that all the value is in the content, and none in making it discoverable. Those search indexes replace a significant amount of advertising costs that would be needed to keep the newspapers in the public eye.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Google would rather lose-lose if not TOTAL control.

“News sites make Google’s product for it, and are asking only some TINY actual return for it.”

They do, as the damage to publishers’ bottom lines when Google stopped their service in certain countries shows. If they provide no return then revenue at these publishers would have remained the same with or without Google’s service. As their revenues dropped when Google backed out, it is proven that they provide a notable return already.

“Google will not pay even a pittance, as its prior deliberate harm to Spain shows.”

Deliberate harm, lol. All Google did was refuse to service Spain with its product.

So, what you’re saying that Google’s product is so vital, it’s required for publishers to make a profit? Interesting.

“Not least because shows its true nature: wants TOTAL control and NEVER to pay for the values it rakes off”

It’s frigging hilarious that you think that this applies to Google, and not the publishers who are trying to demand that Google is both obligated to provide its service in places where it’s not profitable for them to do so AND force Google to pay them for the service it’s already providing them for free.

The amount of mental gymnastics involved in believing this could probably win you Olympic medals.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes. All these EU laws and regulations, in fact, lock Google and other BIG American company’s into place because no started or even small companies can’t afford the millions it cost to be compliant.

The Big companies can afford it up to a point. But if they keep getting fined for dumb things, there comes a point where even they will pull out of the market and there will be no one to replace them. If they can’t afford it, how is any small startup wanting to move in and fill the hole going to be able to afford it? They can’t!!!

Anonymous Coward says:

What the fuck do these companies want ?
Like holy shit imagine if every tv station demanded you use only their tv to watch a program .Yea right .
what ?? now I need to find , wait how will I find it if I can’t google it ? use bing or yahoo or what ever the fuck ?
I’m not going to a waste my time going directly to a news site for just their news I want a listing of all the news and I will choose where I want to go

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Snippets barely tell you anything. It’s a hint about a story. When you click on it, it takes you right to the web site it came front where you can read it. Google is not showing anyone the story. In fact, good is driving a lot of traffic right to those sites for FREE.

If anyone should get paid it’s Google!!! The fact that Google stop posting these news snips from these other countries that have tried to make Google paid and it didn’t work,… How dumb are these company’s It’s like they are completely blind to the past results and think somehow this time it’s going to work. What has given them this idea?

In this case, I could care less. Go ahead and pass it. I’m all for it. Their traffic will tank and they’ll go out of business, and still blame Google for that. No matter what Google does, these news company’s will think it’s Google’s fault. They just see a pile of Google money and like the rest of the EU, think they should get some of it. So either a LAW or a FINE.

The simple fact is they could have stopped Google from even Indexing their site. From having a single thing to do with their site with a simple robot.txt file. Google search would IGNORE them. They want it both ways. I find that quite funny. Like the other countries, it’s just not going to work. But I’m all for them killing their own business. So go ahead and pass it.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"Snippets barely tell you anything. It’s a hint about a story. When you click on it, it takes you right to the web site it came front where you can read it. Google is not showing anyone the story. In fact, good is driving a lot of traffic right to those sites for FREE."

Ah, but in copyright land, seller pays YOU. To paraphrase the old "In soviet Russia…" joke.

Let article 11 pass. It will kill any and all exposure the public gets to the news sites which means hopefully all the companies lobbying for this insanity in the first place end up with their well-deserved Darwin award.

That One Guy (profile) says:

'A pin-prick for me, a lost head for thee'

It truly is bizarre that the publishers keep pushing this same bad solution and somehow magically expecting better results.

Not quite as bizarre as you might think actually. After all, as was shown when Google pulled out of spain while all publishers got hit, the smaller ones got hit hardest.

A more detailed analysis, breaking down traffic depending on the newspaper size, also confirms that the effect has been uneven. Thus, for the sample of online newspapers in Spain, it appears that smaller newspapers have been the worst affected ones.

From the larger publishers’ point of view it’s a win-win really. Either Google pays up, in which case they get a steady stream of (unearned) income for the traffic Google sends them, or Google pulls the service from the EU, all but eliminating the vast majority of the smaller competition they currently face, which they likely expect to result in increased traffic back to them and thereby more money.

This is not to say that said publishers won’t almost certainly be crying like the spoiled brats they are(again) if Google follows through, braying about how Google’s being ‘vindictive’ and ‘unfair’ or whatever other whiny language they want to use to describe Google choosing not to pay them, merely that their actions here aren’t quite as ‘bizarre’ as might originally appear. Mix short-term greed with the chance to eliminate vast swaths of competition and while the motives are stupid and twisted, they do make a warped sort of sense.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: 'A pin-prick for me, a lost head for thee'

"rom the larger publishers’ point of view it’s a win-win really. Either Google pays up, in which case they get a steady stream of (unearned) income for the traffic Google sends them, or Google pulls the service from the EU, all but eliminating the vast majority of the smaller competition they currently face, which they likely expect to result in increased traffic back to them and thereby more money."

Not so sure that’s what’ll happen. The major news corporations in the EU all rely on the local brand names to do their marketing. It won’t be a win any which way for them if they have to close shop on 70% of their outlets because the main news names in Germany, Spain, France, Italy and Austria suddenly lost all visibility.

Anonymous Coward says:

Extortion scheme from morons

So the newspapers benefitting from the exposure of Google News would rather cut their own throats than see another company name splash on the top of the screen that has snippets from their paper along with dozens of others? Sour grape mindset seems to be a more damaging thing than I ever suspected. My brother is the same way and it made defeating him in every game growing up, too easy to be fun.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Definitely a publicity stunt

What would Google put there? Anything from one of these news sites, they would expect Google to pay. You can’t grab a picture from them, FEE. Can’t have a snippet, FEE. What is left? Well, what Google is going to show you. A whole lot of nothing. Everything else would cost them money. I guess they could throw up something NOT news related. But then, that would be silly in a news area.

Anonymous Coward says:

tit for tat

Google could turn news into a paid service. Paid for by the publishers. In order to be displayed, publishers must agree to submit their headlines to Google and pay for each impression. Thus if the law says google must pay the publisher a penny per link displayed (impression), google should charge the publisher a penny per impression to display the link. All monitored by some counters that sum to near zero.

Anonymous Coward says:

>Google could turn news into a paid service.

Google, unlike most large companies, tries to hire bright people. I remember, last millenium, when Google was still a private startup and Microsoft was the Apatosaurus of tech companies, Google was hiring as many math PhDs in three weeks–EVERY three weeks–as Microsoft had ever hired.

I’m sure they could come up with something much more … lethally focused and still eminently defensible in a court of law. For instance, charging 4 or 5 times the license fee to make News a profit center, but giving a discount to small newspapers (thus making a wash, or even paying them.). That would hurt the big pigopolists who wanted this abomination of a process twice–it would hit them in their vital organ (the pocketbook), and it would promote the small businesses that compete with them. They could even mark the big companies “paid content”, thus making their reputation more visible (which would count as harm.)

This is a stupid, stupid law. It’s congenital idiots starting a battle of wits. It’s betting on dead horses because they’re heavily-flogged. It’s biting off the hand that feeds you just in case it was feeding someone else you disliked. It’s starting seventeen land wars in Asia just in order to get involved in them all.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Actually, if it works the same way as it does currently in Spain you don’t even have to do that. For example, if I just go to news.google.com, it automatically redirects to google.es and thus displays a message telling me that Google News is not available in Spain. However, if I go to news.google.co.uk, it just goes to the UK version and I can view it normally.

What’s missing is not the service, just the localisation pulling from news sources relating to Spain. So, a loss for Spanish news publishers, not necessarily a loss for Google users.

Nathan F (profile) says:

I would prefer the nuclear option of Google turning it all off, but realistically I don’t see that happening. What I do see happening is Google paying the stupid license fees, but also charging the news companies to display their articles with a fee based on how much traffic they send to said news sites. Google will come out ahead on that simply based on the number of clicks they get.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I would prefer the nuclear option of Google turning it all off, but realistically I don’t see that happening.

They’ve done that very thing at least once before in Spain, and lesser version of it elsewhere(Germany and Belgium), I see no reason they wouldn’t do it here as well.

Why jump through hoops that cost them and maybe be able to recoup by charging publishers(good luck prying the money from that group of parasites) when they can just shut down the service entirely?

As has been pointed out before Google doesn’t run ads on Google News, so it’s not like they’re going to take a noticeable hit in profits from shutting it down, and much, much better to make it clear that they’re willing to do so rather than pay a ridiculous fee, as you can be damn sure that if they pay up now countless others will come crawling out, demanding to be paid as well.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

So I could create a “Euro News Portal” site which has permission from the participating news organizations, or I could just pay the link tax. People who want to find news would then go to the portal rather than Google, who would lose relevance and audience.

Google is actually helping this process by doing this. Google is NOT a vital part of the internet, but more like a tolltaker who sets up a booth on a previously open road.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, what past history makes you think that’s true? Once their hand is in the cookie jar, it doesn’t end. Why even start?

Why should Google pay anything when they are sending traffic directly to these sites who can then profit from that? If anything, these company’s should be paying Google as it’s them driving customers to their news site.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

So I could create a "Euro News Portal" site which has permission from the participating news organizations

Yes, just as you could have for the past several decades.

or I could just pay the link tax.

Assuming that you are quite rich, and can afford to pay the link tax. I don’t know your financial situation, but the number of people who have that kind of disposable income is rather small.

People who want to find news would then go to the portal rather than Google, who would lose relevance and audience.

Yes, just as has been the case for several decades. Many, many other people have attempted to create a better, more relevant search "portal." Nobody can really have been said to have succeeded. Baidu dominates China, though only after Google was driven out of the country. Yandex is about equal in Russia, though it may be noted that Russia is also quite unfriendly to Google. Either way, I wish you the best of luck in creating a better product.

Though if you were actually capable of making a better product, then this law would be unnecessary. You would have simply created it, negotiated permission from all the news organizations, offered to pay them for allowing you to link their content, and they would have added robots.txt to prevent Google from linking their stuff, knowing that your product would provide so much more value than Google’s.

Instead, of course, the news organizations worked hard to get this law passed, because they already know that your product is a terrible value proposition for them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The portal would pay the link tax. Apple could run one and use it to market its wares, much like the networks take a loss on the NFL to use it to bolster their primetime lineups.

Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, or other companies where their audience could be monetized. That wouldn’t work unless other companies like Google could not offer the same thing without paying the tax.

Google News must have SOME value to Google or they wouldn’t be offering it, and Google doesn’t offer products the way Amazon and Apple do.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"So I could create a "Euro News Portal" site which has permission from the participating news organizations, or I could just pay the link tax. People who want to find news would then go to the portal rather than Google, who would lose relevance and audience."

And if this was a viable business model, Google – who are past masters in making money from stuff like this – would already have done so.

The factual truth is this "Euro News Portal" you envision would run at a consistent loss from day one sine you’d be left paying a "link tax" on an option which brings you no revenue. Which means the people setting up this "news portal" could only make it work if they were prepared for it to be a perpetual money sink.

"Google is NOT a vital part of the internet, but more like a tolltaker who sets up a booth on a previously open road."

Except there’s no toll booth and no toll taker which makes your analogy rather less poignant and more of an exercise in "How dumb can an argument get?" than a demonstration as to why Goole are somehow "missing out" here.

Anonymous Coward says:

CBS dropped the NFL in 1993 a while back due to having to pay what it thought was an exorbitant licensing fee, for what they said was something not worth it. Fox wound up with the NFC games and its network thrived. CBS realized that the NFL gave it legitimacy as a network and drove viewers to their primetime shows. In 1998, they took the AFC from NBC, who tried to replace it with the XFL. After that didn’t work out, NBC wound up with the Sunday Night Game to fill the gap.

Another search engine could easily step in to pay this license, and wind up with Google News’s fan base, which will enhance its search engine and make it more profitable while making Google’s less relevant. People assert that Google drives traffic to news sites but many times the snippets have enough of the story for that not to be the case. Again, we have people telling rightsholders what they should do with their own intellectual property, without even considering that whatever replaces Google News might actually benefit everyone, including the replacement search engine.

I say good riddance if Google wants to destroy its own relevance.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The scenario would have to play out over the long term, since Google News has been entrenched. Their method of protest is very odd, since they’re doing the EU’s work for it.

Microsoft could make huge gains by paying the link tax and using it as a loss-leader, as could Apple. The NFL analogy applies here: the games themselves were not the profit engine, but sent traffic to the primetime shows from the network. Another time, a state balked at building a stadium for a team until they realized that losing the team meant losing ten times more money in payroll taxes.

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The situation with the NFL and CBS requires no ridiculous laws because the NFL wasn’t willing to have CBS show all their games for free due to all the benefits they were getting from having CBS show their games.

If the “right to link to my website” were valuable enough that anyone was actually willing to pay for it, they could have stopped giving it out for free at any time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The problem is the other laws like the GDPR. Which costs millions and is an ongoing cost to be in compliance. While BIG American corporations can pay for this garbage up to a point. Some new startup rolling in to take Google’s place? Not likely!!!

No company is dumb enough to pay these fees. Trying to compare NFL and TV to this is beyond laughable.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

My point was that the value to CBS was much grater than the direct revenue from airing the games. The value to Google is much greater than the direct benefit of each snippet.

This could be a bigger problem of there being too many creators on the internet, and there are. They blame copyright law for what is caused by simple supply and demand. To that extent, I agree that this is scapegoating.

I also believe, though, that the snippets cross the line because they create value for the search engines.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

This could be a bigger problem of there being too many creators on the internet, and there are.

So two points: First, like hell there are ‘too many creators’, and second, who are you to make that claim, and on what grounds?

I also believe, though, that the snippets cross the line because they create value for the search engines.

The snippets add value to the news aggregation platform they’re on, but as history makes clear they provide more value to the site they are linking to. One needs look no farther than previous examples where truly epic tantrums were thrown when snippets were removed, and the publishers that were complaining about how Google was ‘taking advantage of their valuable content’ found out just how ‘valuable’ it is when no-one knows it exists.

It was a symbiotic relationship, where both sides benefited, but the publishers got greedy, saw all the money that Google has, and decided to demand to be paid for all the free traffic Google was sending them.

Again.
And Again.
And Again.

And now they’re trying a fourth time, because short-sighted, stupidity-driven greed apparently knows no bounds.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

John Smith has, on several occasions, included “there’s too many creators trying to get a share of my creator money” as part of his rants. Too many chiefs, not enough Indians. His problem is that there’s no moral or legal reason to limit amateurs, which he’s hoping curation via rich and powerful corporations will fix – by shutting down and limiting any attempts that don’t pass his opinion test.

Of course, John’s problem is also that he’s trying to compete with pop music by means of a self-help book scam.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

again, we have people telling rightsholders what they should do with their own intellectual property.

What we have is Google telling the rights holders how much they are willing to pay to use snippets. Also note that if they wanted, the newpapers can stay out of Google news by putting the relevant line in robots.txt. If they thought those snippets were that valuable to Google, they would have done that, and if they were right Google would have negotiated.

Rocky says:

Re: Re:

“Another search engine” – which one? What search engine has the financial muscles to step in?

Bing for example, MS plowed many billions of dollars into it (5.5 billion dollars the first 2 years) and it took them almost 10 years to become profitable. And if they are going to “easily step in to pay this license” – will Bing still be profitable?

Also, if a short snippet (like the first sentence) of a news article tells the whole story the news can’t really be that interesting in the first place. A major part of published news stories that show up on multiple sites are usually just a regurgitation of stories from wire services like AP, Reuters and others.

Finally, only fools and politicians have simple solutions for complex problems.

rk57957 says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Except Apple, Amazon, and NETFLIX aren’t search engines and there is no reason for them to actually engage in a financially risky endeavor that is outside their core business practices that is not profitable.

Microsoft could do it, but why would they? Why would they throw money at someone for a service that they are paid to do?

rk57957 says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Ahh Bing so forgettable, they do have a search engine and news filter but why would they throw money at publishers? It is pretty early in the morning and my brain hasn’t quite engaged but why would Microsoft say hey news publishers here let me give you a bunch of money to drive content to your site? AC’s argument makes 0 sense to me.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“Ahh Bing so forgettable, they do have a search engine and news filter but why would they throw money at publishers?”

On top of that, MSN is still around and when I just double checked my facts – yes, they do have a part of their home page (fully monetised with ads, unlike Google News) that’s happily serving links to news stories in Spain.

I’m not sure if that’s because they paid the ransom that Google refused to pay or just that it hasn’t occurred to anybody here that they still exist in order to request it.

“AC’s argument makes 0 sense to me.”

I don’t think he really has one.

Narcissus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Another search engine”

The fun thing is that if the traditional EU publishers actually wanted to innovate and somehow got together a consortium to make their own Google News, article 11 makes that business case a non-starter. Even if Google News would quit Europe.

If they have to pay snippet tax, the loss leading cost of that project would be prohibitive.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

That’s exactly right! They want their Cake and the ice cream on top. Somehow they think it’s going to work this time even though it’s already proven it’s a dumb idea and will fail. Google would rather cut out that news than pay them. I don’t even use Google’s news. So it doesn’t affect me.

In fact, I’m all for passing this law so they these news company’s will die off faster. Know what the Definition of Insanity is? Repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Another search engine could easily step in to pay this license, and wind up with Google News’s fan base, which will enhance its search engine and make it more profitable while making Google’s less relevant."

Sounds like a brilliant plan. Surely no one has EVER tried to do that to Google.

Oh, wait. They have.

You let me know when the absence of Google news – that optional extra Google included just because they could – ends up jettisoning their business model in a way similar to how the lack of fuzzy dice hanging off the rear mirror of a car will magically make the wheels fall off.

After all, When google already did exactly this in spain and Germany, Google was rapidly replaced as the primary search engine in both nations, right? /s

You copyright cultists never fail to crack me right up.

ECA (profile) says:

Aggregators?

How many of these companies UNDERSTAND…that 90% or more of their news is Aggregated from other sources.. unless they ONLY post local news, or news that THEY can post first.. They are not the REPORTER for those articles.
So, if Google has to give a snippet tax tot he Original Company that reported the article…WHO GETS THE MONEY??
Not the little guy..

If the car makers Stated.” removing breaks makes your car faster”…WHAT government would DEMAND everyone remove their breaks??

So, who is going to make the money?
Reuters, Agence, Deutche welle, Asian international, Antara, Panapress, BBC, CNN,
https://www.ohio.edu/global/news-events/international.cfm

NOT the local news paper. NOt the local news TV stations.

AND how easy is it to Cut the EU off?? CL”ICK..
And they will STILL gather the news from those Major news sites, and disburse then OUTSIDE of the EU.. Just so the others outside of the EU can see all the local and international news….

Really…is Google making any money beside Their OWN adverts on the search engine? Probably, because MANY of those news organizations are using Google to ADVERT…and make other money.
How stupid can stupid be??

Bobvious says:

Quick - sue Melvil Dewey

How dare he provide a centralised system for indexing information in libraries, whose “primary effect”, as we all know, is to promote piracy.

All books should come in a shrink-wrap license stipulating once-only-reading by one purchaser completely alone to prevent sharing, no re-reading of a sentence or page, or part thereof, without purchase of subsequent re-reading licenses. No reading out loud and (insert copyright maximalist drivel here).

Anonymous Coward says:

I have to admit that this is the worst thing that the EU could do. Haven’t they learned anything about the disaster that Spain tried to do? Google up and left Spain. Smaller publishers suffered and the Spain online news media whined, moaned and complained about it but to no avail.

The only online news media that benefited from this were the larger news media, which suffered a decrease from Google’s search engine results but that they were large enough to weather the storm.

However, the damage had already been done, which resulted in many smaller online news media going under. Some countries never seem to learn anything.

Rocky says:

Re: Re:

So, how are people going to find those small, niche search engines?

Google doesn’t siphon money from creators, it’s more of a win-win situation. If content from a creator is never seen, that creator will not see a penny for his efforts either. If a creator isn’t happy with Google linking to the content, that creator has the option of using robots.txt to stop Google indexing the content.

And the ads, it’s not all about clicking them – it’s about exposure which drives traffic. Compare it to ads in a commercial break on your favorite cable channel – can you click those? See https://www.themarketingtechnologist.co/whats-the-value-of-an-ad-impression-when-theres-no-click/ for a good article on the subject.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"There’s literally no pleasing you copyright-types."

Of course not. Copyright is all about inventing value where none exists. No surprise, then, that copyright fanatics keep harping on about how their personal opinion on how a market works should magically have invented much money which they haven’t been allowed to partake of.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see some copyright enforcer trying to serve a subpoena to a leprechaun over the existence of the pot of gold presumably at the end of the rainbow.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: 'You're victimizing us!' 'Okay, we'll stop.' 'Blackmail!'

If Google’s really such a problem, those ‘creators’ can block them with a simple change that would take a few minutes.

Strangely enough however most of them don’t, and in fact they flip out when Google removes them according to their stated wishes of ‘pay us or stop using our stuff’.

Why, it’s almost as though they know something you don’t about what Google gives to them for free by including them in their search/news results.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Google definitely siphons money from creators. the money they make is not for anything they create, and comes out of the pie that would otherwise go to the creators."

The same way that a road manufacturer "siphons" money from MacDonalds because people use the road to get there, you mean?

Just because you insist a sum total of ZERO taken from a revenue of ZERO is somehow "money siphoned from creators" that won’t alter the universe to accommodate your opinion.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Where was it established that I make ZERO from my work? Must be nice to just invent your own facts out of thin air. Of course, when I ask people how many profitable copyrights they own on another thread, I’m told it’s not relevant. Very nice double bind.

For what it’s worth, my content has made somewhere in the upper five figures, pushing six figures. Not a fortune like the big “legacy copyright” industry makes, but definitely enough to be welcome as a boost to my income. Some of that revenue comes from big internet companies, and other revenue comes from direct publicity or marketing.

That number might go up considerably, however, since I have three TV pilots and a film that could easily be optioned by major networks or producers. Due to piracy and siphoning (which kept my revenue from being six or seven figures), it made sense to begin looking at licensing my work to those “big evil corporations.” Ican assure you that if my work does make it to the big or small screen, I will be more than well compensated for it. Some of my work was even stolen and made into TV shows but that’s part of the problem of putting stuff on the internet for free. Recent work was developed in a way that made this almost impossible.

I understand that many who post here have never created anything or never made any kind of money from their work, and that’s why they are generally dismissive of those who do. The noise they make won’t change a thing. Governments are wising up to who should be paid and that’s why we have the link tax, Article 13, etc.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Where was it established that I make ZERO from my work?

Oh, only the several times when you claimed YouTube videos were undermining the million-dollar making tips from your self-help books.

three TV pilots and a film

Which, of course, you refuse to cite for credentials.

Ican assure you that if my work does make it to the big or small screen, I will be more than well compensated for it

Yeah, giving someone a billion dollars tends to make them a billionaire, who knew?

that’s why we have the link tax, Article 13

Uh, actually you and your rightsholders pulled back your support for Article 13. That’s why we don’t have it right now. You performed the equivalent of kicking the ball towards the enemy goalpost, then picking it up and running across the entire field to toss it into your own goal. Nice job!

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“Which, of course, you refuse to cite for credentials.”

Well, the reason is clear when you read his wording. Read the next few words:

“I have three TV pilots and a film that could easily be optioned”

and then:

“If my work does make it to the big or small screen”

“Optioned” means that the script is picked up for development with the aim of producing a movie or TV show from it. Since he states that they could be optioned, what he means is that he wrote some scripts that he’s sure will be massive hits but nobody’s decided to buy them yet.

In other words, he’s a failed writer, and he wants to blame everybody else for his crappy scripts not having made him a millionaire yet. He thinks he’s entitled to money from his writing, but nobody’s bought it yet.

He won’t cite his work, because all he has are some unproduced scripts, of which there are many better examples. I doubt his will be on the infamous “black list” (scripts that are generally considered to be fantastic but haven’t been produced yet). He’s just another failed hack with zero self awareness.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"A large hit to profitability in the short term in exchange for a near total elimination of competition, and rules in place to ensure that none can crop up? Seems like a deal to me."

It wasn.t It was established that Google siphons ZERO out of ZERO.

In other words, Google isn’t taking anything from the part of "your work" they display, which is ZERO.

Any other straw men you’d like to prop up to buold a wall of text around?

"Governments are wising up to who should be paid and that’s why we have the link tax, Article 13, etc."

Funny enough neither of those laws will ensure you get paid a single cent. Nor, for that matter, will any such legislation impact that much-vaunted "piracy".

What those laws will do is to force currently legitimate actors to use pirate methodology in order to present their legal offers where the online citizenry can partake of them.

As a side effect both laws will also seriously hinder current major copyright holders. Which is why I at least halfway support Article 11. What I find deliciously ironic and hard to understand is why copyright cultists would.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

What you are saying is that Google definitely takes money from content creators. I have to ask, do they steal it from the bank accounts or does Google sneak into their rooms at night and rifle through their wallets?!

I can only come to the conclusion that you have no clue on how things works in the real world and the concept of how value-added services benefits content creators.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

They siphon it through advertising that they sell next to content they do not create. This leaves less money to pay the creators. Why were e-books dismissed as irrelevant until Kindle became a tolltaker? They siphon money from authors.

Some of that revenue would be earned due to the convenience they provide, but not anything so lopsided that allows them to get rich while others don’t profit.

Think of Priceline versus Expedia. Priceline didn’t have to exist for people to find the best fares. They did recover, but once Expedia was created it became clear that Priceline was not necessary.

Before Google there were things like LinkExchange that could have grown had they not had to “compete with free.”

Also as I’ve said, Apple and Amazon could easily absorb the link tax as a cost of promoting their commerce sites, the way the NFL promotes primetime programming that doesn’t show up directly on their bottom line.

Google News is obviously profitable for Google, since they have a duty to investors not to be a charity or waste money. If it were n’t profitable for them, even indirectly, it would not exist.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

They siphon it through advertising that they sell next to content they do not create. This leaves less money to pay the creators.

As I said:

I can only come to the conclusion that you have no clue on how things works in the real world and the concept of how value-added services benefits content creators.

And if you think I’m wrong, please explain the economics how Google makes content creators earn less money while increasing the creators exposure to presumptive customers?

I’ve mentioned this earlier, but I know of authors that have given away electronic copies of their books to increase their readership and because of that they have more sales. There are even publishers that give away free electronic copies too.. It’s almost like if people like what they read, they buy more from the same author… Strange thing that…

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Google News is obviously profitable for Google, since they have a duty to investors not to be a charity or waste money. If it were n’t profitable for them, even indirectly, it would not exist.

Actually, they specifically disavowed that idea in their IPO prospectus, stating that providing societally valuable services was a higher priority to them as a company than Wall Street’s standard profit-chasing.

We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served—as shareholders and in all other ways—by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“he money they make is not for anything they create”

Well, apart from the search engine….

“Google is so entrenched that people just accept their existence as necessary, when it’s not.”

I remember the state of the internet before they came along. Yes they are.

They need not be the only or even biggest search engine, but you’re lying if you say that such a service is not required.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"The smaller news sites could open up their own search engine for news and pay the tax to themselves."

Says the man who hasn’t a clue as to why that’s not an option. "News sites" do not consist of hundreds of expert programmers hence they can’t build a functional search engine emulating google. If they could, they wouldn’t be "small.

"All that money Google makes is siphoned from those who actually create content."

Except Google makes no money at all from Google news so there’s absolutely no profit for Google in linking to news sources to begin with. Google is, in other words, siphoning ZERO from ZERO.

Which in your personal little world, apparently on the far side of a crack pipe, then turns into gagging bagfuls of money.

Factual reality begs to differ with your assumed facts. And adds that "scaling" is a thing, since you apparently need to be told this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

These sites can hire programmers and don’t need anything fancy, just something to direct traffic to the group. Pooled resources can go a long way and they’d be the one collecting the ad revenue.

Techies should not be wealthier than those they supposedly enable to exist on the internet. Search is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself, but the revenue is making the latter seem the case.

Each of these sites has its own audience that it can feed into the pool of traffic, and that pool can link others via their own communications. Google is not the only way to drive traffic, and the price being paid for Google Ne4ws well exceeds the actual cost of an alternative.

To make this happen, however, we need a link tax or something that actually brings competitiveness to the market, and that’s why governments are doing it. Maybe you can go insult them instead. Looks like they don’t seem to care about the whining.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Techies should not be wealthier than those they supposedly enable to exist on the internet”

If the newspapers are so jealous and don’t need Google, why don’t they use the free tools they already have to block them?

“the price being paid for Google Ne4ws well exceeds the actual cost of an alternative”

Given that Google provides the service for free and it’s sole purpose is to drive traffic to the news sites, citation definitely needed.

cpt kangarooski says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Techies should not be wealthier than those they supposedly enable to exist on the internet.

Why? Before the computer technology industry was crowded into the Bay Area, the area was full of prospectors looking for gold. But the big winners in the gold rush tended to be not prospectors, but the folks who sold them equipment and supplies.

The key is making profits on quantity— only a few people might make a great deal of wealth from creating online content, but everyone, including the ones who don’t strike it rich needs infrastructure like search

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Techies should not be wealthier than those they supposedly enable to exist on the internet. Search is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself, but the revenue is making the latter seem the case.

Hmmm. Do you also believe that recording industry executives should be less wealthy than the average studio musician?

 

Each of these sites has its own audience that it can feed into the pool of traffic, and that pool can link others via their own communications.

Yeah. That was already tried in the 90’s. It was called a "webring" and fell to the wayside because people preferred search engines.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"These sites can hire programmers and don’t need anything fancy, just something to direct traffic to the group. Pooled resources can go a long way and they’d be the one collecting the ad revenue."

That stamement is as delusional as that of a five year old who insists "Birds can fly by flapping their arms, so why can’t I?".

No, indexing and presenting searches is, as Google, Bing, Yahoo, Altavista, Lycos, Baidu and Yandex have demonstrated for a long time, a highly resource-intensive profession. Hence why alternative search databases tend to be severely restricted.

"Techies should not be wealthier than those they supposedly enable to exist on the internet."

Techies will be as wealthy as their products make them. Your problem seems to be that techies provide a better job benefiting more people than you do and are thus paid for the work they do accordingly.

And when the techies enable you a bigger route to market your response, rather than silent gratitude, is to insist that they should pay you for doing you a service.
And then you whine when they state that said service will be withheld.

With the logic of a five year old throwing a tantrum over not being given a pony for free I can only conclude that you’ve somehow managed to tap people even dumber into giving you money. The mind boggles.

Zof (profile) says:

Google News acts more as a bias repeater than a news tool.

For fun: go to google news in an anonymous browsing session. Be amazed as they try to beat you over the head with only one kind of news. Create an account and log in. Try to block those news sources (CNN, WaPo, NYT) and be amazed as they replaced all three of them with automated news repeating sites that carry the same exact storys. Block those. Be slightly less surprised those repeaters will be immediately replased with new ones. Be amazed that they call “think progress” a news site when it’s a paid propaganda firm. My favorite thing they did though is somehow get my feedly feed without me giving them permission, and have somehow managed to give me all of the non-controversial stories from there. Like 5 percent of my feedly feed. I guess most of the stories there are too honest or researched for Google….. I mean, if you get excited thinking about Google censoring what you can see for their corporate overlords, I guess just go for it. Just remember it’s for entertainment and political purposes only.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“be amazed as they replaced all three of them with automated news repeating sites that carry the same exact storys”

The same stories, as in the same copy? Or, the same stories as in independently written stories on the same subject? This is important. If you provide Google no other information, they will merely return what’s popular. That’s it. If you want Google to customise to your tastes, then allow them to do so. Else, they will obviously be returning the breaking story that’s being reported on hundreds of sites rather than the story that’s barely made it past its primary source, no matter what that story may be.

If every news source in the world is covering one story, but Fox News and a couple of heroic blogs are covering something else instead, it might not be the other sites who have the bias. It’s certainly not Google, who you just deliberately deprived of any contextual information to try and make a point.

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