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Google News Allowing Story Participants To Comment

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the starting-at-web-1.0 dept.

Google 100

Jamie found this analysis of Google News's foray into community commentary. They are starting it off by only allowing people involved with the story to comment — and participants must first be authenticated by email. The article rounds up other bloggers' views on the game-changing nature, and the possible dangers to Google, of this new feature. Here is a sample of comments to a Google News story.

cancel ×

100 comments

I choose to participate (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20171407)

in this first post!

Suck it you fucking cocksuckers!

I'd like to comment (5, Funny)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171419)

But I'm not involved in the story. So I won't.

Copying this policy could really work for Slashdot I think.

It's not news. (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171937)

It's Google.com.

Re:I'd like to comment (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#20173453)

hmmm I would personally love to mod Steve Ballmer a flamebait, or perhaps I did already?

Re:I'd like to comment (1)

arkboynko (1140535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20175055)

This doesn't make any sense. What will people who need to comment to get their website publicized do?!?!?! reciperate.com [reciperate.com]

Re:I'd like to comment (1)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 6 years ago | (#20180565)

Copying this policy could really work for Slashdot I think.
That would not be Slashdot, if the editors did that. On slashdot,
  1. Somebody posts a story,
  2. We (the community) read (theoretically)it,
  3. We discuss.
That last bit is what makes slashdot Slashdot. We talk. We have discussions, we learn from each other, or we just have fun. The discussions are great. They go off on all kinds of tangents, people bring in information that couches the story in different perspectives, and, for the stories that are actually about science and technology, they are pretty educational. It has nothing to do with news, really.

Google news is about news. So, they only allow people who have something to do with the story to comment. That makes sense, too, but not for Slashdot.

Take care
-mat

Atypical (1)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171445)

So you get two comments - a response from the company and a decent response (except for weird ED/abstinence bit) by someone who claims to be a professor of pediatrics. While I think the first may be typical, I think you should look more to slashdot and digg for what the comments will look like. Registering by email in an age of free and plentiful anonymous email addresses is hardly a filter.

Re:Atypical (2, Insightful)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171513)

Oh, and just to head off a couple of the replies saying things like "well, they also filter based on who you are and if you're involved." What's keeping anyone from saying they are "Professor of X", where X is whatever they claim. Unless they are sending in more credentials than their email address, it's rife for abuse. And as you see from this page, both responses are opinion. I'd say a good portion of stories on Google News "involve" just about everyone (otherwise, they wouldn't be on there) in some way. So everyone will have an opinion.

Re:Atypical (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#20172129)

Oh, and just to head off a couple of the replies saying things like "well, they also filter based on who you are and if you're involved." What's keeping anyone from saying they are "Professor of X", where X is whatever they claim. Unless they are sending in more credentials than their email address, it's rife for abuse.
Next time, RTFA.
Not only does it specifically state that an e-mail address needs to be verified, TFA links to the Google Help page which states their policy.

http://www.google.com/support/news/bin/answer.py?a nswer=74123&topic=12285 [google.com]

The email should contain:

Your comment
A link to the story you are commenting on
Your contact details: your name, title, and organization
How we can verify your email address.
For example, if the Tooth Fairy wanted to comment on a recent story about dental hygiene, she might sign her comment:

"Sincerely, Tooth Fairy.
Verify my identity by losing a tooth and placing it under your pillow. I will leave you a business card along with a small payment for your tooth. Alternately you can call 1-800-TEETH-4-ME and speak to my assistant, The Tooth Mouse, who can confirm my email address and comment."
Yes, that really is the example Google uses.

Re:Atypical (0, Troll)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 6 years ago | (#20172193)

I did RTFA. You might also consider DBAFA (FYI, that's Don't Be a Fucking Asshole).

Google says that you must provide a way to authenticate who you are. But that's not the same as authenticating who you are. Do you really believe Google will authenticate all users who try to comment? That seems a bit much. I would think it much more likely that they only do it if there's a complaint about the comment. Or maybe they won't do it at all but just have there as a CYA measure.

Re:Atypical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20177807)

hey nigger,

why do you use an acronym if you're just going to spell out what it stands for anyway?

Re:Atypical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20180667)

So I spoof an email from georgebush@whitehouse.gov and tell Google that they can call Dick Cheney to verify that this is my email address. If I understand the policy right, this should work.

Re:Atypical (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 6 years ago | (#20172199)

So right you are. In the case of the example article, I'm involved. I'm a parent who is responsible for teaching my two boys not to be suckers for Madison Avenue*.

*Madison Avenue...a street in New York, renowned for the number of marketing firms located there.

Re:Atypical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20172527)

Did anyone notice, in the example article, that one of the replies is from some guy at UNM? Since the study was done at Stanford, how did the UNM guy get in? I though only the people in the story were allowed to post.

Re:Atypical (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 6 years ago | (#20172897)

In the case of professors, at least, their email addresses are usually publicly available on the school's website, so Google could at least check that it's coming from the right account. Of course, most other professionals that might be interviewed in an article, not so much; no clue how they would verify those.

Claim to be Charles Xavier?! (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 6 years ago | (#20175163)

What's keeping anyone from saying they are "Professor of X"
I first read that as "Professor X", and thought to myself, "Only an idiot would claim to be Professor X and risk getting their head exploded for their insolence". Then I realized my mistake, and thought, "You idiot, Arthur! Professor X would never explode someone's head just because they claimed to be him."

Email addresses have domains, too... (1)

Etherwalk (681268) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171555)

It's not exactly high-security, but they might, for example, filter people who say they're a professor at Columbia according to whether they have an @columbia.edu email address. Similarly, a supposedly corporate official from macdonalds.com might have more say than macdonalds_really_important_bloke@hotmail.com

Re:Email addresses have domains, too... (3, Insightful)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171625)

No, it's not high-security. It's just giving you a false sense of confidence. Every Tom, Dick and Harry at Columbia could claim to be a professor there. And for big companies, we already have press releases and responses to the story right there in the article. For smaller or mid-size companies, plenty are using services like hotmail or gmail instead of their own hosted email. On top of all that, you also get people who work at companies who could fake up an "official" company response. Imagine a disgruntled employee from a @macdonalds.com commenting in a hilariously embarrassing way. Or, more likely, just someone at the company responding before it was cleared through their communications department.

Re:Email addresses have domains, too... (4, Insightful)

MorpheousMarty (1094907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20172821)

It is not that hard to get reasonable confirmation of this kind of thing, or quoting people would be nigh impossible. Can anyone who actually works in a news room say how they verify things normally? I'll bet a simple phone call is all most major newspapers require and it won't kill Google to have a dozen people on the phone. Personally I can't wait until someone comments something really dumb, and then claims it wasn't them. Google may become my only source of news at this point.

Re:Email addresses have domains, too... (2)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 6 years ago | (#20173437)

As I've said above, I think it highly unlikely google will do all this confirmation for everyone who applies to comment. We're talking about a worldwide service. They post a lot of articles each and every day. Can you imagine if everyone who signed on to slashdot had to be "verified" in this method? And you might suggest that they'd only try to "verify" someone after they submitted a good comment. Well, then they'd have to read all the comments.

I very much expect the "verification" step will only happen when someone files a dispute with google over the comment (like someone from a university saying there is no such professor, or MacDonald's saying this person is not representing their company).

Re:Email addresses have domains, too... (1)

MorpheousMarty (1094907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177609)

I don't know. As far as being a "world" service, it is English only. Again, anyone actually work at a newspaper? Maybe I should get a news story on Google about it and then Google could comment on their own article, no verification needed.

Re:Email addresses have domains, too... (2, Informative)

Magic5Ball (188725) | more than 6 years ago | (#20177945)

Can anyone who actually works in a news room say how they verify things normally?

In real news, it ideally works like a web of trust:
1) We use more than one source for each story first to get contrasting or concurring opinions on a subject, but also to establish at least the plausability of what each of the other sources has told us. Experts are more than happy to point out and provide evidence that another source is a kook.
2) We find the contact information for interviewees through reliable sources, such as published directories, an organization's switchboard, others whom we trust, or from previous third-party publications or interviews.
3) For submitted items, we still go through 1) and 2) as part of research and to fill in the story. We will also ask the submitting organization or source for the names of some other people from another organization who would be able to verify or comment on the story. The source from the other organization(s) is also vetted via 1) and/or 2).
4) We often also ask others in the same or competing newsroom, the news wire, or search the archives for a previous reference to the source or the story.

If a completely new source or story can't be vetted through any of the above methods, it will likely receive less or no attention on the basis that it's either not important to a significant number of people, that it can't be verified, or that there is more important news deserving coverage.

Mozilla will always respond to Google News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20173137)

Mozilla will always respond to Google News stories withing 10 F'ing days! Guaranteed!

Take that snake mofo!

Re:Atypical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20172155)

Remember that YouTube video of the BBC reporter screaming at his interviewee? Technology is shining a light into a lot of previously dark places. Journalism is a lot like sausage making-people like to consume the end product but the manufacturing process is usually pretty gruesome. I can easily imagine a flood of posts like "The reporter said that we should get our side of the story out. He said he'd try and be sensitive to our side and that he really understood and sympathized with our issues, but then we looked in the paper on Monday and we were horrified at what he wrote."

Re:Atypical (3, Funny)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 6 years ago | (#20173327)

>>> I think you should look more to slashdot and digg for what the comments will look like.

Good call, And I think the webcomic XKCD summed it up with this post [xkcd.com]

My name is Carl Rove (3, Funny)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171469)

Yep, its me alright.. promise. See the email address K4r1@rove.info - how could it not be me. They'd have to employ a large number of, oh, say journalists to verify each and every participant.

Re:My name is Carl Rove (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171631)

I think your inability to spell your own first name correctly might give you away.

Re:My name is Carl Rove (1)

Jeek Elemental (976426) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171845)

OP should have gone for G.W., then it would work for him.

Bushed (1)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 6 years ago | (#20178019)

> I think your inability to spell your own first name correctly might give you away.

Well, they say The President is known for his sense of humor.

Re:My name is Carl Rove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20171851)

And I can be reached at:

Anon.E.Mouse@coward.org

Neat idea (3, Insightful)

Cleon (471197) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171487)

This is kind of a cool idea; it's a way for direct commentary from the people involved without a journalist's filter.

Plus, it'll get really entertaining when they apply it to political campaigns and the press secretaries get into flame wars. :D

Re:Neat idea (3, Insightful)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171591)

Filter=bias here. This is a good thing...it may help show all sides of a story and cover those points which reporters leave out, and hopefully provide context to news stories.

Re:Neat idea (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#20176051)

[nods] It's not like participants in a story will ever have a bias of their very own.

Not quite (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 6 years ago | (#20173223)

"This is kind of a cool idea; it's a way for direct commentary from the people involved without a journalist's filter."

Yes, rather than journalists filtering, it's Google doing the filtering. We only know what they post, not what they don't.

Re:Neat idea (1)

Charlie Kane (1098491) | more than 6 years ago | (#20173691)

I'm sure this will be an unpopular idea, but I like the idea of journalists pre-filtering things for me -- at least when those things are bloated press-release material from corporate PR types. Yes, in the case of an issue that I find extremely interesting, I guess I may want to read as many words as possible on the subject. But in the case of the McDonald's story linked here, I didn't find anything relevant in the corporate response. McDonald's seems to be eager to spout the party line about all the healthy food options they offer (including the "right-sized" 375-calorie Happy Meal), but the story is really about the way corporate brand-awareness campaigns have our kids salivating like Pavlov's dog. Letting McDonald's turn the message into something about how you can get applesauce with your Shrek Happy Meal, or whatever, seems to dilute the original reporting, rather than enhancing it. I'll be interested to see how the Google thing develops, because it is a neat idea. But one of the things journalists do (or at least they're supposed to do it) is give comments from the people they're interviewing the smell test. Does Google have a staff that's equipped to run these comments through the bullshit detector? In other words, even if someone can prove their identity as the subject of a story, it doesn't necessarily mean they'll feel compelled to tell the truth in their comments. I'm not a huge fan of the mainstream media -- CNN and Fox should both fall off the face of the earth, as far as I'm concerned -- but I still think journalism, in general, is an under-appreciated craft.

Re:Neat idea (1)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 6 years ago | (#20173861)

> In other words, even if someone can prove their identity as the subject of a story, it doesn't necessarily mean they'll feel compelled to tell the truth in their comments.

That's what other commenters are for. If someone is bullshitting, somebody else can call them on it and make them look like a fool.

Google News Comments+ (3, Interesting)

eboluuuh (1139173) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171505)

This is a lot better than simply thinking they're silent until they're quoted in a future article.

Good idea (2, Interesting)

bcmm (768152) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171615)

I've been to demonstrations which have been seriously misreported by mainstream media. I'm thinking of this not so much as a way to get extra eyewitness accounts of big events as as a way of correcting media which parrots government and police press releases.

Re:Good idea (3, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171681)

That's a very optimistic view. The people that have the time and the resources to monitor this stuff are the big corporations though, so I think you're most likely to see comments made by a company spokesman trying to spin articles that are unfavorable to that company. The first comment on the sample article seems to be bear that out.

So, instead of the article followed by a separate press release spinning that article, you get the spin on the same page as the article itself. I'm not sure what's really gained in that case.

I don't think so (3, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#20172147)

The people that have the time and the resources to monitor this stuff are the big corporations
Never doubt the spare time available to college students and the unemployed.

The big corporations have to pay big bucks to their PR firms to keep tabs on this sort of stuff. Average technologically-literate people, which is heavy on students, probably make up the bulk of Google News' audience.

Re:Good idea (2, Interesting)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171703)

And exactly how would they verify by email address that you were at the demonstration? Oh yeah, you registered an email address at anarchist.org before you went....

This might be useful for 'human intrest' stories, and company/stock news stories, but I fail to see it being even doable for large scale stories like a demonstration, natural disaster, or etc.

Re:Good idea (1)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | more than 6 years ago | (#20172377)

The address itself might not help but, if they contact you at that address, you could attach a picture to the response showing that you were actually there.

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20172811)

Unless there's an e-mail address in a digitally signed picture (yeah right), I failed to see how having a picture of an event proves an e-mailer was there.

Re:Good idea (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 6 years ago | (#20180117)

And exactly how would they verify by email address that you were at the demonstration? Oh yeah, you registered an email address at anarchist.org before you went....

It would just be like any other event that's covered by the media, you'd just send in your email a week in advance scripting your quotes just like if they were being delivered during the demonstration. If the demonstration really did occur the way you described, Google could safely assume that you kept your word, behaved as you originally choreographed, or at least got close enough in your predictions to sound like a believable participant.

And let's say you procrastinated, and for some weird reason didn't submit your email on time. I'm not saying this would happen, but let's just assume that it does for a moment.

All would not be lost, you could still write your email address on a large card board sign, take off all your clothes, and rush the riot police a la braveheart. This way even if the other participant's cell phone cameras don't get a good shot of you getting a serious beating, your attack would still be entered in the public record, your cardboard sign would be entered as evidence of a deadly weapon, and it wouldn't take the entire CSI of Miami -- nor anything as complicated as a soiled blue dress -- to positively authenticate your participation in that event.

Re:Good idea (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20171831)

I'm with you on the mis-reporting.

I was on a flight that had to return to the airport. The galley had no electricity, and therefore no coffee (early morning - we can't have that!). In the next day's paper, the "cabin was filled with smoke". Yeah, right! I was sitting one row back and opposite the galley, full view of the coffee pot, and I never saw even a frog-fart's worth of smoke.

So much for our free press...free to sensationalize, alright!

Well, they did say it was free, not accurate.

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20171863)

Media has its own agenda. Government can't control it. Media is very Bob Dobbs, that is to say the way that it pits parties against each other to create slack for themselves is very sub-genius.

Re:Good idea (2, Insightful)

Wordsmith (183749) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171875)

And what makes you think sources involved in an incident are any less prone to bias and misreporting than the media? The media gets its accounts from involved sources, and most media really does make the effort to portray those accounts fairly; but when there's room for debate in an issue or even an observation, each side is prone to thinking of the other as slanted, and blames the media for acknowledging that account.

Re:Good idea (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#20176163)

I've been to demonstrations which have been seriously misreported by mainstream media. I'm thinking of this not so much as a way to get extra eyewitness accounts of big events as as a way of correcting media which parrots government and police press releases.

I've been witness to events which were not only misrepresented by the mainstream media - but which were also misrepresented by the participating parties and their after-the-fact supporters. (I was neither.) Not one of the three accounts (media, participant a, participant b) agreed with each other in the important particulars. (In fact, participant b's version, and that of his supporters, not only diverged from what I saw - but the divergence increased with time, and always in the direction of decreasing his responsibility and increasing his victimhood.)
 
It's ridiculous to claim that "not mainstream media" == "not biased".

Targetting Slashdot user base? (2, Interesting)

sufijazz (889247) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171637)

If they allowed every John, Rick and Larry to post comments on links to news stories, would that be like..oh I don't know...Gdot.org?

Gdot.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20177511)

or Gspot.org

Just like... (1)

lonechicken (1046406) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171661)

Felix LaPoubelle: "It is I, Sidney Feldman."

That scene from Grosse Pointe Blank just popped into my head regarding this authentication by email.

More Ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20171669)

It looks like an easy way for corporations to attach a free press release to any news item in which they are mentioned. Google may as well just make them pay to attach their advertisements to articles like they do with adsense.

Presidential Memo To Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20171673)


I, George W. Bush, being of sound mind and body, do hereby invoke executive privilege to remove all stories [google.com] about
my crime family's involvement in the heroin trade in Afghanistan

Talibangelically Yours,
President George W. Bush [whitehouse.org] .

Let's hope that the bottom-feeders... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20171691)

... of past message board/story commentary services a la yahoo boards don't get wind of this.

Re:Let's hope that the bottom-feeders... (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#20172735)

you stole my thunder! that is just about what i was going to say, "i will give it a year and google's news.messages will be just as trashy as yahoo's news.messages" (quoting myself).

lol yup just what i was thinking...

Journalists without Journalism. (1, Interesting)

amper (33785) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171767)

This smacks to me of Google trying to figure out a way to appear journalistic without actually having to engage in journalism.

If they feel it so necessary to invite commentary from those actually involved in a story, then why do they not simply hire journalists to interact with such people? If their goal is simply to invite public commentary on news items, why do they not simply build a Slashcode server, or some other group discussion system that can achieve the same end?

Heck, why not use an NNTP server? NNTP is one of the most underused systems out there, and this sort of application is exactly the purpose for which it was designed. Google already has the Deja archives, so they cannot be unfamiliar with the concept, and if Google were to expose the public more to NNTP with an HTML gateway, it might actually revive interest in not only news servers in general, but in updating the NNTP protocol to incorporate some more modern mechanisms.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that they're starting to look at this idea. It's long overdue for news outlets to invite timely commentary on their articles, especially given the sorry state of journalism these days.

Re:Journalists without Journalism. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20171975)

If they feel it so necessary to invite commentary from those actually involved in a story, then why do they not simply hire journalists to interact with such people?

Because journalists are invariably people who really, really wish they were paid to write fiction. Isn't that obvious to anyone who's ever seen a mainstream news story covering a topic they're personally familiar with?

Disintermediation is a good thing, mmkay? Most of the time, "journalists" are just valueless middlemen who deserve to be cut out of the food chain at every possible opportunity.

Re:Journalists without Journalism. (1)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 6 years ago | (#20174039)

This smacks to me of Google trying to figure out a way to appear journalistic without actually having to engage in journalism.
What are you considering journalism? Google is collecting facts... is that journalism?

If they feel it so necessary to invite commentary from those actually involved in a story, then why do they not simply hire journalists to interact with such people?
Why would they need a journalist, when all they want is volunteered verbatim quotes from the people involved?

If their goal is simply to invite public commentary on news items, why do they not simply build a Slashcode server, or some other group discussion system that can achieve the same end?
Well, because they're not interested in public commentary (at the moment), they're interested in responses from people involved in the news itself.

insightful? (3, Funny)

hey (83763) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171809)

How insightful is this?

Evil Corp: we aren't evil, you are mistaken

Expert: oh yes you are, but i love those fries

Re:insightful? (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171891)

I feel the same way about the entire news story. How it constitutes news that presentation impacts a person's enjoyment of food is beyond me.

I expect Iron Chef Sakai to issue a blanket apology to to the millions he has hoodwinked with his fancy knifework and flower littered platings.

Re:insightful? (1)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 6 years ago | (#20174007)

Except it's not presentation. It's name recognition, driven by ads. It's like if you said "this meal was made by Iron Chef Sakai" to someone, simply to make them think the food tasted (and looked) better.

Re:insightful? (1)

l0rd (52169) | more than 6 years ago | (#20172881)

And of course the inevitable "wasn't me". I can see problems where people will use your comments online in court against you, especially as google has "verified" that you are who you say you are.

Doctor Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20171853)

Ya but there is no one there to flag trolls like that doctor.

Re:Doctor Troll (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#20172079)


Agreed. 12 billion per year for 3000 smoking kids a day is what, $11,000 each? That doesn't sound too profitable to me, especially since the government will stick it to 'Big Tobacco' later for these kid's (admittedly poor) decisions.

Could it be that their advertising targets more than just children?

In the context of the linked comment, no. All that 12 bil is aimed squarely at your babies!!! RUN!!! AAAARRRRRGG!

Re:Doctor Troll (3, Interesting)

BalanceOfJudgement (962905) | more than 6 years ago | (#20172369)

Agreed. 12 billion per year for 3000 smoking kids a day is what, $11,000 each? That doesn t sound too profitable to me, especially since the government will stick it to Big Tobacco later for these kid s admittedly poor decisions.


The $11,000 spent in one year for that one smoker can parlay into much, much more money for the tobacco company. The average smoker spends approximately $1600 per year on cigarettes directly [msn.com] . This means they'd only have to be a smoker for 6.5 years for the company to make a profit off of them, and most smokers smoke for much longer than that.

Multiply that over 1.1 million new smokers each year and you can see how profitable it really is. They wouldn't spend that much money if it weren't really so profitable.

But yes, I agree their advertising targets more than just children.

Re:Doctor Troll (3, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#20172585)


Okay, but what's the adoption rate? And is that 3000 unique kids per day, or can kids try/begin smoking multiple times throughout the year?

$11,000 each assumes 100% of them. If you discount those that never turn into buying customers, that figure would go way up.

Looking at $1,600 per year, and assuming (what, 12-to-70?) something like 58 smoking years for these kids, that's almost $93,000 per kid. And please note that we're ignoring any costs of any kind...

It would take one in ten for that to work, and those would have to be LIFETIME smokers. Optimistic at best. Closer to delusional...

This works as long as BOTH sides may comment (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171859)

But what if one side can't? Not everyone has net access. Not everyone actually knows about it being on the Google news page when he is involved, even if he has access.

Of course, large businesses, governments and the like who can employ someone to monitor such activities will benefit from it. But you and me? Imagine you're getting into a legal battle with a large company. You have your hands full, meeting with lawyers and trying to keep from going under, do you have time to react to Google News? Hardly. Does the company you're suing (or that's suing you), on the other hand? With a few 100 to a few 1000 people working for them, most likely.

Re:This works as long as BOTH sides may comment (1)

ghyd (981064) | more than 6 years ago | (#20179513)

Large companies already have more ways to get their point across than individuals do. Also, Google news users may give more credit to the "smaller side". Isn't it this trend that Slashdot and other news oriented social sites represent ?

Google news will take more time (2, Insightful)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171873)

All of a sudden everybody involved in a news article is responsible for controlling their own public face through comments on the article. Some of the more newsworthy Tom Dick and Harrys will be vehemently defending themselves online all day. And I thought Facebook was bad.

Re:Google news will take more time (1)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 6 years ago | (#20173083)

I kind of hope you are right. This could act as a deterrent for some not to do something stupid. Of course there are those who have no shame *cough* Bob Allen (R-FL) *cough*, but those are the people we are supposed to laugh at.

ho80 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20171909)

that h3 documents Fact came into me if you'd like, this very moment, since then. More Distro is done Here United States.

Funny... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20172115)

...back in my day companies used to issue a "press release" to comment on these types of things; you know, something that could actually be vetted as accurate and coming directly from the right people?

I Love this! (4, Insightful)

djrogers (153854) | more than 6 years ago | (#20172233)

This is great - we will not longer have to rely on the mass media journalists to decide what comments make it in a story, and in what context. I'm sick of seeing stories that ignore or downplay one side or the other by skewing the comments of the person that doesn't meet their agenda.

Re:I Love this! (2, Insightful)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 6 years ago | (#20173201)

I think your reasoning is fallacious; the story is no more informative if it includes bullshit from both sides than it as with only bullshit from one side. What ever happened to just reporting the facts?

Re:I Love this! (2, Insightful)

Wordsmith (183749) | more than 6 years ago | (#20173377)

And from whence do these facts come, if not from the involved parties - who, like all human beings, are potentially prone to bias? Certain things are directly observable by a reporter, and certain aren't. But the very fact that those on various sides of an issue can come to radically different conclusions, and even make radically different observations, suggests the "facts" of a given issue aren't as simple to decipher as one would hope. Very few things in this world can boil down to inarguable, objective truths; and a great many things are newsworthy simply because there's debate in the first place.

Re:I Love this! (1)

rhakka (224319) | more than 6 years ago | (#20173751)

even choosing which facts to report is a form of subjective slant in reporting.

there is no such thing as objective reporting. this allows for more discussion. good stuff.

Re:I Love this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20176451)

Go watch Rashomon. What are the facts?

But yeah, I'm not too keen on news articles having a "spin section" attached either. There's a reason I read the news instead of watch Crossfire, or whatever its no-doubt-equally-retarded replacement is.

Who is being shut out now? (1)

doug141 (863552) | more than 6 years ago | (#20176299)

I'm curious what viewpoint you feel is being shut out. I regularly see news shows have 2 people on them, one "for" and one "against." The only viewpoints I've seen shut out of mainstream media in recent years are:
1) people who think the 9/11 "attacks" were accomplished with demolition incendiaries (shut out after several months of debate)
2) people who think the price of gasoline was manipulated for the 2006 elections (shut out by repeated market explanations) , and
3) people who think Barry Bonds didn't take performance enhancing drugs (maybe they couldn't find any believers of this for a counterpoint).

Let's acknowledge that a 5 year old's opinion on a topic outside their grasp isn't worthy of news broadcast, then acknowledge that some adults aren't much smarter about certain things, but a lot more biased. What kind of viewpoint does an ignorant, biased person come to? Nothing there's much of a market for.

Re:Who is being shut out now? (1)

mgoren (73073) | more than 6 years ago | (#20178773)

So you'd rather just have the views of the mainstream media? I can think of things that are shut out all the time. Entire issues are never even brought to the table because they aren't seen by the media owners as palatable or interesting. Politicians' lies and distortions, for example, are often ignored because there is no talking politician head to quote. Or, to take an issue that was discussed at great length, I'd say that those with real arguments against the Iraq war back before it began were shut out of the corporate media.

That said, I'm not sure that this particular system will result in anything more than corporate spin.

But there are lots of adults with expertise that could be useful to others.... the problem is finding filters so that we know what to trust.

Sorry. I think I rambled off a bit there.

Re:I Love this! (1)

amper (33785) | more than 6 years ago | (#20193103)

You can't even begin to imagine how hilarious I find it that a comment which characterizes Google as being something other than "mass media" has been moderated "+5, Insightful"...

Need this for Google Scholar (1)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 6 years ago | (#20172795)

For a while I've been hoping that they would do something similar and allow comments (and maybe blog references) through Google Scholar [google.com] , their search engine for academic publications. It would be great to have a way for the research community to publically share thoughts on a publication besides the high-latency/low-throughout channel of the actual journal. PLoS One [plosone.org] and Nature Precedings [nature.com] are starting to do this for work published by them, but having a commenting function built into Google Scholar would allow comments on anything the search engine indexes. Just a minor feature this could have a huge impact on academic research.

Pointless (3, Funny)

snowwrestler (896305) | more than 6 years ago | (#20172863)

Everyone knows that comments on news stories are either trolls, flamebait, or offtopic. Just look at the moderation on this for proof.

Re:Pointless (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 6 years ago | (#20175245)

Not true, you can also score sweet deals on C1A L IS to enlarge your pe n15!

Google Grid anyone? (2, Interesting)

cxreg (44671) | more than 6 years ago | (#20173065)

Sure seems to me like Epic 2014 [robinsloan.com] is slowly coming to fruition

Content and Advertising (1)

degraeve (780907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20173091)

I think the reason Google is allowing news story comments is to gain content they own and can advertise against. Until now they didn't own the news content and had no way of monetizing it.

Raffle? (2, Interesting)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20173215)

A raffle on how long before some is called a Nazi?

I take 2 to 3 milliseconds.

Re:Raffle? (1)

juuri (7678) | more than 6 years ago | (#20175413)

Nazi.

(Took almost an hour it seems)

Re:Raffle? (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20221211)

>>> (Took almost an hour it seems)

I know! Slashdot TOTALLY let me down!

Too restrictive policy will miss the best comments (1)

patmfitz (517089) | more than 6 years ago | (#20173643)

It would be better to let anybody comment, then call out the better / authoritative comments. Plus it seems like they will be easily spoofed, leading to some embarrassing moments.

Nonsense! (1)

Orig_Club_Soda (983823) | more than 6 years ago | (#20173667)

All its going to become is a pissing fight just like here on Slashdot. Look at what the doctor says in this example.

Like it or not food chains are in it for profit. Profit requires marketing stimulate demand. The responsibility for educating the children is 99% the parents' responsibility. I am sick and tired of people abandoning their responsibilities and especiaclly tax funded government intervention. If people managed their personal responsibilities this particular story wouldnt be news in the first palce.

Google News creating a minefield for itself (3, Insightful)

HooliganIntellectual (856868) | more than 6 years ago | (#20173937)

I run a news site that is indexed by Google News. As much as I'm anti-copyright and for open access to information, this move by Google really bothers me. This commenting feature really crosses the line. If Google is going to allow people to comment on stories from our service outside of our service, I want a cut of the money that Google makes off of using our content for free. This is only fair if Google is allowing people to comment on stories in a way that is outside the control of our website.

Do no evil? Google is really turning out to be the next Microsoft. Greedy and determined to control everything at any cost.

This will probably create a flurry of new lawsuits by larger news services.

Re:Google News creating a minefield for itself (1)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 6 years ago | (#20174061)

Errr... if this was supposed to be satirical, I think you need to rework it a bit.

Because you do realize that this is what slashdot, digg, reddit and untold how many other sites are, right? And yes, they run ads, too. The only real difference is that google indexes things with robots, and the other sites use slightly less intelligent methods.

Re:Google News creating a minefield for itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20175751)

If you RTFA you would know what they give to you: traffic. Assuming anybody would want to read it of course.

Re:Google News creating a minefield for itself (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20182373)

If Google is going to allow people to comment on stories from our service outside of our service, I want a cut of the money

Would a 75% cut of the money be satisfactory?

Yes? Good. Then you can retract your complaints about Google news now. You have already been paid in full.

-

Re:Google News creating a minefield for itself (1)

Kwesadilo (942453) | more than 6 years ago | (#20184043)

I run a news site that is indexed by Google News. As much as I'm anti-copyright and for open access to information, this move by Google really bothers me. This commenting feature really crosses the line. If Google is going to allow people to comment on stories from our service outside of our service, I want a cut of the money that Google makes off of using our content for free. This is only fair if Google is allowing people to comment on stories in a way that is outside the control of our website.

Do you mean like how Slashdot gives a cut of its ad money to the sites that it links to?... Oh, wait.

The content of website A being discussed on website B without the financial involvement of A is ubiquitous at this point. Surely some of your news stories have been commented on outside of your site, apparently without arousing your ire. How is this different?

How to search for comments? (1)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 6 years ago | (#20174285)

Has anybody found a way yet to actually search for the comments which have been posted so far?

Now Google thinks I eat McDonalds... (1)

wintermutex (1046534) | more than 6 years ago | (#20174343)

Well, great. No strong feelings about this, besides I might read Google News now... but all it's recommending are stories about food and fat kids! Quit being evil, Google.

This is a good thing! (3, Insightful)

fox1324 (1039892) | more than 6 years ago | (#20174363)

I know its unpopular to fellate google as much as I'm about to, but a lot of /.ers seem to be missing the mark. This is an interesting move by google, and I predict it will add a lot of value to their news page. Think about the tremendous public service news.google provides; A quick-loading, easy-to-find, free-as-in-beer virtual newspaper...it attempts to neutralize political spin/bias by linking to multiple sources for each story, and by using the web it is capable of pulling from tons of lesser known, local newspapers that you would not otherwise know about/hear from (more sources also helps remove bias). This new addition is a step forward because it attempts to get information straight from the source (those involved in the story), removing the middlemen (remember the 'whipser down the lane' effect?). At the end of the day, all of google's actions seems to be aimed squarely at improving the quality of information available to the public, and making available to them as quickly and easily as possible... and did I mention, for free? This is a huuuggee asset for keeping the general public informed about the state of the nation/world/etc. I know a lot of people think google is the next m$, but google has done nothing to break my trust so far.
happy 4:20!

Good idea (1)

GuNgA-DiN (17556) | more than 6 years ago | (#20175175)

IMHO this is a good idea. I've often wanted to comment on news stories but, I refuse to register for 10,000 different web sites all over the Net. I may read a news story and have something to offer but, if it involves signing up for Yet Another Free Online Account then I just won't bother.

Has anybody tested... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20176643)

Those McDonalds wrappers? Maybe they are pure MSG, or LSD. Maybe they could sell them to parents with finicky kids. And if it really is all in the wrapper, why doesn't McDonalds just start wrapping healthy food in there?
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