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Google/YouTube ‘News’ Is Scary

2015 07 16   Peter Feinstein   Social Media    

So Google – which has no formal training in ethics, journalism or human psychology – “thinks it can teach YouTube Newswire journalists to verify content and become impartial observers by forming a group it calls the First Draft Coalition, a group of social media journalists who will create educational resources on how to verify eyewitness media.”

Am I on Candid Camera?

If some of these video feeds weren’t going to become instant viral hits and actually shape public opinion, I’d be laughing about how amazingly stupid this is. But, sadly, this is about as insane as it gets. You have an company with no ethical standards to follow, no prime directive other than to increase shareholder value through reducing expenses and increasing revenue, attempting to “scoop” the real news organizations and present us with … what?

The truth is, no one can answer that question accurately. This is when the law of unintended consequences comes into play. We’re moving into dangerous territory when we allow, even encourage, bystander videos to become the news sources of the day.