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Monday, July 27

Google News comes to its senses, at least temporarily

I've just returned to the internet so I don't know when it happened this afternoon but the Google News website is no longer featuring links to reports, ruminations, etc. about the death of Bobbi Brown at the top of its Top Stories, as it had been earlier in the day and ever since news of her death broke. 

For the moment, Google News looks like a real "breaking news" aggregator site. At the left side of the web page it does list the name "Bobbi Kristina Brown" in the #1 position under its "Top Stories" header but the main page has a good mix of breaking news reports.

I don't know how Google decides which stories qualify as important breaking news but my concern is that Google has confused Twitter chatter with news.  

If American Twitter users want to chirp at each other about the death of Bobbi Brown until their attention flits elsewhere, it's their prerogative.  But if you want to be a responsible news aggregator website, you must stop pandering to people who suffer from the internet version of rubbernecking. 

For many months, Google News hasn't been acting responsibly. It turned itself into the website version of CNN, with 'saturation coverage' of just one news event related to a racially charged incident or mass killing in the United States.  

Now I do not want Google News to inform me that it's top news what color nail polish Bobbi Brown's corpse is wearing for the funeral.    

Fire the person who's making the calls about Google News and get someone who has journalistic integrity.  And I don't want to hear, 'Oh we're not actually part of the journalism profession; we're just an internet business.'

Then make your business something else besides the news of the day.   

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