The return of Google News to Spain: how the news aggregator works and what it will do with disinformation Maldita.es

To start this article, the first thing we did was search for “Google News” in Google NewsThe tech giant’s news aggregator and search engine. We were able to verify that the device does not explode using this descriptive research thanks to the fact that it was only a month ago The service is available again in Spain Eight years later, the headlines he indexes herald her return. In the first place, why are we talking about a “return” and how important is this reactivation of this Google service?

The news came back after Spain in 2014 put the title The first country in the world to shut down Google Your news portal. This means that it is now available to all Spanish users as another tool for accessing information. So, we explain Keys to understanding this reconciliationhow important it is when it comes to keeping us informed, and above all, why we should be so careful not to become a tool for widespread dissemination misinformation As it happened with other Google products.

Google News in Spain: Reconciliation

Let’s take a look back. The split that occurred in 2014 arose before Intellectual Property Law which was approved in Spain in November of that year. The new law stipulates that electronic content aggregation service providers must give inalienable financial compensation Copyright holders to use their work. This is it Google had to pay if they wanted to keep adding Spanish media content in Google News. It was labeled “inalienable” because Google had to compulsorily pay, whether the media wanted it or not, through the Spanish Newspaper Publishers Association (AEDE).

Then the tech company decided it wasn’t worth continuing in the country and so on He announced it on his official blog on Google Spain: “Unfortunately, As a result of the new Spanish intellectual property lawWe will soon have to shut down Google News in Spain. […] Since Google News is a non-revenue-generating service (we don’t show ads on the website), this new approach is Simply unsustainable“.

an actWhat has changed So Google News can come back? Last year, Spain adapted its legislation to the European framework; Specifically, by toggling European Directive 2019/789 More flexible than now It does not include inalienable financial compensation, but each broker can independently and independently negotiate with Google how the use and aggregation of news will be rewarded. For practical purposes: Google no longer has to pay mandatory.

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This was confirmed by Fuenciela ClimarisVP of Google Iberia, June 22nd: “After an almost eight-year hiatus, Google News is back in Spain Thanks Code Update Copyrights It allows the media in Spain (large and small) to choose how they want to discover their content and how they want to monetize that content.”

How the news aggregator works and how it chooses the information to show you

When you enter Google News, the search engine displays a panel where Contents are grouped into different blocks: Featured news, local news and breakdown by categories: Spain, international, local, economy, science and technology, entertainment, sports, health. To analyze, identify and organize those stories, Google’s algorithms use machine learning.

The home page also invites you to sign in to receive “Personal newsHow to choose command – order in which something is displayed We are not completely clearbut the selection of content is done automatically thanks to Arithmetic filters Who choose one news item or another based on What it explains and that interests the user Based on the data you collected about him. For example, media we previously consulted, news topic or data from our Google profile (Age, location, date, interests, etc.) and the activity we did in the search engine and on YouTube. Once logged in, we can manually configure the topics of interest to the home page.

Sign in to Google News.

Google asserts, on some occasions, that the media themselves or the team of people behind the news section will also be responsible for choosing one or another piece of news to appear on the platform, but There is no additional information About how to make this choice.

Google does not put in his speech Emphasis on “local”: It is repeated several times in its official versions, highlighting that the user will be able to easily find “small, local and niche publications” in the news to learn about “What is important in your community And around the world”, and give the local section a prominent place in the opening panel. This is configured based on each user’s location.

Google Display Interface: An option where publishers are paid to format content

Coming from a break marked by the obligatory bonus issue, another new thing that Google announced is that it will push notifications with a new service: View Google News.

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It’s not yet available in Spain (Google expects to launch it “as soon as possible”), but the goal is to push publishers to create and curate content specifically for the platform. That is, they themselves Choose the content you want to appear in the aggregator. Through this regulation, users will be able to get files Limited free access to paid content.

according to googleanother plus is that this selection allows the . extension Comprehensive news coverage, with a deeper narrative and with more context, because you can combine timelines, points, related stories, and a list of important articles. It’s as if every editor prepared”Package“Every piece of news has other elements that enrich it, beyond the headlines and short texts that now accompany it. At the moment, there is not a lot of information on whether the media will be able to customize this content to users or how the pieces will be selected.

In countries where it is already activated (currently more than 12, such as Germany, UK, Brazil or India), this content Appears in the News and Discovery panels.

Differences between Google Discover, Google News and Google Showcase

We just mentioned Discover, another Google service that you might know even if you didn’t. You may not realize you’ve set it up, but if you swipe your Android phone’s home screen to the left and a news page appears, you’re using Google Discover. It’s a Google service that shows you Depending on what your automation systems think you are interested in. That is, “personal” news. Find out too In the Google app and within the browser itself.

The main difference is that in Google Discover You can’t search for newsbut This set of content will appear live without having to do anything. It’s like a list of supposed interest content that is constantly updated and there is room for news and sites of all kinds, where entertainment, entertainment, sports, social networking are prioritized… scroll Down, more and more content appears.

Google collects this news using Information from your device, from other Google products what you use and your google account. Specifically, it uses data From your web and app activity, information about your contacts and your location history. In fact, some of the information that will appear in Discover depends on your home location Google warns that if this is not available, it will do so by estimating this site using sources such as IP address.

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explore can be disabledIn both the Google app and the browser. Here you can see how.

So, we can say that News It is the most specific news aggregator and search engine, current affairs feed, where you can customize your search panel and search, explore it’s a feed where Google shows you news that it automatically decides based on your interests and data without you being able to search for queries, and Show It is a complementary function in which the editors have more weight to choose and complete the content.

The risk of being a window to misinformation, as has happened at other times

Specifically, Google Discover was a platform in which Misinformation spread Due to its nature as a “news discovery” service. The service indexes content from various web portals that it considers can be categorized as media. Hence, on many occasions Leaking misleading content From portals like Diario Gol, Where some famous people are said to have died in its headline (A phenomenon we have noticed cursed).

In the case of news, Google ensures that it has a section for Data Verification In desktop mode (ie the desktop version) it shows the “original claim made together with the IEIA Certified Assessment” for the content people are searching for.

Google already has specific tool Check out the content of this pattern, but not included in the News or Discover service (yet). Fact-checking organizationsAnd the of between it cursedThese are the ones that feed the search engine for verifications and rejections through a program called Claim review. This system works Displaying misleading content posted through various channels with corresponding disapproval Performed by a checker, such as cursedand is also used to filter the content that appears when we do a search on Google (the search engine, this time).

In the case of Google News, there was no direct cooperation with fact-checkers to prevent it from becoming a vehicle for disinformation, as we’ve seen on other platforms like Discover. This makes us believe that while it is positive to create a new window for accessing information to the population, it is important to ensure that this is truthful information and not a channel through which further disinformation is being disseminated.

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