When there isn’t much happening in SL on the development front, I tend to write about other things that affect our online lives. For me this is a slow news week. So, I bring you: FB Newswire…
While the goals of Facebook and Google are similar, ID’ing and profiling every person on the planet for targeted advertising, their approaches and execution are different. However, I think their successful implementation of products have simpler similarities.
Google+ is dying because it is being forced on people without providing obviously useful benefits to the user. Google Search is a phenomenal success because Google works hard to keep web masters and online advertisers honest and thus make search results useful. Spam or spoof Google Search and you may well find your web sites, every site you own, removed from Google’s database and never seen in Google Search again. I find Google Search results usually spot on. Pretty much the opposite of SL Search.
Facebook has been and remains successful by having provided features and products people can use and enjoy. They have obvious benefits to the user. Now Facebook is adding Newswire, an Internet news verification service. The FB Newswire announcement is here.
You can see it in action here: FB Newswire.
That Facebook is verifying news is interesting. People have pointed out that it places story verification, or at least which stories are verified, in Zuckerberg’s hands. If you pay attention to the news being verified, I suspect you’ll quickly realize it is only a verification something did or didn’t happen and there is little or no verification of details. For instance; the arrival of American troops in Poland and Latvia is verified. No mention that it was only 150 solders, which I think conveys the nature of the deployment.
The idea this will reduce spam and false or fake reports is interesting. Urban Legends and Snopes provide the kind of research and depth needed to recognize spam, spoofs, and propaganda. I’m not sure FB Newswire can fill that role, especially on the later point. But, this is a Twitter world and something faster than Snopes or FactCheck is needed. Time will tell if this works and is useful. Personally, I’ll stick with Drudge Report.