Google News Credibility Foiled By 15-Year Old

Sometimes the most well thought out practical jokes trigger an uneven brand of justice that falls under the laws of unintended consequences. While not formally codified and ill defined, the law of unintended consequences is very real, as a Google-focused prank pulled by 15-year old Tom Vandetta amply illustrates.
Reading through SEO focused blog entries, Vandetta found an article that explained how to fool Google’s news system by writing fake press releases. Sensing an opportunity to experiment and play a joke on his friends, the self-described “Google fanboy” decided to see what would happen if he submitted a fake Google press release claiming the 15-year old New Jersey student was Google’s youngest employee.
The press release was issued through the free service I-Newswire and contained a number of spelling mistakes.
The SEO Blog: Google News Credibility Foiled By 15-Year Old

2 Responses to “Google News Credibility Foiled By 15-Year Old

  • BR Natarajan
    18 years ago

    Just because one fool peed in the beach, you do not stop taking bath in the sea. Its sad that a mad youngster misused free press release and has discredited i-newswire. Google is playing big daddy and black listing i-newswire. If the youngster had written that he was hired by Doogle Corporation in Rajasthan as Security Expert would any one have bothered to verify? If the mad cap wrote that Rajesh Bachan died dancing to a holi song in Bollywood would anyone have bothered? Today society is mature enough to know what to believe what not to believe, whom to believe and whom not to believe, when to belive and when not to beieve, where to believe and where not to believe.
    Let Google and the net community wake up to realities and not talk of non existent values in journalism etc.

  • Well, I’ve seen a lot of bogus articles on i-newswire, including the recent one that stated that Will Farrell was dead:
    Apparently, the validity of press releases on i-newswire is questionable. I think they need to work on fact-checking their news releases.
    I think all news sites should do this too. I’m not sure this is Google’s top job, since it’s only a news aggregator (one might argue that i-newswire is *only* an aggregator, but they allow anyone to make their own press releases) . But I think it’s important that news sites release accurate stories if they want to be taken seriously.