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Censorship Google The Internet The Media Businesses

Google Blacklists CNet Reporters 377

An anonymous reader writes "Cnet is reporting that Google is no longer talking to Cnet reporters. In an article about the search company looking for new executive chefs, the article states: 'Google representatives have instituted a policy of not talking with CNET reporters until July 2006 in response to privacy issues raised by a previous story.' Apparently, Google was angered by an article published earlier by Cnet where all sorts of personal information about Google CEO Eric Schmidt was included. The information was obtained from Google searches."
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Google Blacklists CNet Reporters

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  • by TurdTapper ( 608491 ) <`seldonsplan' `at' `'> on Friday August 05, 2005 @08:56AM (#13248590) Journal
    All that article really did was prove how powerful Google really is. They should use it as a marketing tool.
    "Google, so powerful you can find information about ANYBODY!"
  • by Peyna ( 14792 ) on Friday August 05, 2005 @09:01AM (#13248619) Homepage
    I think they might be using the "personal information" as a guise for what really upset them about the article.

    It exposed the fact that they collect enormous amounts of personal information from their users, and all we can do is trust them and their employees.

    Reassuring isn't it?

    The article does point out that Google is not alone in this practice.
  • Real Reason for Ban? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IEEEmember ( 610961 ) on Friday August 05, 2005 @09:20AM (#13248739) Journal

    Despite the CNET's claim of being banned for release of personal information (or perhaps even Google's claim) I wonder if the ban wasn't instituted more for how the other information in the article was presented.

    1. The personal information wasn't that personal (stock filings, appearance at Burning Man and wife's name).
    2. The tone of the article is almost fear mongering as it focuses on the privacy issues surrounding Google services and not simply search.
    3. Both a sidebar and large print quotes were used to highlight the danger with none of the mitigating text found in the article given such prominent treatment.
    4. The correction implies that the original article had some significantly incorrect information damaging to Google.
  • by DenDave ( 700621 ) on Friday August 05, 2005 @09:23AM (#13248756)
    Well I actually thought the article was pretty good... I find Google's response to be lacking in sportsmanship and style. I thought the author's style was rather tongue in cheek and I suspect this is how cnet expected google to respond.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 05, 2005 @09:25AM (#13248769)
    Cnet was using Schmidt as an example of how Google is used thousands or millions of times a day to research people's backgrounds, including all sorts of personal stuff. The defense that Google is merely indexing what's already out there applies equally well to the Cnet article.

    I thought the reporting job was a rather clever idea and nicely executed.

  • Re:Are they hungry? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 05, 2005 @09:29AM (#13248791)
    Google has its own (super) food court for its employees. I think all the food is free too.
  • Re:I can only agree. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Friday August 05, 2005 @09:31AM (#13248809) Journal
    They're not doing anything evil, they're just showing their disapproval for another company in the proper way. If they were evil, they'd have sued them, instead they're deciding to just not do business with them, which is certainly within their rights.

    Now, you can argue whether or not they're getting a bit to huffy about something that's a minor deal. Information may be available to the public, but that doesn't mean it's particularly friendly or polite to publish it widely. It's not illegal to be an jerk, but sometimes it's not the best idea, and there are often consequences. I know journalists like to pretend that they're somehow exempt from any consequences, but that's not how it works.
  • Re:Confused (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Momoru ( 837801 ) on Friday August 05, 2005 @09:35AM (#13248865) Homepage Journal
    I think the main point is that Google refusing to talk to any press that gives them bad marks is "evil" in the sense that they are trying to create spin so that no negative news is heard from them. Its similar to a controversy in Maryland where the governor won't talk to two reporters who wrote a bad article about him. Yes, it's his right, as it is Google's right...but it's generally seen as an "evil" thing to do, because now say you are writing an article about Google's latest product...if you bash it you may fear being blacklisted, so you are kind of black mailed into writing a glowing review. That's the thinking at least.
  • Re:Not reasonable (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tran ( 721196 ) on Friday August 05, 2005 @09:39AM (#13248916)
    Except Cnet hardly published anything private... No personal address, phone number or description of the house or neighborhood. CNet actually was very restrained in comparison. I agree with another poster, that there is somethign else to this. It does state that both Yahoo and Google employees have access to more private information than they display, so that alone cannot be it either.
  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Friday August 05, 2005 @09:39AM (#13248924) Homepage
    There are positives and negatives regarding Google's detail and completeness. While the medicine given to Google by CNet wasn't very tasty, Google should be more mature about this than that. CNet did what news organizations are known to do... create the news. In this case, they went after the crystal clear jewel of the internet, Google and used its own power against it.

    This is yet another of those situations where responding mildly or not at all would have been the best way to handle this -- it's embarassment -- the more you fight it, the worse it becomes. The quicker you leave it in the past, the quicker it is forgotten.
  • Re:I can only agree. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Peeteriz ( 821290 ) on Friday August 05, 2005 @09:41AM (#13248948)
    Well, if a newspaper reports something that you don't like, then I do not consider breaking ties with that newspaper as ethical.

      If something false was claimed, then they would have moral grounds for avoiding that newspaper - but I read that article, and it's nothing bad at all!
    The reaction seems a one man's childish, overblown reaction - and the fact that this man is a CEO of a major company just makes it seem even more ridiculous.
  • by stinerman ( 812158 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {enits.nahtan}> on Friday August 05, 2005 @09:45AM (#13249007) Homepage
    Your address,
    121 N. Maple Ave.
    Cincinnati Ohio

    Fairborn, OH 45324

    You attend Wright State University in Dayton but seeing as you are originally from Ohio it can be inferred that you have not traveled far from home in your meager 21 years.

    I've lived in Tiffin, Attica, Kent, Stow, Clinton, and Willard -- all in Ohio.

    You are still a college student and from a working class family. You are resentful at those who have money because they could afford a better secondary education, which you could not afford as you paying for your education largely by yourself via federal loans and grants.

    Close enough ;-)

    You like to involve yourself in political discussion about world issues yet get all your facts from sources that are just as bias as the sources the right wing people you enjoy calling "idiotic" get their facts from.

    Depends how old your info is. I enjoy Paul Krugman's economic columns. I tend to stay away from the mainstream. I read the Daily Kos for humor value, etc.

    You are a pseudo-intellectual and like to quote Voltaire.

    I might have quoted Voltaire a few times. I prefer the stylings of Mikhail Bakunin these days.

    See, all sorts of info is easily obtainable from web. And all this in just the pass 15 minutes. Imagine if I put a little effort into it.

    Have fun ... most of that stuff is on there because I want it to be. You've not found anything novel. But there is something to be said about an AC posting all this.
  • by IgnoramusMaximus ( 692000 ) on Friday August 05, 2005 @11:02AM (#13249906)
    Google currently has a wildly-inflated stock price that's in large part been supported by a fawning press. Therefore severe discipline of the press is called for when it doesn't fawn, in order to maintain and build further the unrealistic market valuation that will allow CEO Schmidt to increase his personal wealth beyond a mere 1.5 billion.

    Spot on! All the other posters missed this, which is very likely the true cause of the hissy fit. For some reason Google can do no wrong, you see, because ... because .... they are Cool, man! And cool doodez do no wrong, even if they exhibit all the attributes of multi-national corporate statehood. No siree! Google good. Microsoft greedy and bad. Google benevolent and benign. Verizon a bloodsucking scum. Google angelic. Halliburton a bunch of murderous thieves. Google only living off some fool's retirement money and utter vapour of "web ads", google cool! Etc and so on.

    It apparently never occured to these knuckleheads that Google is just another corporation, whose main "product" is hype and bullshit and whose major claim to fame is to have a functional search engine. One would think making a search engine would require supernatural powers or something, instead of fairly simple software combined with assloads of bandwith and racks of hardware. The fact that google is "the" search engine has very little to do with their tech and everything to do with herd mentality, the very same reason eBay is "the" flea market of the net, despite being total pain in the ass in most respects. Herd mentality will always screw the herd in the end. Every time. But the herd never learns it seems. And so, minutes after getting burned, off they go to the next hero-worship, personality cult or brand beatifcation.

    That is how some lame ass CEO can accumulate 1.5 billion dollars for something which is not worth 1% of that sum. Never you mind the company as a whole.

    That is also how any competing products get shut out entirely, because in the herd mentality world, there can only be one idol, and perheaps sometimes a perpetual underdog rebel challenger whose purpose is to provide contrast against which the herd can glorify their idol.

    The other stockholders also depend on Google to "earn" them more by manipulating the press. Thus it would be a breach of Google's fiduciary responsibility to fail to do so.

    Bravo! I think you just described the frightening state of affairs for most stocks on the "market". Long gone are the days when quaint things like dividends had any effect on the stock. Hype. Bullshit. Coolness. Fawning. These are the new reasons for "earning" money on the stock market.

    Given that a lot of indicators are today very close to the ratios present in 1929, and given that the "consumer" market is now driven chiefly by forces such as herd psychology and other mental disorders, I expect to see some major enterntainment very soon.

    Just don't have any money in that crooked casino when the shit hits the fan, if you can. That's my advice.

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard