[Problematic at best] Google Will Prioritize Stories for Paying News Subscribers


        Google users who subscribe to newspapers will find
        articles from those publications appearing higher in their
        search results, part of the tech giant's efforts to help media
        companies find and retain paying readers, according to people
        familiar with the matter.  The Alphabet unit will also begin
        sharing search data that show who's most likely to buy a
        subscription, said the people, who asked to be anonymous
        because they weren't authorized to speak publicly. Google
        executives plan to disclose specific details at an event in
        New York on March 20, according to the people. Google declined
        to comment.

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This really just qualifies as a rumor at this point, but IF true as
described, it could have two problematic aspects:

1) Pushing subscriptions higher in organic search results could
contribute to the existing filter bubble problem -- making it even
more likely that users would tend to read materials that already agree
with their views, rather than the "legitimately" organic best results.

2) The idea of providing publishers with information to "target"
potential subscribers -- just based on what this article says --
sounds creepy as hell.

Lauren Weinstein (lau...@vortex.com): https://www.vortex.com/lauren 
Lauren's Blog: https://lauren.vortex.com
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