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Google Tests App Called ‘Bulletin’ That Allows Users To Post Articles As News

Bulletin Board.woodleywonderworks/Flickr

Fake news has been a huge problem on the internet for years now and Google has tried to stamp it out however it could. Now, the search engine is testing out a new app called “Bulletin” that is intended to help local news get more attention by being featured by the company. However, aside from the fact that this could lead to no real monetary return for Google, the app could pose the potential for abuse.

According to the Bulletin app web page, Google describes the service as a way for users to contribute to their local communities. In the past, the only ways for local news to get any traction is via local publishers, blogs, or social media. With the app, users really only need their smartphones and they can start publishing events that occur in their local area as news.

“Bulletin is a free, lightweight app for telling a story by capturing photos, videoclips and text right from your phone, published straight to the web (without having to create a blog or build a website). If you are comfortable taking photos or sending messages, you can create a Bulletin story!” the page description reads.

Google does note that this was an early pilot program and that it is currently deployed in only a small number of areas in the country. The company also wants to work with local journalists to give their news stories a wider audience and give the authors credit for the pieces.

As TechCrunch notes, however, this moves doesn’t really make much sense from a financial standpoint. These types of news are what’s called Hyperlocal information, which basically limits their relevance in terms of how many users would find the details useful. As a result, they are incredibly difficult to monetize.

On top of that, the specifics on which news will be published and how Google will decide on that have not been revealed. Who is to say that users can’t simply submit whatever news they want regardless of how accurate the information and it doesn’t get published?

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