Monday, April 16, 2012

On Google, Mashable, and click-bait

Another fantastic case of reporting by Mashable. /sarc

Lately the "blogosphere" has been abuzz with click-bait articles about the FCC's fine of Google, releasing horrific articles that are chock full of dastardly implications about Google's intetions, and Mashable is no different, releasing this gem today.

According to the New York Times article that Mashable cites "Google had not...even looked at [the personal data]". This doesn't stop Mashable from saying "It's not clear exactly how Google used this information or if it even looked at it."

Additionally, Mashable talks about how Google impeded the FCC's investigation without ever saying how they impeded that investigation. If you again go back to their source article (the NYT) you find that "investigation...was left unresolved because a critical participant...cited his Fifth Amendment right and declined to talk".

So the FCC's definition of "impeding an investigation" was that one of the participants exercised his constitutional rights.

I think the most important thing to come out of this was that the FCC decided that what Google did was 1) unintentional, 2) completely legal, and 3) that Google had never looked at or used the data.

But this doesn't stop Mashable from implying that Google was doing it willfully, might possibly have abused this data, and won't be impeded from doing it again because the fine was so low - despite all of this being contradicted by the FCC.