Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Google News dumps partner after prank item appears

CNET News.com: "Google's news service has cut ties with a press release aggregator after the partnership led Google News to link to a fake item written by a teenager who said he'd been hired by the search giant.
On March 10, Thomas Vendetta, a sophomore at Pitman High School in New Jersey, posted a fake press release to I-Newswire.com, a Web site that lets people submit press releases for distribution to online sites. The release said Vendetta had been hired by Google to work on fixing a security flaw in Gmail.
'The student will receive a lowered salary, which will be placed into a bank account for future education, said Google CEO Larry Page,' the release read, according to the SEO Blog, which posted an excerpt from it.
Google News picked up the item from I-Newswire that same day, and two days later news aggregator site Digg.com also linked to the item, Vendetta told CNET News.com. All three news sites moved quickly to remove the item from their pages.
And last Tuesday, I-Newswire quickly yanked from its site a release that falsely reported that actor Will Ferrell was killed in a paragliding accident. It was unknown who was responsible for that item, which also appeared on Google News, according to a screenshot posted on media watchdog Web site Regrettheerror.com.
Vendetta said in a telephone interview Friday that he got the idea from blogger Richard Wiggins, who detailed in his blog on March 9 how he and two others were able to get personal 'press releases' onto Google News. Wiggins said he wrote about a trip he took to Key West, Fla., and a friend wrote a 'press release' wishing the Michigan State Spartans luck in an upcoming basketball tournament. The Spartans release went up on Google News w"

No comments: