A Less Open Internet?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Two news stories today may mean that the internet is getting a little less open. Julia Angwinwrote in the Wall St. Journal today about how the number of volunteer editors on Wikipedia has dropped precipitously over the past year. Then, Jeff Jarvis of discusses reports that Rupert Murdoch is in negotiations with Microsoft to provide content exclusively to Bing, and not Google.


Julia Angwin and Jeff Jarvis

Comments [12]

David from Upper West Side

Wow. Can you guys, On the Media, etc. please, please find another go to guy besides Jeff (apparently always available) Jarvis? I, for one, am really sick of hearing this one guy as the voice of new media, and he really hasn't had a new idea since about 1996.

Nov. 24 2009 05:25 PM
Brian from Brooklyn

The move to limit "free" content on Google, etc. is not exactly new. Just consider all the very proprietary databases only accessible to college/university faculty/students thru academic libraries. The best information on the web has always been available for a price--it's otherwise invisble

Nov. 24 2009 12:02 PM
Nadia from Manhattan

Seriously--does Jarvis really think Murdoch doesn't understand that Google drives traffic to his properties? RM is a very smart man and it is not such a difficult concept to understand. (And the fact that he personally doesn't use the internet has nothing to do with it.) I think there has to be another explanation.

Nov. 24 2009 11:54 AM
mozo from nyc

Who in their right mind would pay for the tripe that Murdoch and Co. distribute? They can't even get Fox News right(see today's Salon article, "Fox News Execs Cracking Down on Mistakes")!

Nov. 24 2009 11:52 AM

On the Wikipedia discussion: even before I heard the reporter's first reason why Wikipedia's number of volunteers has declined, I would have shared the same from personal experience.

I understand the logic of having some "responsible" eyes over the hodge-podge that gets submitted, but following the current policies, Wikipedia will be a much less up-to-date source. Maybe there should be a section on each entry page where "unverified", most recently submitted info, is posted with this caveat, before it gets vetted and either rejected or incorporated with the body of the previously approved information.

Nov. 24 2009 11:51 AM
Edward from NJ

So wait, does this mean that I'll be able to use Google News and NOT see Fox News headlines? Awesome!

Nov. 24 2009 11:49 AM
Anon from Staten Island

Let 'em go. I don't use BING and I don't trust NewsCorp news anyway, so that will get Murdoch's version of the "facts" out of my search hits...perfect match.

Nov. 24 2009 11:46 AM
LM from Long Island

Interesting series.. BUT .. the end of the frist decade of the 21st century is Dec 31st 2010

Nov. 24 2009 11:46 AM
Sophie from manhattan

Seems to me the only way Murdoch could profit from his idea is if all media outlets follow along, which I don't see happending. Murdoch made his billions in old media.. not sure he understands the new. Time will tell.

Also, I second hjs.. net neutrality is a bigger issue. Perhaps a show on that?

Nov. 24 2009 11:41 AM
Robert from NYC

Is anyone really surprised at this? Once the "corporates" get their hands on something (and they usually eventually get their hands on everything!) that something becomes a money maker. It's capitalism in the extreme and the American (USA) way. And as long as that's the way we go then no one has a right to complain about having every nook and cranny of your existence ruled by corporate America because it seems that Americans in particular feel that they want government out of their lives but they seem to think or feel or have been brainwashed to believe that they want private control (read corporate control since that's what it is) of their lives...UNTIL it becomes so intrusive and overbearing and controlling and too late to do anything about it without an exhausting and frustration battle to get that culture out of their lives, like health care.

Nov. 24 2009 11:34 AM

Any website could decide to not list itself in any search engine, simply by using the robots.txt standard.

It is beyond me why News Corp would think that disallowing Google "spiders" from indexing their site would somehow increase their profitability.

Rupert Murdoch would be better served by coming up with a way to adapt his media empire to the changing times, rather than trying to scapegoat Google.

Well, some people have to learn the hard way.

Nov. 24 2009 11:33 AM
hjs from 11211

I don't care about "news" from fox. there is a greater threat to the freedom of the internet.

Nov. 24 2009 11:10 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.