Wednesday 20 September 2017

Google avoids negative terminology in World Cup coverage

The adage 'if it bleeds, it leads' may no longer be valid
The adage 'if it bleeds, it leads' may no longer be valid
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Google has created an experimental newsroom that consciously steers clear of negative phrases associated with the World Cup.

The San Francisco-based panel has been employed to study the company’s internal databases to see what people are searching for in relation to the international soccer event.

Data scientists filtered through Google’s confidential information and found that, while top results such as “defeat” and “shame” tended to dominate, more upbeat coverage is more likely to be shared on social media.

After the Brazil-Germany semifinal, where searches in Brazil for uplifting terms ‘Brazil, show your strength’ quickly turned to ‘defense’ and ‘shame’, Google's newsroom focused on search trends that don't rub salt into the wounds of the losing side.

In Germany, a much searched term was the question 'What's the highest score in a World Cup victory ever?' and the team found that this phrase trended up 370 times in Germany before the match had even concluded.

While most media agencies leaned towards the negative aspect of the incredible 7-1 game, the scientists maintained that the research actually pointed towards Twitter and Facebook users sharing ‘happy thoughts’.

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