Google asks reporter to remove “massive” and “huge” in describing security flaw

This story was amended at the request of Google. News.com.au took out the words “massive” and “huge” – referencing the size of the security ‘flaw’. The word ‘flaw’ was also put into inverted commas.

I have no idea why they changed the story, but they did.



  • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

    I would assume they changed it because it was wrong. on another note, I don’t see why they will let another into the control their reporting whether factually correct or not.

  • dr.no

    “I have no idea why they changed the story, but they did.” Just like when Govt. asked Amazon to remove Wiki leaks files. Google can ask new organization anything because google provides majority of traffic to their sites.

    Word that comes to mind is “Incestuous Relationship”.

    Please don’t ask ridiculous question to yourself.

  • Techpm

    “Dear News.com.au, Please remove the words massive and huge and don’t call the huge privacy hole a flaw, otherwise we’ll reclassify your website as “spammy” and downrank it to oblivion on our search monopoly – Your friends at Google”

  • Jose M

    For those who remember watching Max Headroom on TV, Google is quickly becoming a real-world Network 23.

    Doesn’t this description ring any bells?

    “The series [Max Headroom] is set in a futuristic dystopia ruled by an oligarchy of television networks. Even the government functions primarily as a puppet state of the network executives, serving mainly to pass laws — such as banning off switches on televisions — that protect and consolidate the networks’ power. Television technology has advanced to the point that viewers’ physical movements and thoughts can be monitored through their television sets; however, almost all non-television technology has been discontinued or destroyed.”

  • Vamsmack

    Whilst news.com.au presents itself as a reputable news source it has too many conflicts of interest to do any real work. However Claire responded to the edits in the comments I think it’s safe to say she didn’t have much choice:

    “For the people asking how the story was amended: Despite the fact that Google refused to comment on the record, I was asked to change the headline (both the homepage headline and SEO headline inside the story), as well as the standfirst and lead (first paragraph). Google’s issue was with the use of the word “flaw”. Apparently a system that is designed to share users information with developers without their knowledge or permission and without explicitly saying so in any terms of service is not considered to be a flaw. I have no problem amending stories if they are factually incorrect but the fact is neither developers nor customers were aware of this information sharing and Mr Nolan is not the only developer to express concern over having this information at his disposal. There’s little reason app developers should have this information. If Google was going to share this information they should have been clear about this from the start. Hope this clears things up.”

    She seems (understandibly) PISSED.

    • http://mangochut.net/ mangochutney

      facepalm

    • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

      Glad she was able to state her case.

  • Macaddicted

    Putting “flaw” in scare quotes would indicate that Google doesn’t think it’s a flaw.

    Don’t be evil…

    • Boo

      Google isn’t evil. Chaotic neutral is more profitable.

    • lucascott

      Of course they don’t. A flaw is one thing at doesn’t work the way it is supposed to.

      This isn’t a flaw given that the system was programmed to do this.

      But it is a serious issue nice no one is told this information is being shared etc

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sebastian-Paul/1186812355 Sebastian Paul

    Google: Changing “evil” into “working as expected” since about 2009.

  • BGC

    Apple simply requesting the alteration of negative factual reports to more pleasing wording would be a bigger story than what actually got reported here about Google.

  • http://twitter.com/CallMeSteveToo Andrew Ogg

    I actually think Google is correct here. What Google is doing is deceitful, slimy and in the case of European customers, perhaps illegal, but it’s not a security flaw.

    Google is intentionally giving this information away to developers. To be honest, it’d actually make Google look better if this was a flaw and not intentional.