Is Topix losing its Relevance?By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Its been only a few months since we have talked about Code of conduct for bloggers and if we should have it now. It was directed towards the opinion of bloggers and its contents rather than the original news source. I thought that we can rely on the online news sites to be more careful and responsible for whatever news come to their site coz they are read by millions of people every day. But it seems like I was wrong. Last evening while browsing through the internet to get the local news, I logged into topix.com. It has a Google PR 8 and Alexa Rank of 870. So its potentially viewed by millions, right? And just at the front page I found this news which shocked me to death. The first article on the recent discussion column was like this - ‘HOT WOMAN UNSATISFIED SEX WITH HUSBAND . SAFE SEX CALL…’. My first reaction was just like yours. What the hell is it doing here along with other important news? And then came the question, is it safe enough to say to your child to be habituated with online newsletters? At least traditional media won’t let your child to go through such kind of voyeurism. Are we ready yet?
If you look at the screen-shot then you will realize that the news comes witha bunch of very important ones which are clicked by a lotta people for their specific purproses. But what is a porn ad like that doing at the top of Topix? I had no clue.
Did they do it Before?
Topix has been one of earliest and well known attempts to automate news as well as import the idea of citizen journalists. But with time, we have seen that if even a site like Digg, which operates by and large under human scrutiny, can be taken over by the concept of power diggers, then an automated system can very well be more vulnerable.
It is quite ironic to say the least that topix had a popular post on Dec 17, 2008 about Concern grows over teens’ viewing of porn and there even the psychiatrists have shown their concerns over the growth and limitlessness of internet porns. One of the examples being topix.com as you can see it right now.
If you open that thread you will see a discussion is going on, (its been 20 hrs almost) and no one cared to remove that post while the guy went as far as giving out his mobile phone number calling for escorts. This isn’t exactly what we call prostitution. But its not far, is it?
Are they Careless about Pornsites?
If we look at the history of topix, it is not the first time that Topix had such citizen journalists taking unethical stand. Jennifer Anniston Sex Tape still happens to be a hot discussion panel for them. And the discussion is going on. Even after two years, none bothered to close the thread. Is it only negligence?
There are other references too if you wish to have. Without much of a try you can have pornsites luxuriously indexed at Topix and even here none noticed because none cared. One of the examples is todayatb**bs.
Its really disheartening to see a news source as popular as topix doesn’t even have a sanity check where they contradict their own featured stories and push sensitive or juveniles into disturbing sites, quite unethically. The thing that automation is good but not without human intervention, has been proved again and again. Traditional news sources have always been particular and quite appreciable in regard of contents. And if we are to see a world where they will be obsolete and internet media will take over, then we should work on the ethics alongside codes, infrastructural balance of machine and human with technology. The degree of quality control is what this internet media has been and will be suffering from, if we don’t take it seriously from now.
What do you think about this matter? Please write to us.
Tags: ethics of online media, Negligence, online news media responsibility, porn promoted by topix, topix, topix.com