Why Google's newsroom avoided negative headlines after Brazil's loss

NPR

Google has built an experimental newsroom for the World Cup, with the aim of turning "popular search results into viral content," NPR's Aarti Shahani reports. But after Germany destroyed Brazil Tuesday, the newsroom decided "to not publish a single trend on Brazilian search terms," Shahani reports.

A copywriter tells Shahani those terms are "just too negative" and says, "We might try and wait until we can do a slightly more upbeat trend."

Here are some of Google's World Cup trends, which Shahani says Google has enlisted "influencers" to circulate on social networks.

[caption id="attachment_258220" align="aligncenter" width="409"]A happy trend. A happy trend.[/caption]
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Shahani asked the group why it avoided negativity.

"We're also quite keen not to rub salt into the wounds," Sam Clohesy says, "and a negative story about Brazil won't necessarily get a lot of traction in social."

Related: "Good News Beats Bad on Social Networks" (The New York Times)

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.

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