MSN dismissed its journalists and brought in AI to do their jobs. What followed can be seen here.
Earlier this month, we revealed that a blatantly false story about Claire “Grimes” Boucher openly criticizing her ex-boyfriend Elon Musk for failing to pay child support had appeared on the Microsoft-run news website MSN. The tweet that served as the basis for the story’s assertions was false, but that didn’t stop the Inquisitr from publishing it or MSN from sharing it with a larger audience.
That was just the beginning of MSN’s careless dissemination of false information.
Consider their fondness for Exemplare, a trite paranormal and conspiracy news website that promotes myths about cryptids, Atlantean relics, and miraculous crystals. Here are a few recent Exemplare pieces that MSN has syndicated to its sizable readership and are absurd:
-“Fishermen Catch Mermaid Creature in Their Nets”
-“Woman Films Bigfoot Jumping Out of a Tree in California”
-“Party Stops as Giant UFO Flies Directly Over It”
-“Mars Rover Appears to Catch ‘Dark Beast’ Roaming the Surface of Mars”
-“Someone Swears They Caught a Biblically Accurate Angel Floating in the Sky Over LA”
Of course, the scientific establishment would have been shattered if even one of these claims had the slightest chance of being true. Instead, these sensational headlines are based on a shaky, unconvincing film that doesn’t persuade us that mermaids, bigfoot, angels, or aliens are real.
While some of Exemplore’s MSN headlines are absurd, others, like the Grimes story, are more deceptively plausible. A quick scan of the Grimes-Musk scandal comments on MSN reveals that many readers were susceptible to deception.
MSN was contacted by Futurism for comment on the Grimes tale and the numerous Exemplare stories, but no response was given. All fake articles are still available to read on MSN’s website as of this writing.
Some articles are here:
- 20 Statements In Trump’s Announcement Speech Were Inaccurate Or Misleading
- How a 2024 announcement would instantly affect Trump and whether it would clear the GOP field?
Is it proper for Exemplore to publish clickbait junk? Maybe its readers enjoy suspending their disbelief, just like those who once read supermarket tabloids. It’s not necessarily wrong to believe in bigfoot, but it probably does show a less-than-average understanding of reality.
However, there is no justification for MSN, a media behemoth with the immense resources of Microsoft at its disposal, to be propagating — and making money from — this absurd and false content. According to the analytics provider Similarweb, it has a sizable readership and draws close to a billion monthly readers.
Additionally, MSN has strong SEO capabilities that frequently allow its material to outrank the original publication and rise to the top of search results. A search engine will return MSN’s republication of a story while occasionally deleting the original, giving it extra legitimacy. If by chance, a reader Googles something that matches one of MSN’s many phony headlines, the search engine will return MSN’s fake version.
MSN Fired Its Human Journalists and Replaced Them With AI That Started Publishing Fake News About Mermaids and Bigfoot https://t.co/qjhq3Mr78L
— Marco Lardelli (@MarcoLardelli) December 4, 2022
In addition to other respectable publications syndicated by MSN, including Bloomberg, The New York Times, and The Daily Beast, a large portion of that enormous readership will also see sloppy and inaccurate pieces from Exemplare, the Inquisitr, and other bottom-tier publishers. The result, ineluctably, weakens the excellent work carried out by diligent and moral publications, rewards the nonsense published by subpar content farms, and erodes the public’s confidence in science and technology media.
As a result, MSN’s allegedly lax editorial standards serve as an example of the dangers facing the modern media sector. Microsoft, in particular, has adopted a strategy toward the website in recent years that is becoming more callous and cynical. For instance, in 2020, it gutted MSN by firing dozens of employees, including journalists, editors, and other production staff, to replace them with automated systems.
One sacked MSN employee at the time told The Guardian, “I spend all my time reading about how automation and AI are going to replace all our jobs, yet here I am. I lost my job to AI.”
The unnamed employee issued a foreboding caution, saying that while the human team had used stringent editorial standards to scrutinize the content that appeared on MSN’s site, the new automated system would probably find it challenging to provide the same level of nuance and skepticism.
MSN makes grand claims that the stories it syndicates are still subject to “human review,” but it seems improbable that this is the case given the ceaseless barrage of fake news the site appears to be running.
Additionally, as the number of its human employees declines, fewer and fewer are left to listen to readers’ complaints, constructing an opaque brick wall that is worrisome. Requests for feedback go unanswered, and MSN keeps publishing false news.
MSN Fired Its Human Journalists and Replaced Them With AI That Started Publishing Fake News About Mermaids and Bigfoot – Futurism https://t.co/uFklyTKmc7
— Tech & Gaming (@FookNews) December 3, 2022
Microsoft’s ultimate objective was to automate its news delivery system while reducing costs. Microsoft may have achieved its goal, but in doing so, it contaminated the public’s supply of news.
At any news aggregator that is widely read, that would be concerning. But MSN isn’t simply well-liked; many Windows users utilize it as their primary news source. An MSN hub appears when you open a new tab in the Microsoft Edge browser. MSN is also Internet Explorer’s default home page if you still use it. Even the Windows Start Menu will display its articles in hell. Even competitors’ systems are connected to it, generating countless more pageviews on Google News.
In sum? It’s yet another warning about the growing desire of corporations to delegate decision-making to defective AI systems that destroy essential employment, use poor judgment unchecked, and generally worsen society for the people who still live in it.
MSN let go of its human journalists and replaced them with AI, which then began publishing fake news about bigfoot and mermaids. MSN fired its human journalists.
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