Comment le nouvel algorithme de Google détruit la presse progressiste aux Etats-Unis
Une lettre du boss de Alternet dans le cadre d’une demande de soutien. Un tableau des plus significatif :
La lettre dans son intégralité.
Dear AlterNet Reader:
The story I am going to share with you is very disconcerting for independent media and America’s future, and frankly it is unprecedented in AlterNet’s history.
It is hard to imagine anything scarier than Donald Trump’s presidency. But this problem is actually bigger than Trump, and it is a situation that certainly helps him.
This story affects you too, in ways you may not fully be aware of—in fact it affects our whole media system and the future of democracy, and that is not an exaggeration.
We have not yet gone public with our own story. I wanted you, and the rest of our supportive community, to know the details first. We are going to need your help.
The New Media Monopoly Is Badly Hurting Progressive and Independent News
The story is about monopoly on steroids. It is about the extreme and unconstrained power of Google and Facebook, and how it is affecting what you read, hear and see. It is about how these two companies are undermining progressive news sources, especially AlterNet.
In June, Google announced major changes in their algorithm designed to combat fake news. Ben Gomes, the company’s vice president for engineering, stated in April that Google’s update of its search engine would block access to “offensive" sites, while working to surface more “authoritative content.”
This seemed like a good idea. Fighting fake news, which Trump often uses, is an important goal that we share.
But little did we know that Google had decided, perhaps with bad advice or wrong-headed thinking, that media like AlterNet—dedicated to fighting white supremacy, misogyny, racism, Donald Trump, and fake news—would be clobbered by Google in their clumsy attempt to address hate speech and fake news.
The Numbers Are Striking
We have had years of consistent search traffic averaging 2.7 million unique visitors a month, over the past two and a half years. But since the June Google announcement, AlterNet’s search traffic plummeted by 40 percent—a loss of an average of 1.2 million people every month who are no longer reading AlterNet stories.
AlterNet is not alone. Dozens of progressive and radical websites have reported marked declines in their traffic. But AlterNet ranks at the top in terms of audience loss because we have a deep archive by producing thousands of news articles for 20 years. And we get substantial traffic overall—typically among the top five indy sites.
So the reality we face is that two companies, Google and Facebook—which are not media companies, which do not have editors, or fact checkers, which do no investigative reporting—are deciding what people should read, based on a failure to understand how media and journalism function.
The Harvey and Irma of Journalism
Britain’s famed journalist Sir Harold Evans described Facebook and Google as “the Harvey and Irma of journalism—and democracy”:
“Whatever else they do, the electronic duopoly deprive millions of information and argument as surely as the series of super storms deprive millions of light, power, home and hearth.
“The climate change deniers will go on calling the link between hurricanes and greenhouse gases a ‘hoax’… but no one can deny the devastating effect of Facebook and Google on the viability of news organizations to investigate complexity and resist suppression.”
The Google Hit Goes Right to Our Bottom Line
We need your help because we are going to take a financial hit over the coming months.
Why? Because Google’s undermining of progressive journalism means we have lost a major chunk of audience and as a result are looking at big potential losses in ad revenue.
AlterNet’s long-term success is based on our balanced economic model. We get roughly half of our revenue from advertising and half from contributions from readers and supporters like you, as well as a handful of foundations. But now 40 percent of our traffic, earned over many years, has disappeared due to Google’s arbitrary tactics.
We need to stay strong, keep our great staff, and fight Donald Trump and his cult of core supporters.
We are proud to have never made a desperate appeal for money. We were pleased that we didn’t harass you with fundraising pitches every day for months. We had a very healthy balance, and our financial supporters contributed exactly what we needed each year. But now, due to media monopoly on steroids, we are very concerned.
Can you rededicate yourself to AlterNet and its mission of producing important and powerful independent journalism?
This fall fundraising campaign is necessary; we need to bolster our finances and prepare to pivot AlterNet so it can survive and continue to be read by a huge audience of millions, without having to rely on Facebook and Google to do it. That means we need to rely on you—will you help?
Executive Editor, AlterNet
P.S.: Your contribution today is 100% tax-deductible.
AlterNet | 1881 Harmon St. | Berkeley, CA 94703