If you love Brazilian futebol, this has been an especially tough week; that devastating loss to Germany in the World Cup semi-finals was a shock to fans used to victory. Thankfully for you, Google feels your pain. The internet giant has revealed to NPR that its experimental social newsroom for the Cup avoided covering some of the bigger Brazilian search trends during the lopsided match, such as "shame," because they were simply too negative. As producer Sam Clohesy explains, the decision was motivated both by a desire to go viral as well as pure sympathy. People tend not to respond well to bad news on social networks, and Google would rather not "rub salt into the wounds" -- unlike a regular news outlet, it has more incentive to write about cheerful happenings than calamities. The filtering isn't going to restore Brazil's lost chance at football glory, but it might make the next four years a little more bearable.
[Image credit: AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo]
Update: Google believes that the original characterization isn't accurate -- it tells us that it's simply focused on highlighting interesting events, not downplaying bad news. It also adds that you can always visit Google Trends to see exactly what's going on. Check out the company's official statement below.
"Our social channels exist to share interesting and relevant information to the people who want to hear from us. Unlike your average 16-year-old, we don't share every single thing we might have to say. Throughout the World Cup, we've shared more than 150 tidbits in 13 languages looking at Leaping Legends to Waving the Flag and everything in between. If people want more, they can always use google.com/trends to see what topics are trending at that time. Our primary goal, more than anything else, is to share what matters most at that moment to the most people. And, it's good to have that goal, as we don't want to have to rely on penalty kicks."