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Google's Crackdown on Plagiarism: BNN Breaking No Longer in Top Search Results

Published March 13, 2024
2 months ago


In what marks a significant move for media integrity, Google has recently taken decisive action against BNN Breaking, a news website accused of plagiarizing content and scaling the search engine ranks at the expense of original publishers. This measure comes amid growing concerns over copyright breaches facilitated by technological advancements.


BNN Breaking came under the spotlight for using bots, such as ChatGPT, to rewrite articles from various news outlets, including GroundUp, Limpopo Mirror, and Eyewitness News, without properly accrediting the original sources. These repurposed stories frequently contained errors indicative of chatbot-generated content and saw BNN's search results positioning unjustly elevated above the authentic articles they mimicked.


Alarmingly for content creators, BNN’s manipulation of its search rankings on Google had the potential to divert traffic—and consequently, advertisement revenue—away from the deserving publishers. BNN Breaking's operation, founded in Hong Kong by American businessman Gurbaksh Chahal, profited through Google Ads that paid based on views and clicks, exploiting the original work of legitimate media establishments.


Google’s algorithm, which does not favor sites that run Google Ads according to company representatives, was initially challenged to differentiate between genuine content and these high-ranking spam entries. However, following the publication of GroundUp’s exposé and subsequent scrutiny from stakeholders, Google has actively reassessed its search mechanisms.


A recent search for the term "Vhembe," once dominated by BNN Breaking's plagiarized content, now showcases the rightful publishers, such as Limpopo Mirror and GroundUp, prominently. Searches specifically targeting "BNN Breaking News" yield results with BNN's website significantly lower down the list or entirely absent from Google News.


Google's commitment to combatting spam sites not only restores a more equitable online news distribution but is also essential in maintaining the credibility and sustainability of professional journalism. Moreover, it embarks on reinforcing fair advertising monetization for authentic news sources that depend on it.


As artificial intelligence continues to reshape the landscape of content creation and consumption, the need for stringent safeguards to protect intellectual property and genuine journalism heightens. Google's current steps signal a firmer stance against practices that undermine these values, but the long-term effectiveness of such measures remains under watch.


With the pervasive capabilities of chatbots and other AI tools, the threat to content copyright is ever-present. The digital world awaits to see whether Google's evolving strategies will be successful in sustainably filtering out entities replicating BNN’s business model, ensuring a reputable and reliable ecosystem for the distribution of news.



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