My Five #177

Swifty, raccoon noises, Scunthorpe, racing balls and why Google isn’t a search engine. It’s all in this week’s My Five.

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Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Matt.

1. Local profanities

Given the overly sensitive nature of the majority of the world’s population, it’s entirely understandable why advertising platforms such as Facebook, Google and Twitter have profanity filters in place to prevent advertisers swearing at their users. But sometimes the filters get it wrong.

Earlier this week The Independent reported that Facebook is banning its users from promoting posts that contain the word Scunthorpe. For those of you who haven’t yet worked out why, check out Wiki/Scunthorpe_problem.

It turns out this is not a new problem, with the word having been blocked from forums and emails for years. Yet, despite numerous attempts from disgruntled Scunthorpe residents to have the filters amended, the Facebook ban persists. You can read more here.

While we’re at it, let’s spare a thought for the residents of Lightwater and Penistone.

2. Distractingly good advertising

Apple Music’s new promotional video has been doing the rounds this week, and as a closet Swifty fan I couldn’t not include it in this week’s My Five.

The video seems to have had a positive response overall, but the real winner here appears to be Drake, whose sales of the song “Jumpman” (the track featured in the video) increased 431 percent globally following the release of the video.

What’s more, the #gymflow playlist featured in the ad has had a 325 percent increase in plays, taking it to No.5 in the Apple Music playlist charts.

Who said advertising is dead?

3. Moo, baa, oink

Have you ever wondered what noise a racoon makes? Of course you have. Well wonder no more, because Google’s new animal noises feature has the answers. This is a fun addition to Google’s rapidly expanding list of search tools, though it does have a few notable absentees.

My Five 177 - Browser media - Google's animal noises

4. When is a search engine not a search engine?

If the EU’s Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive is anything to go by, then search engines like Google, Bing et al are not actually search engines at all.

The NIS Directive defines an online search engine as follows:

“‘Online search engine’ is a digital service that allows users to perform searches of in principle all websites in a particular language, on the basis of a query on any subject in the form of a keyword, phrase or other input; and returns links in which information related to the requested content can be found.”

It’s the “in principle all websites” part of that definition that is causing some confusion, because while Google may index most websites, it certainly does not index all of them. But neither does Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo or any other search engine. Even if these services wanted to index and serve all websites, the EU’s own Right to be Forgotten ruling would prevent it from doing so. So by its own definition, the EU has made it impossible for any search engine to actually be a search engine – you could not make it up.


5. Pick your colour

Five balls, one course, so much excitement. Place your bets and prepare to be mesmerised.

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