The seamy side of “citizen journalism”

Came across another nice story by Michael Learmonth (who also writes for Silicon Alley Insider) at Advertising Age: this one is about some unfortunate holes in the “citizen journalism” experiment over at CBS, which is called CBSeyemobile. Apparently, one ad agency executive who downloaded the app — which allows anyone to upload newsworthy photos and video from their iPhone — was surprised to see photos of a woman bent over a kitchen sink with her skirt up, as well as a video clip of three women fondling each other while leaning up against the back of a car.

Among other things, this raises the question of what CBS means when it says “newsworthy.” You could argue that three women openly fondling each other in a state of undress in what appears to be broad daylight would constitute news — of a sort. For CBS, however, it’s not so much about news as it is about advertising. As Learmonth’s story notes, the ad agency exec who found the photos and video said he wouldn’t recommend advertising on the site to any of his clients, and AdMob (which was carrying ads from Google on the content) seemed concerned as well. CBS said it had controls to prevent such occurrences, and that it would “redouble” its efforts.

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