Google News Confuses Steps Star Ian "H" Watkins With Convicted Paedophile

By Tom Pritchard on at

There's probably not a lot that's worse than being accused of being a paedophile, especially when it involves a case of mistaken identity. So imagine if a major news website posted your picture with a story about a convicted paedophile. How would you feel? Angry? Upset? Scared? Probably all three.

That's exactly what has happened to former Steps star Ian 'H' Watkins, who has the unfortunate distinction of sharing his name with the disgraced former Lost Prophets front-man Ian Watkins. Google News has followed in the footsteps of E! Online and posted a picture of the singer next to a story covering Watkins' conviction.

The mix up apparently occurred because Google News does not utilise a human editor. Rather it uses a series of algorithms to post news stories from around the web with relevant images. A very good reason why, for the time being at least, a human picture editor is still an important member on the news desk, and why computer-powered robots are still too inept to successfully manage a coup over their human overlords. [BBC News]

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