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Yahoo Will Discontinue Displaying Seeking Alpha Headlines

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by SteveG3, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. SteveG3

    SteveG3 Active Member

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    Cheer's to separating journalism from unedited blogging!

    as a "contributor" I received a lengthy Seeking Alpha email about this. here is the first sentence,

    "As of next Monday Yahoo Finance will no longer be displaying Seeking Alpha headlines on its website."

    Just a bit of background...

    Seeking Alpha does not fact check the "articles" of it's contributors. literally, no fact checking. I spoke to a senior IR person at Tesla a couple of weeks ago and Seeking Alpha came up. The Tesla person indicated that not fact checking seems to be a strategy of SA's to avoid legal responsibility for the content on their website. I said to him, perhaps then the party who could be appealed to to act more responsibly would be Yahoo, as putting these articles in their headline section implies the material is from a news source, which implies factual accuracy, fact checking... I don't remember precisely what the Tesla rep said, but I believe he said Tesla has discussed this internally, and I had the sense it may have even been brought up with Yahoo. (This, of course, is not to say that Yahoo and SA parting ways was prompted by Tesla or even had anything to do with Tesla.)

    How does one become a Seeking Alpha contributor? I became a contributor by submitting an "article" last year. It was basically like signing up for an online account of any kind. IIRC they wrote that they accept 30-50% of people who ask to become contributors. Again, they do not fact check. They will review and request changes for grammar and tone (they would not allow me to use "FUD" to describe statements made about Tesla from other websites).

    Bottom line, Seeking Alpha is a blog site, and it's misplacement in Yahoo's headlines section has exploited by some as a channel for factually false FUD. Apparently this ends Monday. Perhaps this will also improve Motley Fool. Fool apparently has some content of value. But the free stuff that shows up on Yahoo is often similar to the Seeking Alpha free for all. I strongly suspect this resulted at least in part to Fool trying to compete with SA.
     
  2. Lessmog

    Lessmog Member

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    Thanks! I had already divested mentally from SA, but a more powerful disempowerment from Yahoo is of course more influential than one single clickster.
     
  3. dalalsid

    dalalsid Member

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    As a contributor, I like this. I don't need to stick to writing about Tesla. But in the no fact checking, SA is no different from Motley Fool or thestreet or many other sources. I've also learned that the better Motley fool content comes from the free for all. Motley fool insiders (author name starts with TMF) generally only publish short and relatively content free fluff pieces. This has basically caused me to quit writing for or visiting MF even though they paid better.
     
  4. Out4aDuck

    Out4aDuck Member

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    I have always wondered why blog articles are regarded as news headlines. I think that MF is no different from SA in this regard. This is not to say that they don't have value as discussion forums. They're just not in the same category as news headlines. Maybe Yahoo should have a heading for blogs.
     
  5. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Very glad to hear this as many took their headlines for news.


     
  6. SteveG3

    SteveG3 Active Member

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    #6 SteveG3, Sep 2, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
    fwiw, not only has Seeking Alpha been removed from the Yahoo Finance headlines, I do not believe I've seen a single Motley Fool Tesla piece show up in Yahoo Finance in over a month. They used to have 10+ pieces on Tesla every week. The free Fool pieces were not always negative, but they were often as poor in quality as Seeking Alpha's (I'm not sure "poor quality" is even a reasonable term for made up FUD gibberish). As far as I know Fool has real content on their website (certainly in the past I know they had quality content), but I always suspected the free appetizers on Tesla showing up on Yahoo fell to Seeking Alpha level due to their trying to compete with SA. It seems Yahoo either booted both Fool and SA, or with SA booted, Fool decided to stop putting out the free gibberish "articles."


    I think Seeking Alpha and Motley Fool FUD had a sort of cumulative effect of negativity with their massive volume of "articles" with FUD that sometimes found it's way into what we used to think of as legitimate news outlets. It's been a good month or two for quelling FUD... Elon directly took out several FUD story lines on the last earnings call, and it seems Seeking Alpha and Fool gibberish have both been removed from Yahoo.
     
  7. jhm

    jhm Active Member

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    Interesting development. Thanks for posting this thread.

    I wonder if SA could develop a crowd sourcing model for fact checking that would leave them with practically no liability. For example, Wikipedia is able to engage users not only to write articles, but to edit them for factual accuracy. And of course, academic journals have a long history of peer review. So it seems that within a blogging platform, some one could come up with a sensible approach to community fact checking. When I was still reading SA articles, i often found that the readers comments were often much more informative than the given article, despite the tendency for obnoxious personalities to try to dominate the discussion with nonsense. In the most egrious cases, I would find that authors would willfully disregard the ritiques of factual inaccuracies broght forward by reader. In other word, readers were doing their job of fact checking, but there was no way to hold author accountable for their errors. This is where some sort of system for group editing such as developed in Wikipedia could be very helpful. Could you imagine being able to edit directly an article by JP or PS where you could insert requests for citations and claification and insert citations to the contrary or other counterpoints. An author would have to tighten up inaccuracies or have their article marked up with tons of red ink. Of course authors are entitled to express their own opinions, but they are not entitled to pass off misinformation as facts. Additionally, other sorts of reader feedback could be captured and reported statistically. For example a rating system on content, accuracy, clarity and fairness could accompany each article and each author. For example, Amazon and other online vendors capture user product reviews to help customers make better informed purchases. SA readers could use author and article reviews to filter out unreliable sources.

    One of the basic problems with many SA contibutors is that they do not opperate from a basic position of fairness. John Petersen comes to mind as a classic example of an intellectual bully who uses "facts" only to argue his case and otherwise talks down other points of view with heavy handed rhetoric when facts are not enough. In others, he is more concerned about advancing his agenda than providing evenhanded information that will help investors think more accurately about their investment choices. Investors should be encouraged to think for themselves, not to be badgered into one position or another.

    The basic problem with SA is that authors are not held accountible to readers. There can be many different ways to remedy this. For me, the remedy has been simply to stol reading SA altogether.
     
  8. SteveG3

    SteveG3 Active Member

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    interesting jhm. I think there is so much room for improvement on the quality of content we see. I have some ideas on this but I hadn't thought of crowd sourcing in terms of editing. Seems like it would improve Seeking Alpha.
     
  9. FluxCap

    FluxCap Active Member

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    This is fantastic news. Other than a very few people with some actual journalistic chops (such as dalalsid and others who have visited us here) this site was pure drivel.

    Good riddance to Seeking Mediocrity.
     
  10. dalalsid

    dalalsid Member

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    Thanks :). I'm going to quote you on this.
     

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