Thursday, June 11, 2015
Someone tampered with the data in Google's search and posited this as an explanation for the disappearance of dinosaurs. Google had no explanation for how it happened. Data tampering happens constantly, and Google is put in the position of catching up rather than being proactive and correcting misinformation. The problem is endemic to Big Data. When one is dealing in terabytes and larger of information, there is no way to police it all. One has to rely on data users to alert information technologists of the corruption. It can and will become a public relations issue when controversial information is slipped into the data stream. Just ask Wikipedia. Public relations practitioners need to be aware that in an era of Big Data there will be mistakes and they are likely to be frequent. The public will judge a company by how fast it corrects errors and the measures it puts into place to prevent mistakes from happening again.