In the last 24 hours, Bitcoin has been mentioned twice, high up in the US government. From President Donald Trump and Jerome Powell, the chair of the federal reserve.
Cryptocurrency-centric news portals have been quick to deem this as a bullish signal and shrugging it off, as nothing to be corned about. Whereas the popular media has taken a classic journalism approach: to present the facts as unbiased and objective, for their readers to be able to create their own thoughts around the subject. A few of the recent headlines from popular media include:
Bitcoin falls sharply as Fed’s Powell flags ‘serious concerns’ about Facebook’s cryptocurrency
Source: CNBC.com – Date: 11th July 2019
Fed to Probe Facebook’s Libra as Powell Points to ‘Serious Concerns’
Source: Bloomberg Markets and Finance – Date: 11th July 2019
Donald Trump: Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies aren’t money
Source: The Guardian – Date: 12th July 2019
Trump blasts Bitcoin, Facebook’s Libra, demands they face banking regulations
Source: Reuters – Date: 12th July 2019
If we turn our attention to bitcoin news portals, we get some very different headlines, appearing biased and subjective.
Bitcoin Unaffected as Markets Shrug Off Trump’s Critical Tweets
Source: Coindesk – Date: 12th July 2019.
Trump Pump? Bitcoin Price Buoyant After US President Says He’s ‘Not a Fan’
Source: Cointelegraph – Date: 12th July 2019
Trump’s Dislike of Bitcoin Unites and Emboldens Crypto Community
Source: ccn.com Date: 12th July 2019
PRESIDENT TRUMP’S CRYPTO TWEET ‘WILDLY BULLISH’ FOR BITCOIN
Source: Bitcoinist.com – Date: 12th July 2019
As you can clearly see from the headlines, the sentiment, tonality, and ways of addressing the comments from the US government officials on Bitcoin, are vastly different between the popular media and cryptocurrency-driven news portals.
If you type “Bitcoin” into Google, the difference becomes even more stark, as you are met with the following 3 headlines right now:
It is very clear, that from the crypto-portals, there is a high desire to spin the comments in a positive light, in order to cause as little negative market impact as possible. Journalists have an important place in the world, to ensure that they deliver unbiased objective coverage of events from around the world. It is up to the readers, based on the facts presented by the journalist, to be able to make up their own thoughts regarding the subject at hand. It is rather evident that the news articles referenced from the crypto-portals here, all fail to do that.
Judging by headlines from Reuters, The Guardian, Bloomberg, and CNBC, they all have taken an objective route, by simply just referencing what was delivered by the key officials’ comments. It is crucial, that portals that are treated as news-portals by Google, where many people nowadays will get their news from around the world from, are able to maintain objectivity and to present facts as they are, whether they agree with them or not, to their readers. If news-portals accepted by Google, fails to do so, it raises the question of whether they should even be considered news-portals in the first place.
The Bitcoin news portal accepted by Google as a news site, and therefore receive prominent exposure on their search engine (when users type in a keyword), have a responsibility to ensure that facts from both sides are presented to their users in a fair and balanced way. Not simply designed to drive a certain desired market trend, simply because they hold Bitcoin themselves, write about it daily and have constant pressure to deliver news as quickly as possible.
Not only do Bitcoin news portals have a massive exposure to readers coming through Google, but they also have a rapidly growing reader-base, who continuously rely on them for their daily news digest. Their responsibility is not just to confirm that their readers are right, by finding “facts” that confirm their desired bias but to give them meaningful insights to digest.
When Bitcoin news sites’ Google prominence and the overall userbase is growing, it presents us with serious long term issues for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. It begs the question whether the Bitcoin news giants are driving retail traders’ behavior, and if so, is that sustainable for the long term? Their biased interpretations, could that result in massive fear-of-missing-out (FOMO), and what happens in the event that tides turn?
It raises serious concern, as to their objectivity, and their place in the media world and especially in regards to their placement and prominence on Google.