Facebook users today began to complain that news about protest rallies did not get to the main page of Yandex, despite the importance of these events and the large number of media reports about them. Indeed, according to observations of several employees of Vedomosti, who constantly monitored the update of Yandex.News, after 14.00 until about 17.00, there was no information about the rallies in the top 5 stories. The first story that made it to the top 5, was the detention of employees of the Anti-Corruption Fund.
The plot in "Yandex.News" is a selection of news reports that are dedicated to some important event. Such plots are formed automatically, by determining the text similarity of messages, says the page of "Yandex." The more news in the story, the more likely that he will get to the main page of "Yandex.News" and appear in the top.
The press service of "Yandex" told Vedomosti that the stories about the rallies went to the top five several times today. "The top changes all the time. When ranking the stories in "Yandex.News", not only the number of messages in the story, but also the composition of the sources, the density of the information flow and the time of messages are taken into account. In addition, the weight of other subjects on this topic is also to some extent taken into account. However, the service algorithms do not combine plots reflecting different aspects of the event or occurring in different regions, into one. In general, on the topics related to the rallies, there were a large number of reports, subjects on the topic were in the top, but then they were ousted by other subjects, Yandex said.
According to the company, the story "Anticorruption rallies are held in large cities of Russia" was in the top 5 on the main page between 12.00 and 13.00. The issue about the plot about the arrest of Navalny "Yandex" declined to comment.
During the rallies throughout the country, a general story about the rallies, which would unite all news about the event, was not formed. After 14.00 "Yandex.News" formed more than a dozen stories about rallies in different cities, but each of them individually was not large enough to enter the top - so there was a separate story about the assessment of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the number of protesters, the first detentions, the detention of Navalny, about how the meetings were held in St. Petersburg and Makhachkala. Separate stories were formed by no more than 20 news items.
The news on the arrest of Navalny was formed into a separate story, which by 15:40 included 58 messages. This number exceeded the number of news in at least two other stories from the tops, but still it never appeared on the main page of "Yandex". For example, as of 15:40 the report about the complaints of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavel Klimkin against Russia in The Guardian, there were 35 messages, but it was on the main page of "Yandex.News".
After 16:30 the plot about the arrest of Navalny disappeared not only from the main page of "Yandex.News", but also became invisible in the sections "Politics", "Society", "Incidents", Vedomosti noted. Search for the keywords "Navalny", "arrest", "rally" inside "Yandex.News" also does not lead to the plot, but gives out news of the past. The news about the arrest of Navalny at the rally in the Yandex aggregator can be found at the request of Navalny arrested, but the plot does not issue such a request.
After 17:15 the top 5 "Yandex.News" included a story about the arrest in the Anti-corruption Fund of Navalny, where there are references to the arrest of Navalny himself. Over the last hour it disappears, then again appears in the top 5 on the main page.
In a complex political situation, when officials or another interested group of people do not want any news to appear on the main page of Yandex and attract attention, it's easier for them not to "break" the algorithm of the news service of the search engine, but to use its weak points, says an employee of a large media. You can try to "knock out" the necessary news from the top with the help of another one, he explains, - for this you can use a group of loyal media that will immediately start publishing articles on a topic that the robots of Yandex.News will find more important. For example, today after 5 pm, a number of mass media began to promote the story about the city festival "Break in the spring" and at some point the story about this holiday entered the top "Yandex.News", the interlocutor of Vedomosti said, - to prove that it was a planned action would hardly be possible, but it looked suspicious.