Google Discover Doesn’t Discern Copied Web Stories

We guess many of you use Google Discover as the key way to find stories to read on Android. But it turns out that this service has a serious problem with barely-masked plagiarism in Web Stories.

Further reading: OnePlus Launcher Finally Gets Google Discover Feed

Google Discover is available on any Google product – in the Google app, Chrome’s New Tab Page, the homepage, and the far-left home page of Pixel phones. Thus, Google has put it everywhere it is possible. In some sense, for Android users, it is a gateway to content around the internet. Through it, you can find the latest news articles, blog posts, Reddit submissions, YouTube videos/shorts, and most recently “Web Stories.”

We met it in October 2020. Due to it, Web Stories have become the most popular way of creating content. We can even say that they are the web version of Stories on Snapchat and Instagram. That’s why Google has put a lot of effort to make it easier for anyone to create their own Web Stories. This is much easier if creating Web Stories via WordPress.

Google Discover Can’t Distinguish Copied Content

However, this also means that there are many bad actors who do not play by the rules. Of course, this is not new. We mean there have always been many content creators who just take what others have done and introduce them as their own. Google’s algorithms usually hunt them and remove them from the first pages of search results. But this doesn’t always work.


Top news media suffer from this the most. And according to various reports, plagiarism protection seems not to work for Web Stories in the Discover feed.

What’s worse, Google is not going to fix this by making modifications in its algorithm. Instead, Google accused the publishers and said if there are plagiarism conflicts, any company can apply for legal takedowns.

Web Stories are meant to reflect original works, and we encourage rightsholders to report copyright infringement. If we are notified of content that infringes on someone else’s copyright, we take appropriate action.

— Google spokesperson

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