There are at least 25 cities or towns in the United States named Auburn. There are several additional international cities named Auburn. And of course, there’s Auburn University. Cities with the same name aren’t new, so why does it matter? Two words: aggregated news.
There are innumerous apps and websites that aggregate news from outlets all over the internet. This includes popular platforms like Facebook and Google. These handy services condense news into an easy to scroll feed and send alerts for important updates. To help keep you informed, these aggregators will include news about the city you reside. The Auburn Examiner is often included when feeds provide news for Auburn, Wa. Based on our traffic statistics, a substantial number of readers use apps or websites like NewsBreak, Breaking News, Google News, and Apple News.
There is nothing inherently wrong with aggregated news. The issue that does happen with aggregated news services is when articles from locations of the same name are inserted into the feed of a reader in a different city with that name. If the reader isn’t paying close enough attention or only sees the headline in the notification alert, the article could be quite alarming.
I have had news from Auburns across the country in my aggregated feeds. These articles related to crime, an officer killed in the line of duty, fires, elections, schools, and general city policies. I’ve also seen articles shared on social media attributing incidents and information from another Auburn to Auburn, Wa.
With this in mind, welcome to our new series called “Wrong Auburn”!
If an article from another Auburn comes across any AE Team members’ feed, or we see it being shared on local social media indicating it relates to our Auburn, we will make a post to clarify it’s the wrong city.
Here’s our first Wrong Auburn:
Aggregated news algorithms are tuned to each person, so we may not catch them all. If you see one we haven’t posted, send a screencap our way (DM, text, or email).
Aggregated news is not going away, and nor should it. But with the amount of disinformation and misinformation already out there, we want to help reduce that noise however we can. If removing the confusion these ‘oops, wrong Auburn’ articles may cause only helps one person, it’s worth it.