Google is experimenting with a new feature (launching this week) for it's Google News page, offering a forum for anyone mentioned in any article posted by the news aggregator's searches to respond, in writing, on the same page.
A Google employee must verify the authenticity of the e-mail. Methods include independently tracking down the subject’s contact information and calling that person directly, and checking the author’s e-mail address and phone number against information on a company or organization website.
If the author’s identity is confirmed, the response is posted on the same page as the search results for the story.
Google pointed to several examples on the site Wednesday, including one from a professor at UC San Francisco commenting on a new HIV treatment.
The feature is intended to help Google’s news site evolve from being solely an aggregator of news articles to a forum where news subjects — and even the journalists who wrote the stories — can respond publicly to criticisms.