Google to restrict ads on fake news sites

November 15, 2016 9:51 am

Google says planning policy to curb fake news. (Image: Alamy)

Google to prevent fake news sites from using AdSense

Aimed at halting spread of misinformation

Fake news on Google, Facebook and Twitter allegedly helped Trump win election

Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Monday it is working on a policy change to prevent websites that misrepresent content from using its AdSense advertising network. The move is aimed at halting the spread of “fake news” and other types of misinformation on the Internet.

 

(Twitter COO walks out, find out why)

Trump fake news backlash

The shift comes as Google, Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc face a backlash over the role they played in the US presidential election by allowing the spread of false and often malicious information that might have swayed voters towards Republican candidate Donald Trump.

The issue has provoked a fierce debate within Facebook especially, with Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg insisting twice in recent days that the site had no role in influencing the election.

 

(Facebook cheered Trump, Google backed Clinton: Elections 2016)

Fake news in search not addressed

Google’s move does not address the issue of fake news or hoaxes appearing in Google search results. That happened in the past few days, when a search for ‘final election count’ for a time took users to a fake news story saying Trump won the popular vote. Votes were then still being counted, with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton showing a slight lead.

Nor does it suggest that the company has moved to a mechanism for rating the accuracy of particular articles.

 

(US election drives record ratings for cable news)

 

Rather, the change is aimed at assuring that publishers on the network are legitimate and eliminating the financial incentives that appear to have driven the production of much fake news.

“Moving forward, we will restrict ad serving on pages that misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about the publisher, the publisher’s content, or the primary purpose of the web property,” Google said in a statement.

The company did not detail how it would implement or enforce the new policy.

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