There are a number of folks and critics of the presidential election that’s partially blaming false information and fake new stories that’s been propagated on Google and Facebook for influencing the outcome. Even though there are some Facebook employees who are sharing in this concern, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has largely dismissed the notion that fake news found on Facebook helped to contribute to Trump’s victory.
Despite this, both Facebook and Google have now taken steps to address the challenge of false news. On Google’s end, they’ve implemented a policy change that bars sites from displaying fake news from using ads from the Google Display Network. By cutting off, their potential revenue this should help weed out the fakers.
Google issued this statement:
We’ve been working on an update to our publisher policies and will start prohibiting Google ads from being placed on misrepresentative content, just as we disallow misrepresentation in our ads policies. 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.
Facebook also updated its Facebook Audience Network terms, which prohibits sites that are featuring deceptive and illegal deceptive content (fake news) from using ads on the platform.
There are various reports that are saying that a good number of the fake news that circulated during the election had been generated in Macedonia. Quite a few of these sites used the Google Display Network to monetize. We are assuming that this won’t be the case any longer after today.
Althouh Google and Facebook are two of the largest ad platforms, there are other options for these fake news sites. Will this sufficnetly address the underlying problem? We’ll have to see. Although these fake news sites got cut off from Google and Facebook, it doesn’t really directly address the issue of the fake content still appearing on either news feed.
With the election done and over with, hopefully the fake news will die down soon.