With the presidential elections in hindsight, people are now flocking to social media to convey their disdain against the presence of fake news on these platforms, especially Facebook. But the social networks aren’t alone as the search giant Google was also accused of surfacing fake news related to election results at the top of search results. Thus, the companies are reiterating that they’ll take necessary steps to weed out such news content from their platforms.
With respect to the same, Google is looking to introduce some policy changes to prevent websites that display misconstrued content or fake news from using its AdSense advertising network, reports Reuters. It further details that Google is working to update its publisher policies to eliminate websites that “misrepresent, misstate or conceal information about the publisher, the publisher’s content, or the primary purpose.”
Google, however, if you read closely isn’t making any changes to its core search platform to weed out fake news or hoaxes. It is not making any changes to the search algorithm but is aimed at stripping these illegitimate websites of their financial incentives. The tech behemoth is of the opinion that ad revenue is the primary driver for fake news on the platform. This move is aimed at making the search results free of unwanted fake content and surfacing legitimate results at the top.
Facebook, on the other hand, has also been rebuked of having been plagued with the problem of fake content on their social network. Users have gone as far as to comment that fake news on the social media behemoth influenced public opinion and led to the unexpected outcome of the elections. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has not only stated that over 99 percent content on the platform is authentic but also stated that it is ‘pretty crazy’ to think that the news content on the platform influenced the outcome.
In addition, following pursuit to Google, Facebook is also planning to limit its ad policies to not allow access to misleading news sources. In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson says,
We do not integrate or display ads in apps or sites containing content that is illegal, misleading or deceptive, which includes fake news.