Google, Facebook Crack Down on Fake News

It just got harder to place advertising on phony content on the 2 platforms
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2016 7:43 AM CST
Google, Facebook Crack Down on Fake News
It won't be easy to suss out all of the phony content, but this is a first step.   (Getty Images)

Mark Zuckerberg says fake news on Facebook didn't help tip the election in Donald Trump's favor, but that hasn't stopped the site, along with Google, from starting to address the issue. Although they're not directly taking on the fake news sites themselves, the two platforms are trying to put the kibosh on ads on sites with phony content, Reuters reports. Google is rejiggering its policy so sites with misleading content can't use its AdSense network, while Facebook is taking a similar approach with an update to its Audience Network policy, per the New York Times. "We do not integrate or display ads in apps or sites containing content that is illegal, misleading, or deceptive, which includes fake news," Facebook said in a statement. In its own remarks, Google notes it will "restrict ad serving" on pages that "misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about the publisher" or its content.

An Indiana University professor applauds the moves, noting to Reuters "this could cut the income that creates the incentive to create the fake news sites." Meanwhile, per BuzzFeed, a group of "more than dozens" of Facebook workers are rebutting their employer with an unauthorized task force looking into what role fake news on Facebook may have played in the election. "It's not a crazy idea," one Facebook worker says, referring to Zuckerberg's dismissal. "What's crazy is for him to come out and dismiss it like that, when he knows, and those of us at the company know, that fake news ran wild on our platform during the entire campaign season." The group is said to be meeting in secret to avoid reprisals from management, but it plans to soon "formalize" and submit suggestions to the company. (Business Insider highlights students who took just 36 hours to bust the fake-news flow.)

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