Alphabet Inc’s Google is working on a policy to prevent websites which are ‘faking news’ from using their Adsense advertising network, a move aimed at halting the spread of fake news and other types of misinformation on the internet.
This comes at the response of backlash on Facebook, Twitter and Google faced because of the role they played in the U.S. presidential election by allowing the spread of false and often malicious information that might have swayed voters toward Republican candidate Donald Trump.
This issue has created much debate internally in Facebook Inc., with Chief Operating Office Mark Zuckerberg insisting twice in recent days that the site had no role in influencing the election.
Google’s new policy does not affect the issues of fake news or hoaxes appearing in Google search results. This happened a few days ago when while searching for ‘US Presidential Election’ for a time took users to a fake news story saying Trump won the popular vote. Votes were still in the counting and showed that Clinton had a sizeable advantage.
Nor does it suggest that the company has moved to a mechanism for rating the accuracy of particular articles.
Other way to look at this, 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.
Adsense, which places ads on webpages of millions of websites that are part of Google’s network, is a major source of money for many publishers.
A report by an Online company, Buzzfeed News last month showed how many small publishers were linking to and making websites with fake news, much of it denigrating Clinton which were widely shared on Facebook.
Sharing this link on social networking sites brought many clicks which led them to the Macedonia News which could then make money on the traffic via AdSense.
Facebook has been blamed for most of the misinformation which was spread online, as their website was a medium of sharing this news, but Zuckerberg has rejected the notion that Facebook influenced the outcome of the election or that fake news is a major problem on the service.
“Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99 percent of what people see is authentic,” he wrote in a blog post on Saturday. “Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes.”
The company uses a combination of humans and artificial intelligence to review sites that apply to be a part of AdSense, and sites continue to be monitored after they are accepted a former Google employee who worked on ad systems said.
The company uses a combination of human and artificial intelligence to review sites that apply to be a part of AdSense, and sites continue to be monitored after they are accepted a former Google employee who worked on ad systems said. Google’s artificial intelligence systems learn from sites that have been removed from the program, speeding the removal of similar sites.
The issue of fake news is critical for Google from a business standpoint, as many advertisers do not want their brand to be touted alongside dubious content. Google must constantly hone its system to try to stay one step ahead of unscrupulous publishers.